VR as a Collaborative Design Tool for Urban Agriculture: An Alternative to Urban Map Walks Methodology

Poorang Piroozfar, Simon Boseley, Alex Judd, Andre Viljoen, Fadi Castronovo, Eric R.P. Farr

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNConference contribution with ISSN or ISBNpeer-review


Urban agriculture has a long history in urban settlements. Once as a means of addressing food shortages mainly in the Global South, urban agriculture has now found a wider suite of purposes to fulfil, hence a greater momentum worldwide. Review of the existing literature indicated a growing body of research where different methodologies had been utilized to study the stakeholders’ participation in urban community gardens. Despite the proven record of virtual reality (VR) technologies’ role in facilitating design participation in other areas, no record of such research was found for urban agriculture. An analog methodology developed for urban agriculture, known as “Map Walks”, was used as a basis to develop a VR-based digital walkthrough instrument aiming to concentrate on collaborative intervention in urban spaces, to add features and components associated with urban agriculture which were otherwise not achievable through the analog methodology. The two stage study opened up new horizons not only for the participants but also for the researchers as to how VR technologies can add more collaborative capacities in participatory design. The findings indicated that although it was found as an effective supplementary method to realize the impact of interventions in urban spaces, 1) proactive interaction with the application was key for all participants, 2) different users expected different things from the VR experiment, and 3) they responded to the use of technology diversely and not quite as per expectations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 13th International Conference on Construction in the 21st Century (CITC 13)
EditorsS. M. Ahmed, S. Azhar, A. D. Saul, K. L. Mahaffy
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2023
EventConference on Construction in the 21st Century - HAN University of Applied Sciences, Arnhem, Netherlands
Duration: 8 May 202311 May 2023
Conference number: 13th


ConferenceConference on Construction in the 21st Century
Abbreviated titleCITC 13
Internet address


  • Virtual Reality
  • Urban Agriculture
  • Collaborative Design
  • User Experience
  • Map Walks


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