Participatory 3D Modeling-Building: What Can Multimodality offer Urban Planning?


Thank you for accessing my presentation materials for this semester’s LOCUS Talk on Modeling. You can access my presentation abstract and PDF below:



2D models are routinely used in the practice of urban planning. In public forums, for instance, planners often present a series of 2D models using presentation slides. However, envisioning a future development in two dimensions—especially when those developments will of course be three dimensions in our physical world—creates a communication problem of dimensions. Furthermore, the public is limited to offering their comments through two modes: written and oral. Limiting citizen engagement through dimensional models and literacies can result in development projects that fail to reflect the rich, diverse perspectives of residents.


In this presentation, I highlight recent developments in model-building that allow citizens to richly participate in urban and transportation planning. Minecraft, a simple 3D sandbox video game, is now being used to engage citizens in planning parks, cities, and entire regions—and in developing contexts in particular. Meanwhile, 3D printing is being used in cities like Oslo, Norway and Louisville, Kentucky to inspire public input in future designs. To conclude, I highlight how the use of three dimensions can work as a powerful tool to encourage citizen participation, input, and ideas. Furthermore, fostering multiple modes of engagement—written, oral, visual, and haptic—presents citizens with more avenues to provide input on the landscapes where they live, work, and play.


Keynote: locus-talk_modeling_hennes

PDF: Participatory 3D Modeling-Building: What Can Multimodality offer Urban Planning?