METHOD


Unlimited Cities Pro is a more long-term process.

More and more users are interested in the interdependent process of urban projects, while professionals are more and more open to public participation. In a few months an urban project can become a common good driven by common objectives.

Step 1: Encounters

The project planners launch the first steps that involve the meeting of different social agents: the public, elected officials, urban planners and designers.

Exchange with the city

The project planners explain the principles of the procedure to the elected officials and the city’s technical services. In turn city officials point out the needs of specific sites. Three sites will be selected during on-site visits, which will become the interactive viewpoints for the app.

Informal discussions

Photographing the three viewpoints is an opportunity for informal discussion with local users, who are then invited to participate in the project.

Presenting to the public

During an organised meeting, city officials will explain the meaning and choices of a collaborative urban project to the public. The project planners will present the Unlimited Cities app as well as a future timeline for the project.

Step 2: Co-design

This is the opportunity to take inspiration from collective intelligence right from the start in order to define variations for the 15 000 combinations that the app will offer.

Idea Collecting Workshop

The project planners and partners set up a workshop that brings together inhabitants, professionals and town planning services. Using photographs of the three selected viewpoints, participants, individually or in groups imagine and design what directions the project could take. At this stage, the intention is less to express one’s opinion and more to prepare the variations that will be proposed by the app during the mediation process.

Interactive sketching workshop

During the second workshop, the project planners present interactive sketches that combine their own vision as designers with the visions of the participants of the first workshop. In this workshop mutual trust is built and new ideas emerge.

The making of interactive viewpoints

The project planners then convert and transform these sketches into hyper-realist images to create the interactive viewpoints of Unlimited cities. Whenever possible other contributors are also included (designers, architects, landscapists, artists…) to create variations and diversify the urban possibilities.

Step 3: Mediation

The mediation step facilitates the involvement of a large public and a public that does not usually participate in these consultations. The mediation step lasts for a couple of days or months depending on what the client decides.

Mediators

Mediators equipped with touch screens walk around the city and offer people passing by the opportunity to experiment with the app. A dynamic is created between users and other passers-by...

The Unlimited Cities application

By varying the 6 criteria (density, nature, mobility, neighbourhood life, creativity, digital), users can change the interactive viewpoints and share their views on how the district could develop. Designed to be fun and intuitive, the application enables everyone to easily express their vision. A hyper-realistic image is generated on which users can add a comment. Users are also encouraged to look at the choices that are simultaneously made by others.

Events

Targeted events are organised to highlight and facilitate exchanges around the collaborative urbanism project. The ability to project the app on large screens allows the involvement of a wider public while reinforcing the collective dimension of the project. It is a special moment where the voices of elected officials, professionals and civil society converge.

Step 4: Feedback Review

An analysis of the results will bring together and compare the different visions produced by app users so as to get a better idea of the diversity of images, ideas and expectations for the area.

Transparency and Open Data

Data gathered by the app that formed a basis of the feedback procedure is then broadcast through Open data. This sharing process strengthens transparency and the mutual trust established between different social agents.
View data on data.gouv.fr

Review for professionals

A document covering both quantitative and qualitative data produced by the mediation process is given to the conductors. This document can for example be worked into a competition dialogue procedure, thus complementing the specifications given to urban architects during competitions.
Download the Montpellier review for professionals

Review for the Public

Finally, the project planners can present a summary of their results to a meeting of the public. A summary can also be published in the town's newspaper or distributed around the neighbourhood.
Download a summary of the civil society review of Evreux

OPEN DATA

What’s next ?

Cities invent different strategies to use the results in view of improving future urban transformations.

Enhancing conventional procedures

The designer teams selected for the final design of the urban project use the feedback review as a source of information to understand the needs and uses of the area.

Inventing new tactics

Cities will be able to complete their structural projects (long term) with agile projects (short term). By creating a short circuit between the public and professionals, the collaborative urban project offers solutions that are fast and able to improve a neighbourhood’s quality of life.

Citizen empowerment support

A group of citizens who participated in the collective urbanism project self-organise to work together on the improvement of micro sites through “homeopathic urbanism". These same citizens however wish to be assisted by the town planning services to validate and improve their intention of transforming public spaces.

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