October 12, 2023 – inCitu, a startup that democratizes urban planning by turning city planning data into accessible, smartphone-based augmented reality (AR) experiences, has recently announced that Charleston, South Carolina will be the site of a new tech pilot project involving the company.
According to inCitu, there is currently a major initiative underway to protect the city of Charleston from flooding. Proposed development of the perimeter protection barrier has been met with lively debate from citizens who care passionately about how it will appear. Using inCitu’s AR tool, residents will be able to scan a QR code on-site and see the proposed designs in real-scale, as if already built.
The company stated that although urban development information is publicly available, too often the open data is inaccessible or indecipherable to the average person. By putting the future of the city in the palm of residents’ hands on the street, Charleston is becoming actively transparent, boosting the accessibility and inclusivity of open data to improve local conversations around urban change.
“People assume the worst until they have an opportunity to view new buildings or large-scale infrastructure projects with their own eyes. The community can use their phones and see proposed building designs for themselves” said Paul Turner, CEO of Virtual America, a local Charleston-based start-up technology company specializing in virtual and augmented reality for applications showcasing art, architecture and history.
“This is an easy-to-use low friction way to allow local advocacy groups and individual citizens to see and provide direct and immediate feedback to architects or commercial developers on their plans for new building and infrastructure projects throughout the City of Charleston,” added Turner.
inCitu also noted that the use of its platform by cities enhances the ability of city leaders and associated oversight organizations to quickly gather citizen comments beyond the traditional town hall or oversight board meeting format. Ultimately, the company’s platform helps those community members who may be directly impacted by development projects to better understand local city planning data, through AR-powered interactions that enhance communication and accelerate understanding.
As cities create digital replicas of their urban centers, adapting technology into the existing city planning processes to handle real time 3D data will be a commonplace challenge, according to inCitu.
For more information on inCitu and its augmented reality-powered city planning data visualization platform, please visit the company’s website.
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Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.