A Field Guide to 4D Citymaking

A Field Guide to 4D Citymaking

This publication features guidelines and parameters, based on the findings and insights that resulted from the 4D Citymaking project. Steps that city planners, designers and other stakeholders can use when developing a 4d city model. 

City models have always been great tools for discussing and planning city developments, showcasing city changes, educating populations and even persuading audiences of a city’s future. These models serve as a physical spectacle to present urban development in an aesthetic and accessible way. However, these 3D models are often static, and though the scale allows the audience to get a good overview of the city as a whole, it can be difficult to simultaneously zoom in on specific themes, neighborhoods or developments. Digital and interactive media offer new possibilities for this medium. With projection mapping, augmented reality, virtual reality and the use of real time data, dynamic layers can be added to the city model to allow for temporary interventions in the setup as well as include real time consequences. 

The title ‘4D Citymaking’ refers to the 3D arrangement and physical, shared experience of the city model, plus participation, discussion and debate being added as a fourth dimension through programming in the interactive media layer. The 4D Citymaking model could be used as a medium to organise conversations, debates or information provisions about developments in the city in an inclusive manner. The model could function as a platform around which an interactive programme can be made for various subjects. 

The lectoraat of Civic Interaction Design, ARCAM, the Master of Digital Design at the AUAS and the Center of Expertise & Urban Governance and Social Innovation have joined up to explore this space of possibilities. Along with our partners, we had discussions in this space, prototyped and tested different solutions and analysed existing case studies. From the insights gathered, we identified the key goals of 4D Citymaking projects and put together an open, adaptable ‘how to guideline’ for developing such a project.

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