What would you change about your own environment? Most people have a strong opinion or feeling about their near environment and many are eager to make some changes. Even if it is just that one extra trash can or some extra trees down the road.

But are they offered enough and appropriate tools to do so? You guessed it: not at all. Municipalities try to engage citizens by sending flyers around with questions about possible improvements or organize co-design sessions. Not only is it rather difficult for citizens to formulate their opinion this way, it is also very boring.

To help people voice their opinions, we invented UrbanAR: an app that uses Augmented Reality to make urban design more accessible to all citizens, and most importantly, to make people have some fun while actually doing it.

UrbanAR helps to make our cities more of a collaborative effort, making it better for everyone. By giving citizens the possibility to provide solutions to urban planning problems by using their own insights and opinions, the municipalities can more accurately build or renovate the city using the data and insights from the app. UrbanAR allows citizens to directly visualize their ideas in the real world. All submitted builds can receive votes from other citizens, to make sure everyone can decide on the next step in the development of their neighborhood.

We are positive that UrbanAR will change the way urban planning is done. The results of our user test namely show people are willing to use this app to show their opinion or if the municipalities were to ask them for input. But most importantly, our user tests clearly have one constant: it’s so much fun!

Our design process revolved around the following design question:

“How can we increase the quality and quantity of data collected on citizens’ opinions about urban planning and public space design efforts by municipalities using gamification and emerging technologies as location-based augmented reality?”

A street that does not look nice

A grass field that could be improved a lot

One of our team members clearly not being happy about the trash

Read further at Process →