2023 journal article

Augmented reality participatory platform: A novel digital participatory planning tool to engage under-resourced communities in improving neighborhood walkability

CITIES, 141.

By: S. Oloonabadi n & P. Baran n

author keywords: Participatory planning; Digital participation; Mobile augmented reality; Walkability; Usability; Environmental justice
UN Sustainable Development Goal Categories
10. Reduced Inequalities (OpenAlex)
Source: Web Of Science
Added: August 14, 2023

Engaging communities and utilizing local knowledge can alleviate the disparities faced by under-resourced neighborhoods with regard to providing sufficient opportunities for walkability. Digital technologies, and in particular smartphones, have created new opportunities to improve community engagement by expanding the inclusion of diverse stakeholders in decision-making. This paper introduces a novel digital participatory planning tool called the Augmented Reality Participatory Platform (ARPP). The platform uses mobile augmented reality (mobile AR) to engage residents, particularly in under-resourced communities, in identifying the design improvements necessary to enhance neighborhood walkability. ARPP consists of a mobile AR app, cloud database, and real-time mapping service. It provides a platform for two-way communication between residents of these communities and decision-makers, with potential benefits for both groups. ARPP enables residents to interact with street features and walkable design interventions in situ, generate walking-related spatial data, and share them and possible design solutions with decision-makers. The platform also assists decision-makers with presenting walkable street design alternatives developed based on community feedback to residents. To determine if ARPP is useful and user-friendly, experts and a group of residents from an under-resourced community evaluated the usability of the mobile AR app. We found that the app largely met the usability goals, and after we addressed must-solve issues identified by the experts, community participants faced very few issues when interacting with it. With recent technological advances in mobile AR and its potential for planning and design, integrating mobile AR into participatory planning is timely.