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Urban Planning through Playful Participation (UPPP) was a project run by Associate Professor Sybille Lammes, at the University of Warwick, with support from Warwick Ventures. Other members of the team included Emma Fraser (research assistant), and Dr Clancy Wilmott (affiliated researcher).

This pilot project sought to undertake a scoping review on the playful potential of digital technologies for community engagement in major “from scratch” developments like the new garden villages and towns planned for the UK; local participatory projects in Europe; and university-campus-based interventions in local planning initiatives.

Also building on previous experience with playful mapping applications, the project  scoped the potential of new technologies for participatory planning – for example, using mobile apps and VR or AR technologies to showcase a development in progress and source community input throughout via playful participatory planning and design, and interactive crowd-sourced data.

It responded to developments in various technologies (from apps, to VR, to robotics) for the purpose of using playful approaches to engage stakeholders in meaningful community consultation. Through events and site-based engagements, UPPP considered whether design aspects of town and city planning could be improved by the inclusion of spatially-oriented and digitally augmented methods of community consultation. The project also considered common pitfalls and challenges for professional and government organisations engaged in participatory planning approaches.

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Urban Planning through Playful Participation (UPPP)