Many different urban stakeholders such as authorities, planners, investors or local residents are involved in urban planning processes. Coordination and communication between the parties involved is often difficult, especially since not all parties have the same level of knowledge. This is particularly problematic when plans are not understood by those affected by the planning decisions.
As part of the research project "Integrated Infrastructure - IN3", we want to support planning participants in developing Ethiopian villages into towns in tow ways. First, we create and discuss digital tools with the participants to enable fast urban planning. Second, we experiment with explanatory communication tools to provide village residents and local authorities with easy-to-use and game-like access to planning to enable conscious, participatory decision-making.
In a discussion with village representatives, we gained valuable insights using a prototypical communication tool. We drew attention to drastic changes in the village environment during a growth process from previous population of approx. 1,000 to the expected 10,000 inhabitants. This highlighted, for example, how land use and water infrastructure would be affected.
For an exhibition, we designed a simplified version that should give the users access to planning aspects in a fictious Ethiopian context without further help. The generated planning scenarios surely do not represent the final plans. We hope, however, that this type of interaction will stimulate discussion and reflection on new possibilities for planning and participation.
The urban planning table is conceptualised within the Integrated Infrastructure Research Team and programmed by Martin Dennemark.
Integrated Infrastructure (IN³ - uni-weimar.de/integrated-infrastructure) is an interdisciplinary international research project at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar (BUW) and the Ethiopia Institute for Architecture, Building Construction and City Development (EiABC).
The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in Germany (BMBF), German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and German Aerospace Center (DLR).
Music: Imperial Tiger Orchestra - Yedao (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 - creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)