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The Augmented Urbans (AU) project runs from March 2018 through November 2020, and is funded by the EU Interreg programme Central Baltic 2014-2020. The Central Baltic region is undergoing a range of changes including both growing- and shrinking cities, changing economies and emerging climate change effects.
AU recognizes that while strategies to increase urban sustainability need to be adapted to the local social-ecological contexts, collaborating with other cities can provide valuable guidance on common strategies for dealing with similar changes.
The AU project is a research, development and implementation project that explores how urban planning and design in the Central Baltic region can generate more resilient, sustainable urban areas. Of particular interest is Extended Reality (XR) technologies, which includes Virtual, Augmented, and Mixed Reality (VR, AR, and MR, respectively), which are emerging as promising new tools in a range of application areas including architecture, design, and communication.
The project aims to identify how planning processes can be redesigned to better encourage citizen dialogues, and encourage complexity-based, social-ecological design of urban landscapes, in contrast to efficiency-oriented, engineered design. In the process, AU is also expected to yield novel insights on the potentials and limitations of XR technology to deal with the complexities of urban sustainability. At the end of its running time, the AU project is expected to provide a set of guidelines to policymakers in the Central Baltic region.
Participating cities include Helsinki, Finland; Viimsi and Tallinn, Estonia; Cēsis and the planning organization Riga Planning Region, Latvia, and Gävle and Stockholm, Sweden. Each participating city has a consortium of partners that include at least some of the following groups: academia, planning, architecture, XR experts, design, and policy-making.
Partners to the project in Stockholm include the Property Management Department (Fastighetskontoret), the City Planning Office (Stadsbyggnadskontoret), KOD Arkitekter and the Stockholm County Administrative Board (Länsstyrelsen för Stockholms län).
Maria Schewenius at Stockholm Resilience Centre and at the University of Gävle is leader of the project’s work package on knowledge accumulation and technological applications.
The project is led by Metropolia University of Applied Sciences.
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