Presentation of CoHeSIVE project at the EAISI Health Theme Meeting

On June 5th, I will present the EWUU-funded CoHeSIVE project which aims to support citizen participation through an immersive virtual reality (VR) application for the design of healthy public spaces. The presentation will contribute to the regular activities of the Eindhoven Artificial Intelligence Systems Institute (EAISI) Health Theme.

The CoHeSIVE project has investigated how an Immersive VR tool can be developed with people and for people and can be used for participatory design processes of healthy public spaces. The developed application (CoHeSIVE app) includes an innovative methodology to incorporate intuitive design decisions based on inflicted adjustments in a simulated environment. The application automatically generates new design scenarios by combining different pre-composed design elements based on people’s selection. This is done to understand and discuss the preferences of individuals and groups for new, not yet existing scenarios. The CoHeSIVE app also provides a platform for behavioral studies in terms of understanding users’ experiences and interactions within the immersive environment through tracking head movements, clicks and navigation.

Update: 26/05/2023

Presence at the AGILE 2023 Conference with a workshop and a presentation

During the upcoming AGILE (The Association of Geographic Information Laboratories in Europe) Conference that will take place between 13 and 16 June in Delft, we will be present with

– a workshop on “Digital Serious Games: Toward a Design Framework” organized by Gamze Dane (TU/e), Maryam Ghodsvali (TU/e), and Alexander Klippel and Jiayan Zhao (WUR GRS Lab). The aim of the workshop is to start a discussion towards a design framework for Digital Serious Games (DSGs) – a playful and engaging mode of digital twins –  that deal with the complexity of decision-making in cities, by gathering a scientific community that can provide feedback on data usability, visualization techniques, the quality of the digital environment, and a possible open platform for the reusability of DSGs. For the workshop proposal, please check this link.

– a presentation of our short paper “Designing healthy public spaces: A participatory approach through immersive virtual reality“, authored by Evers, S., Dane, G., et al.. This paper is a product of the CoHeSIVE project supported by the EWUU Alliance. A link to the paper will follow.

Update: 11/05/2023

Presented 2 projects at NWO ICT.Open 2023 Conference

We joined NWO ICT.Open 2023 Conference on 20 April for presenting two research projects.

Suzan Evers and I made a demo presentation of our CoHeSIVE app, an Immersive Virtual Reality application developed for the participatory design of public spaces. We were also happy that our demo presentation was nominated for the best demo award as one of the nine selected demos out of 29.

Maryam Ghodsvali made an oral presentation of a part of her Ph.D. project “Spatial Nexus Optimization Game (S.N.O.G.)” supervised by me and Bauke de Vries. S.N.O.G. is an online serious game that supports a variety of stakeholders in the decision-making process of Food-Water-Energy nexus spatial interventions.

Update: 22/04/2023

EU-funded Dutch Societal Innovation Hub (DSIH) project kicked off in Rotterdam!

DSIH project funded by the Digital Europe Program of the European Commission and the Dutch Ministry of the Interior, aims to help cities and regions with major societal transformations using innovation, digitization and new technology. For that purpose, it focuses on Digital Twinning and Urban Platforms and their use for Sustainable, Safe and Healthy Cities by creating a multiple helix ecosystem where citizen participation is the center of attention.

DSIH is led by 2 public organizations (VNG and IPO), representing local and regional players, and 5 private parties that focus on the needs of public services, namely: Brightland Smart Services Campus, Data and Knowledge Hub Healthy Urban Living, Digicampus, Municipality of Rotterdam and the Urban Development Initiative (UDI). Each party brings its own experience from existing projects, test and experimentation facilities and a decentralized public-private network.

TU/e is involved in the project as a founding partner of UDI and is represented by Dena Kasraian and myself.

Update: 07/04/2023

3rd Workshop of CoHeSIVE Project was held

On March 22, we held the 3rd workshop of CoHeSIVE (Co-designing Healthy Public Spaces via Immersive Virtual Environments) project.

During the workshop, we tested our CoHeSIVE app, an Immersive Virtual Reality application developed for the participatory design of public spaces. It aims to support participatory design processes by allowing users to explore, create and discuss different design options for healthy public space design. We hosted 30 participants in order to test the app and its use for participatory design. It was great to have a diverse group of participants from academia, municipalities, citizen initiatives, and design companies. We co-created ideas to further investigate and develop the application.

Update: 22/03/2023

PhD researcher Benshuo Wang successfully defended his thesis on 30 November!

