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Investigating urban perception using procedural street generation and virtual reality
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC).
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Undersökning av den urbana perceptionen med hjälp av procedural generation av gatuscener och virtual reality (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

As virtual reality and interaction possibilities in game technology evolve and become more user-friendly, accessible and cheaper, this technology suddenly gets useful in occupational areas that traditionally have not used them, one being urban planning. By using a game engine and a virtual neighborhood that utilizes procedural generation the user has the option of having a cost-effective, replicable environment with great control from the user. 

According to the Broken Windows Theory small differences in appearance can have a big impact on how an urban neighborhood will be perceived. Therefore it would be interesting to investigate how the perception of street scenes is affected by the different aesthetic properties of dirt, graffiti, broken windows, building height and greenery (trees and bushes). By implementing a virtual neighborhood that utilizes procedural generation the basic structure of the neighborhood can stay the same, while separately adjusting the specific properties that are being evaluated. Through surveys and interviews the results show that every one of the chosen properties are very significant except for building height. Generally the more trees that were present, the more safe the neighborhood felt, and the order of significance of dirt, graffiti and broken windows differed between the two evaluation methods.

Abstract [sv]

Då virtual reality och interaktionsmöjligheterna inom spelteknologi utvecklas och blir mer användarvänliga, mer tillgängliga och billigare, blir denna teknik plötsligt användbar inom yrkesområden som traditionellt sett inte har använt dem, där ett exempel är stadsplanering. Genom att använda en spelmotor och en virtuell stadsdel som utnyttjar procedural generation får användaren en kostnadseffektiv, replikerbar miljö med stor kontroll från användaren.

Enligt Broken Windows Theory så kan små skillnader i utseende ha en stor inverkan på hur en stadsdel kommer att uppfattas. Därför vore det intressant att undersöka hur synen på virtuella gatscener påverkas av olika estetiska egenskaper som smuts, graffiti, trasiga fönster, bygghöjd, och grönska (träd och buskar). Genom att implementera en virtuell stadsdel som utnyttjar procedural generation kan grundstrukturen vara densamma, medan man separat justerar de specifika egenskaperna som ska utvärderas. Genom enkäter och intervjuer visar resultaten att var och en av de valda egenskaperna är mycket betydande, med undantaget för byggnadshöjd. Generellt så kändes stadsdelen mer säker desto mer träd som fanns, och ordningen av signifikansen för smuts, graffiti, och trasiga fönster skiljde sig mellan enkäterna och intervjuerna.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
Keyword [en]
procedural generation, urban perception, virtual reality, 3D modeling, broken windows theory
National Category
Media and Communication Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-189450OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-189450DiVA: diva2:946115
Subject / course
Media Technology
Educational program
Master of Science in Engineering - Media Technology
Presentation
2016-06-20, 15:00 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2016-07-05 Created: 2016-07-04 Last updated: 2016-07-05Bibliographically approved

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