The Non-Experts’ Experience of 3D City Visualisations: Lessons for Urban Design Practice

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Abstract

Vertical urbanisation is perceived as necessary to accommodate a growing population but is associated with severe risks for human well-being. It requires a profound understanding of how archi-tectural designs can ensure visually readable and liveable environments before it has been built. How-ever, current digital representation techniques fail to address the diverse interests of non-experts. Emerging biometric technologies may deliver the missing user information to involve (future) inhabit-ants at different stages of the planning process. The study aims to gain insight into how non-experts (visually) experience 3D city visualizations of designed urban areas. In two laboratory studies, univer-sity students were randomly assigned to view a set of the same level of detail images from one of two planned urban area developments in the Netherlands. Using eye-tracking technology, the visual behav-iour metrics of fixation count and duration and general eye-movement patterns were recorded for each image, followed by a short survey. The results show how visual behaviour and perception are remark-ably similar across different detail levels, implying that 3D visualizations of planned urban develop-ments can be examined by non-experts much earlier in the design process than previously thought.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-481
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Digital Landscape Architecture (JoDLA)
Volume9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024

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