On 30 November, Benshuo Wang defended his Ph.D. thesis on “Increasing awareness of urban cultural heritage using digital technologies: Empirical design and analysis of a new multi-media web platform“, supervised by Dr. Gamze Dane and Prof. Dr. Theo Arentze. The thesis addressed two shortcomings: (i) Existing ICT platforms for cultural heritage are usually developed without explicitly considering potential users’ preferences on content, media types and functionalities offered, (ii) It is not thoroughly researched to what extent the dedicated ICT platforms developed for cultural heritage sites fulfill their intended purposes (increasing knowledge, awareness and experience). To fill these research gaps, the objective of this thesis was to design and test a dedicated multi-media web platform prototype and analyze the effectiveness of such a platform to enhance experiences and increase the public’s awareness of cultural heritage. Congrats Benshuo!

Update: 30/11/2022

Seminar at Urban Analytics Lab of the National University of Singapore (NUS)

On 25 November, I gave a seminar at the Urban Analytics Lab (UAL) of NUS, on my current research interests under the title of “The Role of Digital Tools and Data for Citizen Engagement and Participatory Planning“. My talk covered the topics of (i) developing and applying digital tools and citizen science methods for supporting public participation and citizen engagement in urban transformation processes, (ii) performing urban (big) data science within people as sensors concept for understanding and predicting citizens’ behavior, opinions and experiences towards urban interventions. Many thanks to Filip Biljecki and Marcel Ignatius for hosting me.

Update: 28/11/2022

Joined as a panelist to the “Co-shaping future cities: towards a healthy environment” discussion at Preventive Health Conference

On 23 November, I joined as a panelist in the Co-shaping future cities: towards a healthy environmentdiscussion at Preventive Health Conference organized by the EWUU alliance. During the panel discussion, I brought my perspective on how digital tools (such as digital twins) and urban data can support active behavior and healthy urban environments.

Update: 28/11/2022

2nd Workshop of CoHeSIVE Project was held

On 21 November, we (with Suzan Evers and Pauline van den Berg) organized the 2nd workshop of CoHeSIVE (Codesigning Healthy Public Spaces via Immersive Virtual Environments) project funded by alliance TU/e, WUR, UU, UMC Utrecht (EWUU). In this workshop, with 20 participants, we evaluated the first prototype of the developed codesign tool and discussed possibilities to further enhance it. We look forward to the next steps. Many thanks to our colleagues from WUR (Alexander Klippel, Timon Verduijn, Orkun Cagri Tekeli) and UMC (Yvonne Vendrih – de Punder) for the pleasant and fruitful collaboration.

Update: 22/11/2022

Talked about Public Space Design at DRIVE Festival during Dutch Design Week 2022

On 25 October, at DRIVE Festival during Dutch Design Week 22, I talked about our recent research on the impact of public space design on citizens’ well-being and how digital tools can help to integrate citizens into public space design. The recording of the livestream can be watched here.

Update: 27/10/202

PhD researcher Sezi Karayazi presented her work at 7th Smart Data Smart Cities & 17th 3D GeoInfo Joint International Conference

Ph.D. researcher Sezi Karayazi was at the 7th Smart Data Smart Cities & 17th 3D GeoInfo Joint International Conference at UNSW Sydney Australia, where she presented our work “An Exploration of Interactions Between Urban Heritages and Tourist’s Digital Footprint: Network and Textual Analysis via Geotagged Flickr Data in Amsterdam”. If you wish to explore how we utilized the social media data for overtourism issue, you can access the paper here:  .

Update: 27/10/2022

New paper on “An online serious game for decision-making on food-water-energy nexus policy”

Have you ever thought of serious games as effective means of decision-making for urban developments? In this new paper led by Maryam Ghodsvali, we developed a serious game, namely S.N.O.G., for integrated decision-making on food-water-energy resource management. In S.N.O.G., the problem is divided into manageable interventions (i.e., policies) expressing the ground situation spatially in order to allow players to learn by doing. In an interactive and entertaining way, players learn about the complex interplay of the multiple disciplines that need to be integrated in order to properly manage the resources and subsequently the environment and the society. Find the full article here.

Update: 27/10/2022

Joining Talk Show at the Design Research & Innovation Festival

On 25 October, I will speak at the Design Research & Innovation (DRIVE) Festival. My talk will be about our recent research on the impact of public space design on citizens’ well-being and how digital tools can help to integrate citizens into public space design. DRIVE Festival which is organized by CLICKNL and 4TU.Design United, will take place in De Effenaar and streamed online, during the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. You can sign up here.

Update: 01/09/2022

A Visit to “WANDER Lab” at Wageningen University

As the CoHeSIVE project team, we visited our partner WANDER Lab of Wageningen University. WANDER Lab develops 3D visualizations and immersive experiences (i.e. #VR, #AR, #XR, #webplatforms) for content-driven researchers. It was great to experience all the immersive tech tools with interesting use cases and to brainstorm about CoHeSIVE’s tool. Looking forward to a more intense collaboration.

