What will city and area planning look like after Corona?

Although a virus does not destroy buildings and streets, changes can still be expected in cities and areas as a result of the Corona crisis. When spaces change, different scenarios must also be created and presented to committees. Let’s explain the advantages of planning and visualisation with virtual reality, especially with HEGIAS VR.

The assumption that a virus also has a major impact on public spaces is based on adaptations of urban structures after epidemics in the past: the black death, cholera, and the Spanish flu all caused cityscapes to change significantly. This time will likely be no different; it has already begun.

Companies went virtual

Around the world, habits changed within days in the face of the pandemic. Some of them will definitely outlive the crisis: For example, working from home is expected to become more prevalent in the future.

Also, various service providers who have been forced by the lockdown to offer their services online are catching on: From online fitness studios to virtual museum tours and virtual world travel.

Innovative architects are already using virtual reality (VR) for their collaboration meetings and visualisation of their projects. Modern real estate agencies are also increasingly offering virtual tours and house purchases (both with HEGIAS VR, of course).

Many of these new services will persist thanks to cost savings, much greater reach, or lower investment in physical infrastructure, among other things. What does this mean for urban and area development?

In the short term, some stores, restaurants, and malls will probably close, and of course the question of how to keep public spaces alive will arise. Many virtual services will remain after the pandemic. Offices and other venues will be vacant and possibly converted to housing. We will need more space for delivery services, but the amount of space needed will be limited by better logistics. It will also definitely have an impact on traffic.

Plan and test scenarios

A wide variety of scenarios are emerging that need to be planned out and tested for their advantages and disadvantages. This is exactly where the use of HEGIAS VR makes sense, and here’s how it works:

Using geo-data, your city is brought directly into VR via web services. From there you can start: With the HEGIAS virtual construction kit you can decide focus points for the further development of your city or area. You can efficiently explore the possibilities of different prototypes directly in VR with just a few clicks. Objects can be moved as desired and, for example, changed in size or colour.

HEGIAS VR allows you to immediately test the results. With HEGIAS VR you can experience every corner of the city or area from any desired perspective, as if you were there in real life. Among other things, shadows are made visible and a realistic sense of space is created.

Present planned cities and areas

With HEGIAS VR you give the decision-makers in design competitions a true vision of your project. Via a link, you can invite judges and other interested parties to view the project together. Multiuser features let you take the reins on the virtual tour and direct the attention of participants. Nothing needs to be imagined. Everyone sees the same thing in the virtual world. You don’t even have to be in the same place as the other participants, because HEGIAS VR works online and therefore remotely.

For us it is clear that sooner or later VR will be standard in all planning projects— from building houses to planning areas and entire cities— because when different inputs and prototypes are directly compared in a virtual world, the political decision-making process will be easier and faster. It brings benefits for everyone involved. Get the ball rolling.

Take a live demo to find out how HEGIAS can also support you in urban and site development.

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