Research from CyI’s Virtual Environments Lab Selected Among the Best International Practices of Public Space Co-Creation

Research on the use of interactive spatial data visualization for stakeholder engagement in public space co-creation and co-management of historic sites that also formed the main enquiry which led to the creation of the DARIAH Working Group UDigiSH, developed by CyI’s Virtual Environments Lab and led by Assist. Professor G. Artopoulos, was selected as one of the two best projects in the Open Call of Public Play Space Initiatives. The State of the Art Catalogue collects and analyses 30 best-practice case studies, offering an international panorama of the emerging methodologies and strategies for the public space co-design through digital technologies. The best practices featured in the Catalogue were first selected from the results of an International Open Call launched in December 2019, and later evaluated for the announcement of the two winning methodologies.

This research proposes a methodology for the cross-disciplinary study and analysis of complex urban realities, such as historic Mediterranean cities, with the use of advanced digital tools for the creation and development of real-time virtual environments for research and collaboration that capture data of users’ behaviour in space. The objective of this research is a digital platform, which through immersion, urban data modeling and interactive visualisation enables the evaluation of alternative planning scenarios and design interventions in the context of the management plan of open public spaces that used to be popular within the urban fabric of European cities, but are now forgotten or in limbo due to political, economic, or social pressures. The Virtual Environments Lab’s research on the reintegration of the archaeological site of the Pafos Gate, located in the moat of the medieval walls of Nicosia, in the network of public spaces of the contemporary city, was developed in the context of the COST Action TU1306, with the support of the Department of Antiquities, Nicosia Municipality, and in collaboration with NCSA at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The methods and tools that the UDigiSH WG is currently developing build on the solid foundation of this methodology.

Public Play Space (PPS) is a project co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union whose main goal is to foster the co-production of inclusive, cohesive and sustainable public space. The project aims to establish a transdisciplinary platform to explore how play and gamification tools in combination with advanced digital technologies can be used to foster the process of public space co-design and place-making, enhancing the understanding of the relationship between the space and its users.

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Author: gartopoulos

Georgios holds a Master of Philosophy in Architecture and the Moving Image (University of Cambridge, UK, 2004) and a PhD, conducted at the Department of Architecture, University of Cambridge (2005-2010), with a Doctoral Award from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK, where he assisted as Tutor and Research Assistant. Previously he was employed by the School of the Built Environment, Heriot-Watt University, the University of Melbourne, the University of Cambridge and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. Giorgos has contributed in 12 International Research Programs and received the Best International Short Film award in Mestre Film Festival, Venice and his work was presented in the International Biennale of Contemporary Art, Czech National Gallery, Prague, the International Exhibition Computational Turn in Architecture, MAV, Marseille, the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2017, the Hong Kong and Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, the 11th and 12th Biennale of Young Creators of Europe, the 63rd Venice Film Festival, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, the Royal Institute of British Architects, London, the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle, the London Design Festival, London, the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago, the ISEA 2006 and 2008, the British Council, Brussels, the Byzantine Museum, Athens, the Benakis Museum, Athens and in many International Film Festivals and art exhibitions.

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