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Visualising the city environment from different perspectives

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Two of the pilot projects that form part of the Virtual Gothenburg Lab test bed are now underway. On Thursday, interim reports were issued for other project participants with the aim of answering questions and sharing knowledge.

The Virtual Gothenburg Lab testbed is run by Visual Arena, which is working with 25 partners to increase the usability of the digital twin of the City of Gothenburg. The partners are involved in five pilot projects, two of which have now started. In the interim reports, some of the project partners explained how the work has been going. 

- We are now entering a phase where we will add depth and detail to the testbed. This means that we have begun investigating what will happen when we have something that we want to test. We need to find out which processes will be required and which type of technology will be suitable, says Monica Ek, project leader of the Virtual Gothenburg Lab.

Pilot project: Centralenområdet

In an Unreal Engine simulation, the Centralenområdet (central district) pilot project is investigating how to provide support for the traffic planning activities of the Traffic Administration Office. 

Centralenområdet will be one of Gothenburg's most important areas for development in the years to come. The city environment of the future will be characterised by a vibrant street life with a focus on culture and green spaces. At the same time, Centralenområdet will continue to be an important hub for vehicle traffic and public transport.

Visualisation and interaction can be powerful tools that allow city employees, policymakers and residents to evaluate at an early stage how people experience the city environment from different perspectives, such as safety, crowds and noise levels. The objective is for users to be able to change different parameters in real time and see how the avatars behave following the changes.

Picture: Click to see an example of how people can react in a group.

What is the Centralenområdet like if you're a child? How do older people move about in the district? Do people take a shortcut over the tram lines when it starts to rain? These are some of the questions that will be investigated before the pilot project comes to an end in January 2021. 

Project partners: Berge, RISE, Volvo Cars, City of Gothenburg Traffic Administration Office, AFRY

Pilot project: The City Silhouette

How should the future City of Gothenburg and its silhouette be designed and how can decisions be made about it? Gothenburg is growing and there is continued pressure for property development, particularly in the central areas of the city. To create the right conditions for lab experiments, analyses and the identification of possible consequences, the urban planning process must take into consideration the city's silhouette, its history and its character. 

These issues are being discussed as part of the second pilot project, The City Silhouette, which also issued an interim report on Thursday.

Using visualisation, analysis and communication tools, the pilot project will lay the foundations and draw up the guidelines for action at an early stage of the decision-making process. The objective is to find a tool, a way of working or a methodology that will make the process of designing Gothenburg more efficient. The final report will be published in January 2021. 

Project partners: Atgis, Berge, Gothenburg Region, HiQ, Insert Coin, City of Gothenburg Planning Authority.

More about the Virtual Gothenburg Lab

In 2020 the City of Gothenburg created a digital twin, known as Virtual Gothenburg. This is a copy of the city that residents see when they are out on its streets, a copy of the physical environment. Using the Virtual Gothenburg Lab testbed, a unique opportunity has been created to test the visual, digital and virtual ways of working in Virtual Gothenburg with the aim of improving the usability of the digital twin.

The Virtual Gothenburg Lab is a testbed that has been funded by Vinnova and involves players from the academic, the private sector and the public sector.

Official website for Virtual Gothenburg Lab


Please contact Monica Ek, the project leader of the Visual Arena, if you want to find out more about the testbed or the pilot projects.
Telephone: +46 (0)705 620216