Urban Visualisations


Phd Projects


Lisa Koeman
University College London

Advances in computing have enabled the deployment of technology in public settings such as high streets, squares, and parks. The role such community technology can play in engaging and connecting people in the urban environment has become of increasing interest in recent years, amid widespread concerns that cities are becoming less socially connected.  Until now, however, many of the studies have focused on displaying games, photos, and other entertainment content on public screens, with the aim of bringing people together through play. Less is known about the use of publicly situated installations as a tool for encouraging people to view the perspectives of others and to share their personal perceptions.

This thesis explored the use of situated public input technology and


visualisations, collectively coined urban visualisation interventions, as a means of fostering community engagement. People’s responses to and interactions with different topics, input devices, and visualisations were studied in a series of in-the-wild deployments in residential neighbourhoods  and at events. In addition to the presentation of the design and evaluation of these deployments, the thesis presented an urban visualisation framework that outlined the key design and contextual factors that affect engagement, such as: the impact of the visualisation’s update frequency on sustaining the community’s interest, the influence of the input mechanism on the contribution quality, and the importance of positioning to ensure participation by a diversity of people.