Would 3D Digital Participatory Planning Improve Social Sustainability in Smart Cities? An Empirical Evaluation Study in Less-Advantaged Areas

Islam Bouzguenda*, Nadia Fava, Chaham Alalouch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This study evaluates the impact of using three-dimensional digital participatory planning (3DDPP) on planning practices. This method was tested within the framework of a redevelopment project in one of the less-advantaged neighborhoods in the Dutch city of Schiedam. An interactive 3DDPP tool was employed by a group of residents who co-designed public spaces in the neighborhood. Residents were given the opportunity to visualize online the project area in 3D format, suggest their ideas, comment on the design proposal, produce interactive graphical designs online, and interact with each other. The impact of this process was tested according to five criteria (efficiency, feasibility, attractiveness, interaction, and satisfaction) developed via free-listing and pile-sorting methods in collaboration with nine experts. A qualitatively driven (QUAL) mixed method was used to analyze the data collected from a sample of 62 subjects, which included professionals and citizens. The results showed that the use of 3DDPP tools can potentially enhance community engagement in decision-making. This article concludes by emphasizing that socioeconomic, political, and demographic challenges, which might decrease the residents’ willingness to be actively engaged in collaborative decision-making, might not solely be solved via technologies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Urban Technology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • co-creation
  • community engagement
  • E-participation
  • Europe
  • participatory planning assessment
  • smart cities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urban Studies

Cite this