Update: 04/08/2022

A Visit to “Experience Lab” at Breda University

As a small group of researchers from TU/e, we were invited to visit the Experience Lab at Breda University and their guest lecturer Dr. Amit Birenboim from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on 7 July. We had a fun and fruitful day with discussions on experiencing the built environment, lectures on the use of digital tools for measuring experiences, and experimenting with the lab toys (#VR, #skinconductance, #EEG, etc.). Looking forward to our further collaborations.

Update: 08/07/2022

First Workshop of CoHeSIVE project

First workshop of CoHeSIVE (Codesigning Healthy Public Spaces via Immersive Virtual Environments) project was conducted online on 6 July. This workshop focused on identifying the attributes and characteristics of health-stimulating public spaces. The workshop enabled discussions on good/bad public space practices, and future public space design of Eindhoven Station area (case are of CoHeSIVE project). The attendees were representing a citizen initiative from Eindhoven, UDI, the municipality of Eindhoven and TU/e.

Update: 08/07/2022

Ph.D. Maryam Ghodsvali defended her thesis successfully on 5 July 2022!

Maryam Ghodsvali successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis titled “A transdisciplinary decision-making approach to food-water-energy nexus: A guide towards sustainable development” on 5 July. This PhD research approached transdisciplinary decision-making problem for the food-water-energy nexus in four steps: (1) understanding key drivers for an integrated…

Update: 08/07/2022

New Project! CoHeSIVE: Co-designing Healthy Public Spaces via Immersive Virtual Environments

Co-designing Healthy Public Spaces via Immersive Virtual Environments (CoHeSIVE) has been funded by the EWUU alliance. CoHeSIVE aims to develop a co-design methodology that considers place-specific attributes, the variety of user groups, and their needs via the immersive virtual environment (IVE) technology and citizen-centric data.


Ph.D. researcher Sezi Karayazi received the ISPRS travel award

Ph.D. researcher Sezi Karayazi has won the IJGI 2022 Travel Award granted by the ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information (IJGI), with her project.

Update: 11/05/2022

Ph.D. researcher Maryam Ghodsvali is at International Conference on Water-Energy-Food Nexus

Ph.D. researcher Maryam Ghodsvali will host a discussion table at International Conference on ‘Water-Energy-Food Nexus in Cities’ on May 12 in Almere, the Netherlands. She will also present the online serious game she developed for Water-Energy-Food nexus spatial optimization in Brainport Smart District in Helmond, the Netherlands.


Special Issue 2nd Edition: Experiencing the City is now open

The 2nd edition of the special issue on Experiencing the City: The Relation between Urban Design and People’s Wellbeing at the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is now open until 31 July 2022.


Sander de Meij’s master graduation project is at Dutch Design Week 2021

Student Sander de Meij’s master graduation project which I supervised together with Milos Viktorovic has been selected for the Dutch Design Week 2021 Drivers of Change Exhibition. In his project, Sander developed a web tool that provides location-based health index…


“Interactive Cultural Heritage Map of Strijp-S” has been launched

Interactive Cultural Heritage Map of Strijp-S”, a new digital resource for exploring the heritage of Strijp-S district in Eindhoven has been launched. This multi-media web platform can be accessed …


Urban Development Initiative (UDI)’s Digital City Program has been launched

Urban Development Initiative (UDI)’s Digital City Program has been launched in July 2021. This program focuses on citizen-centered and evidence-based urban planning and design with the support of digital tools such as digital twins, virtual reality, sensor applications and big (spatial) data analytics. In this program…


Boost! Project – Virtual TU/e Built Environment Community

Boost! Project “Virtual TU/e Built Environment Community” received funding in June, 2020. The project has been initiated by Dena Kasraian, Pieter van Wesemael and myself. The project aims to develop a digital…


Webinar “Experiencing the City”

Webinar “Experiencing the City” was held on 25 May. The webinar focused on the questions “How do people experience the cities? and How can methods like #virtualreality, #geoinformatics and #surveys help to measure and quantify people’s experiences in cities?”. During the webinar, chaired by Gamze Dane, speakers Amit Birenboim,…


Citizen Science Experiment for Accessible Bologna

ROCK project TU/e team was in Bologna Living Lab, experimenting GPS-enabled participatory mapping with citizens in order to identify people’s flow, spatial barriers, and points of interest in the university area. Citizens joining the experiment were recruited via Bologna Living Lab and included a variety of socio-demographic backgrounds, e.g. vulnerable groups and students. Please check the video and the paper for more information.


Gamze is at the webinar “Information Systems: Protecting the Past, Securing the Future”

On July 2, 2020, Gamze has joined the webinar “Information Systems: Protecting the past, securing the future” that was organized by ICOMOS and National Trust for Canada. Gamze, together with Martina Massari from the University of Bologna, has talked about the European H2020…