The Be­taville Par­tic­i­pa­tion Sys­tem


Session Title:

  • Think BETA: Participative Evolution of Smart Cities

Presentation Title:

  • The Be­taville Par­tic­i­pa­tion Sys­tem




  • Panel: Think BETA: Participative Evolution of Smart Cities

    Be­taville is a pro­ject of the think tank: Think BETA – Evo­lu­tion of smart cities. It sup­posed to re­sult in a plat­form that fos­ters on­line col­lab­o­ra­tion and par­tic­i­pa­tion of com­mu­nity groups in urban liv­ing by pro­vid­ing ad­e­quate tools and meth­ods. It pro­vides a de­vel­op­ment, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and de­ci­sion mak­ing en­vi­ron­ment for local ini­tia­tives and pro­ject groups. Be­taville sup­ports the com­plete de­vel­op­ment process from early-stage ideas and dis­cus­sions through on­go­ing en­gage­ment of com­mu­ni­ties in pro­ject de­ci­sion and pro­ject im­ple­men­ta­tion.

    Ap­pli­ca­tion Sce­nario
    In Al­phav­ille, a fic­ti­tious city, an old fac­tory has been torn down. The va­cant area is to be re­vived in the near fu­ture and the city hall con­sti­tutes a plan­ning board¬¬–the of­fi­cial process has started. In order to take into con­sid­er­a­tion its cit­i­zens’ de­mands for a liv­able city on the one hand as well as po­ten­tial in­ter­ests of au­thor­i­ties and tech­ni­cal re­stric­tions on the other, the pub­lic ad­min­is­tra­tion is in­ter­ested in the ac­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion of other par­ties in the de­ci­sion and de­vel­op­ment process. There­fore, it cre­ates a new pro­ject within Be­taville and con­fig­ures the avail­able real es­tate in the vir­tual sys­tem. Bob likes to ac­tively take part in the plan­ning process about his vicin­ity. As he is in­ter­ested in a mixed use of the area, he uses Be­taville’s func­tion­al­ity to in­cor­po­rate 3D mod­els of a town houses set­tle­ment as well as a small shop­ping mall with space for dif­fer­ent shops. Alice gets to see Bob’s pro­posal on Be­taville and adds a 3D bound­ing box that serves as a re­quest for a kinder­garten that she finds es­sen­tial for a vivid quar­ter. Later, oth­ers can spec­ify ex­actly the 3D view of it in new pro­pos­als. After re­leas­ing her ideas, her friend Carol also wants to par­tic­i­pate in the re­de­vel­op­ment of the area. Equipped with her mo­bile de­vice, Carol in­spects the area and uses Be­taville’s mo­bile client for 3D on-site-vi­su­al­iza­tions of the dif­fer­ent plan­ning pro­pos­als on her mo­bile screen. With these au­then­tic im­pres­sions in mind she re­al­izes the long dis­tance from the hous­ing area to the kinder­garten and changes the pro­posal di­rectly on her mo­bile by draw­ing the kinder­garten nearer. Back at home she re­al­izes a lack of green space and sub­sti­tutes the shop­ping mall in Bob’s de­sign by a small park.

    Mem­bers of the com­mu­nity, local au­thor­i­ties, or even po­ten­tial in­vestors now have the chance to re­fine and ex­tend the de­vel­op­ment branches cre­ated by Bob, Alice, and Carol, to re­arrange the pro­pos­als or even to cre­ate new branches. Fur­ther­more, every mem­ber of the com­mu­nity has the chance to par­tic­i­pate in the de­ci­sion mak­ing process that should end up in a small set of pos­si­ble so­lu­tions. Cur­rently, Be­taville ex­per­i­ments with dif­fer­ent strate­gies to per­form this task. In order to in­te­grate as many cit­i­zens as pos­si­ble in the process, Al­phav­ille ad­di­tion­ally al­lo­cates in­ter­ac­tive urban screens in the vivid city cen­tre for com­mu­ni­cat­ing the cur­rent sta­tus of the de­vel­op­ment process. At multi-touch ta­bles small groups can meet and col­lab­o­rate in real life, dis­cuss al­ter­na­tive pro­pos­als, cre­ate and ma­nip­u­late new ideas and vi­su­al­ize them on the at­tached urban screen. Al­though we have fo­cused the ap­pli­ca­tion sce­nario on urban de­vel­op­ment, the pro­ject is open to other ap­pli­ca­tions that apply these three lev­els of (web-, mo­bile- and table-) colla¬bo­ra­tion and par­tic­i­pa­tion, like urban art pro­jects or com­puter aug­mented learn­ing.