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Does real-time visualization support local stakeholders in developing landscape visions?


  • Silvia Tobias
  • Tobias Buser
  • Matthias Buchecker


Research on visualization during participatory planning workshops is widespread, but there are hardly any studies comparing workshops with and without visualization. We conducted four workshops with local stakeholders to develop landscape visions for the year 2030. In three workshops we used different techniques to support the visioning process with real-time visualization: drawings by hand, a town planning computer-aided design software, and a combination of GIS, Google Earth, and SketchUp with Cinema 4D. In the fourth workshop the participants developed their visions without any visualization. In all cases the participants evaluated the workshops expost by means of a standardized questionnaire.The comparative analysis of the data revealed that visualization supports the participants consistently but only moderately in imagining future landscape conditions. In particular, visualization provided a better common basis for communication, whereas it only marginally inspired the viewers to develop new ideas. The main trade-off of using visualizations that we found was that the participants assessed their influence on the discussion as too strong as they focused the discussion on visual aspects. Among the visualization techniques tested, drawings by hand appeared to be particularly useful for creating long-term (more than fifteen years) landscape visions. Future research on the use of visualization during workshops should concentrate on the perceptions and requirements of the viewers.

Suggested Citation

  • Silvia Tobias & Tobias Buser & Matthias Buchecker, 2016. "Does real-time visualization support local stakeholders in developing landscape visions?," Environment and Planning B, , vol. 43(1), pages 184-197, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:envirb:v:43:y:2016:i:1:p:184-197

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