CIM is awarded funding from the Participatory Research Fund for urban research projects
Two urban research projects led by CIM members of staff have received seed funding from the Participatory Research Fund. The aim of the fund is to support the development of pioneering participatory research.
In the project titled “Investigating the effects of street features and sunlight conditions on people’s perception of walkability through a participatory experiment”, the effects of transient (e.g., vehicles, pedestrians, litter) and enduring (e.g., vegetation, traffic signs) features and sunlight conditions on the perception of streets by local and non-local citizens will be explored. Based on a large-scale survey, study participants will view images with (a) transient objects removed and/or (b) different simulated sunlight conditions and rate these images according to their walkability (i.e. sense of enjoyment, safeness, and social vibrancy when walking). To attain (a) and (b), images will be altered using cutting edge computer vision techniques (see Figure 1). This project, led by Tessio Novack (CIM) in collaboration with Carlos Camara Menoyo (CIM) and James Tripp (Warwick, IDG), will generate evidence on how citizens perceive streets and thus on how urban planners and designer can promote walking.
Figure 1 – (a) Original image, (b) extracted mask of transient objects, (c) altered image without transient objects.
The overarching aim of the second pilot project “Exploring hybrid digital-physical prompts for participant engagement on more-than- human data interactions in the smart city “ is to develop novel data interaction and visualisation prototypes that broaden our understandings of different species that share our urban space, in order to help design more sustainable and inclusive smart city infrastructures. The project will test these prototypes in a participatory workshop that will invite participants to think about different species such as birds, foxes and worms that share urban spaces and how data about these species and their interrelations could inform the design of future smart city applications. Through the workshop, the aim is to gather citizen responses to these innovative prototypes and develop opportunities for new ways to decentre the human in data interactions in the city, as well as to provoke new roles for data to inform citizen engagement in urban planning and policy making. The project will develop a novel methodology that brings together and advances both physical and digital “probes” that were the outcomes/methods developed and tested in two recent EPSRC- funded projects (as seen in the Figures 2 and 3 below). The project will be led by Cagatay Turkay (CIM) with collaborators Sara Heitlinger (City, University of London), Rachel Clarke (Newcastle), and Graham McNeill (independent researcher) will contribute with the development of the digital prompts.
Figure 2 - Discovery box of physical probes (from the MoTH: More- than-human data interactions in the smart city project)
Figure 3 - Digital visualisation probe (https://contact-viz.cim.warwick.ac.uk/particle-people/)
Together, these two projects will experiment how innovative forms of participation can be vehicles for co-designing sustainable and inclusive urban spaces and infrastructures.