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authors El Araby, Mostafa and Okiel, Ahmed
year 2003
title The Use of Virtual Reality in Urban Design: Enhancing the Image of Al-Ain City, UAE
source CORP 2003, Vienna University of Technology, 25.2.-28.2.2003 [Proceedings on CD-Rom]
summary This study aims at exploring the rapid growth of the use of Virtual Reality techniques in the field of Urban Design with application to the Al-Ain City. Currently, Virtual Reality and Virtual Environments are the most growing fields of information technology and have a great media attention. There is evidence to suggest that the use of such technology will enhance conceivable image of any proposed project at any urban setting for users, designers and clients. Therefore, city officials and administrators (clients) and the public (users) can reach better decisions regarding proposed projects within their towns and cities. Because of the limited time and resources, this study examines the visual quality of Downtown Al Ain, UAE, specifically, the Khalifa street (major shopping street). A basic VRmodel to the street was constructed. Modifications to the basic model were made to examine how changes in buildings’ heights and street vegetation affect the visual quality of the street. Results of this study showed that urban visualization is proving to be a valuable tool for designers and planners. Increasing the heights of buildings in the mid-street and on the edges, along with enforcing distinctive architectural styles for the proposed buildings will enhance the overall quality of the street. Furthermore, decreasing the intensity of current vegetation and tree heights will increase the imaginable quality of the street. Nevertheless, the built of a comprehend VR model needs more time, resources and facilities that were not available to this study. This model, if completed, tothe whole downtown area can be used both to identify existing problems and to quickly evaluate alternative solutions to those problems.
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