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  • Periodic Reporting for period 1 - U_CODE (Urban Collective Design Environment: A new tool for enabling expert planners to co-create and communicate with citizens in urban design)

U_CODE Report Summary

Project ID: 688873
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.1.1.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - U_CODE (Urban Collective Design Environment: A new tool for enabling expert planners to co-create and communicate with citizens in urban design)

Reporting period: 2016-02-01 to 2017-01-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Whereas many tools for e-participation have been developed to involve citizens and large stakeholder groups, there are no digital instruments which enable creative participation of the citizenship on a massive scale. The new co-design environment U_CODE enables communication and collaboration between large numbers of citizens and professional experts. U_CODE will assess design proposals on a semantic and emotional level, in order to devise early detection of resistance against projects, and to prevent the build-up of negative public sentiment. U_CODE will enable professional creatives to utilise the public´s creativity, to recognise public opinions and sentiments, and to derive design intelligence from them. The design and decision making process will be informed and transformed by impulses of 'citizen experts' as a driving force.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Within the first period, substantial research and development work as well as first communication and dissemination activities have been carried out. Research activi-ties covered the analysis of sample cases in Germany, France and the Netherlands, the assessment of state-of-the-art tools and processes, as well as extensive literature reviews. Thereupon new co-creative workflows have been designed, leading towards a generic process model for U_CODE. The model contains functional modules such as co-briefing (collaborative information-collection), co-design (citizen-experts participatory design), and sentiment analysis (monitoring moods and emotions of the crowd). Starting from this workflow and component description, specific use-cases and functionalities were derived in the last months.

For external communication and dissemination, a public project website ( was published and an explanatory video clip created. The consortium has published international articles and papers, and carried out several expert and user workshops.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Part of the development of the generic process model, the U_CODE partnership has created a tool for visualising complex communication and co-design processes be-tween experts and non-experts. This allows a flexibility in the workflow design in accordance with stakeholders, situation, and project typology. Within this process model the U_CODE partnership integrated sentiment analysis in order to represent possible interaction on a small and massive scale.

There are yet no planning tools available that systematically include public voice and sentiment as design information. The hitherto schemed functional designs and design workflows within the U_CODE tool will enable in the middle run the collection and analysis of such information in an easy and understandable way, both for professional and nonprofessional designers. This will change the way how designs are evolved and debated.

All cities carrying out larger design and development projects face the challenge to base / mirror their planning decisions with public opinion. This will be possible with the co-design method of U_CODE enhanced with sentimental analysis and serious gaming approaches.

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