Participatory Technologies for Landscape Planning


Augmented reality (AR) technologies are increasingly being used to get an idea of how a familiar environment looks when new objects are placed in it or it is changed in a different way. This visualization helps in interior design, clothing, building construction, landscape design and many other design fields. This project is about communicating the effects of a fundamentally new design of the Alpine Rhine. This is necessary to ensure increased safety in case of floods, an ecological improvement of the watercourse and an enhancement as a recreational area.


HCT Research, the interdisciplinary research centre for Human-Centred Technologies at the FHV - Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences, is developing an application for this purpose, whereby the visitors' image is enhanced in relation to the viewer's position and viewing direction in real time by photo-realistic information about the surroundings. This allows visitors to establish a relationship between the model and the real environment in the Rhine Valley and to encourage them to participate in the shaping of the Alpine Rhine. 


The related scientific question is how people move in an imaginative world and how their behavioral responses to imaginative, non-real visible objects are perceived by others. An answer to this question is becoming more and more urgent because, due to digitalization and available AR technologies (e.g., smart glasses), there is an increasing mixing of virtual and real worlds in work and leisure. To investigate this issue and for communication purposes, HCT Research is also developing new tools for video documentation (streaming media)

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Project partners

International Rhine Regulation (IRR) 
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich