virtual reality scene of buildings and street

Virtual Reality for Planners 1: Introduction

Virtual reality presents urban planners with a unique tool to create immersive virtual experiences that can inform visioning processes, design decision-making, and community engagement. Learn about the evolution of virtual reality technology, its key vocabulary and logistics, the benefits of virtual reality over traditional media, and what the future of public engagement may hold.

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Course Info

  • Duration 6 video lessons (45 Mins)
  • Published Published
    2019
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Browse Course Chapters

  • Chapter Locked
    1.
    Introduction
    Chapter Duration 3 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    2.
    Why VR is Worth the Effort
    Chapter Duration 10 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    3.
    What Makes VR... VR
    Chapter Duration 6 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    4.
    Benefits of VR
    Chapter Duration 5 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    5.
    Case Study: Orem State Street
    Chapter Duration 13 mins
  • Chapter Locked
    6.
    What You Need
    Chapter Duration 6 mins

What You Will Learn

  • Learn the technology and vocabulary related to virtual reality.
  • Understand the benefits of virtual reality as compared to other planning visualization approaches.
  • Review a case study of a public outreach process that made use of virtual reality.
  • Work with SketchUp and Unity to produce content for a virtual environment.
  • Optimize the performance of a virtual reality environment.
  • Strategize for positive outcomes when using virtual reality to improve meeting facilitation and public engagement.

Course Description

Urban planners collaborate with the public to create habitats for civilization, along the way making use of a wide variety of technologies to share visions for the future. Virtual reality is one of the newest of these tools, presenting urban planners with opportunities to create immersive virtual experiences that inform visioning processes, design decision-making, and community engagement. Learning the application of virtual reality in urban planning makes planners better equipped to build a more sustainable future. 

Course instructor Chase Mullen, director of design visualization at MIG, is an urban designer and technology expert with a unique specialization in three-dimensional (3D) visualization and graphics. In this course, Mullen introduces virtual reality in the context of urban planning.

Learn about the evolution of virtual reality technology, its key vocabulary and logistics, the benefits of virtual reality over traditional media, and what the future of public engagement may hold. The course also outlines software and hardware requirements for harnessing this exciting tool to create custom virtual reality applications. To conclude the first course in the series, Mullen dives into a case study of virtual reality in public engagement, exploring how virtual reality facilitated unanimous support for a rezoning effort in Orem, Utah. 

Subsequent courses in the series cover how to create virtual reality ready 3D content using SketchUp and appropriate textures with Photoshop. The series also ties these components together using Unity to produce a standalone virtual reality application. 

Learn these skills

  • 3D Modeling
  • Civic Engagement
  • Communications & Media
  • Modeling & Simulation
  • Technology
  • Urban Design
  • Virtual Reality

AICP CM

This course is approved for .75 AICP CM credit.

AIA CES

This is 1 LU.

SACPLAN CPD

This course is approved for 1 SACPLAN CPD point.

Meet Your Instructor

Chase Mullen

Chase Mullen

Chase is the Director of Design Visualization at MIG. With an acute eye for graphics and interactivity, Chase molds GIS, CAD, 3D, and VR (virtual reality) data into models that allow people to see and experience potential policy changes or design ideas.

Meet Instructor

Thousands have used Planetizen Courses

Great intro to VR for even those who have no intent of actually designing VR simulations.
- Ben J.
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I wasn't watching this with the mindset that I would be doing this, but more to get an understanding of what this type of work entails as we head for a major reconstruction project of our downtown pedestrian Mall. Very beneficial!
- Vincent M.
5 Star Review 5 Star Review 5 Star Review 5 Star Review 5 Star Review

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