citizen engagement

City as a 1:1 green laboratory: Using VR to involve citizens in the greening and climate adaptation of Nørre Stenbro

Team: Mejlgade Lab, rum13 & Åte VR

The experiment team conducted an anthropological study with the local citizens and created and tested a tool for participatory data collection. These insights were visualized within a VR and projection system, where citizens could place green elements in a virtual model of Nørre Stenbro, and be inspired and informed by the data collected. The experiment and its concurrent activities have brought new and concrete ideas and projects towards greening Nørre Stenbro.

The team

Key members include: Jonatan Marcussen (Co-creation facilitator) from Mejlgade Lab, Joakim Old Jensen, Agnete Horup, Kirstine West Andersen (Technical facilitators) from RUM13 and Ege Jespersen (VR facilitator) from Åte VR.

“To use data in co-creation it has to be tangible, relevant and easy to understand.”


Co-citizen workshop: Citizens shared and co-created new ideas for dealing with rain and storm water. We built a network between the c40 residents who attended from Nørre Stenbro.

Creating and testing digital tools: First testing OrganiCity’s Smartphone Experimentation Tool. Then, building a web-application for participatory data collection. We held a workshop with citizens from Nørre Stenbro and tested the application in use and evaluated the data.

Creating VR and projection system: They enabled citizens to virtually place green elements in the city, guided by visualisations of the collected data sets. A fully functioning prototype was created and tested.

Innovation workshop: This workshop helped engage and inspire residents, together with experts to flesh out ideas for climate adaptation solutions based on residents’ wishes for their own area.

Experiment outcome

VR & Projection system: These systems has proved valuable in city planning, although a further development is required. The system may also hold various more advanced data-sets which will show the environmental impact of the greening, or lack thereof.

Smartphone experimentation tool & web-application: Our web-application for participatory data-collection proved very useful but lacking in certain ways. Such a tool can have a huge value for citizen engagement and city planners in the future.

Lessons learned

      1. VR and visualisation can be used as a powerful tool to engage and visualise imagined future scenarios in co-creation processes.
      2. Data has to be tangible, relevant and easy to understand for co-creation processes.

Rum 13 Experiment Website

What happened & what's next?

  • At Mejlgade Lab we will continue our work on co-creation elements and develop new methods and tools to engage citizens, businesses, municipalities, etc. in the topics of green transition, greening, climate adaptation and more.
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