Research Output
Mediated Participatory Urban Planning and Design: An Interdisciplinary Framework
  This paper describes a theoretical, interdisciplinary framework for mediated participatory urban planning and design. More specifically, the framework aims to provide a theoretical background and overview for participatory urban planning that integrates digital and virtual city technologies, such as virtual world simulators and augmented reality. The input of urban stakeholders’ sense of place and its positive contribution to participatory planning can be leveraged through an approach to participatory urban planning using social media and multi-user virtual world environments. Moreover, given that many of our urban experiences are already connected to mediated experiences, a stronger media and audience focus should be integrated to help us understand better how city dwellers – and thus potential participants in urban planning – already use and appropriate these connected media and technologies with respect to physical urban space. Thus, an audience research approach can be integrated in the practices of participatory urban planning, on a theoretical level, instrumental level, and measurement level. We propose a novel sense of place engagement that utilizes audience studies methods in the context of interactive media technologies. Virtual environments supplemented by social media, offer diverse interaction opportunities in participatory urban planning, and may function as data collection and archival repositories. The communication and memory affordances of these media contribute to a sense of place in the urban setting, and by extension, the careful design and inclusion of these technologies in contemporary urban planning processes can be used to enhance analog planning methods and materials. Stakeholders can visualize, meaningfully interact with, and shape multiple iterative planning scenarios via the digitised virtual environment as a prelude to decisive commitment. This application of audience research methods to urban visualization can be described as mediated participatory urban planning and design.

  • Type:

    Conference Paper (unpublished)

  • Date:

    28 June 2021

  • Publication Status:


  • Funders:

    Historic Funder (pre-Worktribe)


Zeller, F., Smith, D. H., Eyles, E., Eyles, J., Silva de Jesus, D., & Hillis, C. (2021, June). Mediated Participatory Urban Planning and Design: An Interdisciplinary Framework. Paper presented at Urban Assemblage: The City as Architecture, Media, AI and Big Data, London, UK


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