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Bloomberg Philanthropies

Re-imagining Cities Through VR

Crafted teamed up with Bloomberg Philanthropies and New Rochelle, the seventh most populated city in New York, to introduce an immersive virtual reality platform that serves as an instrumental public engagement and input tool as the city continues its transformative planned redevelopment projects. The digital experience enables residents to better experience, via 360-degree views, nearly 3 million square feet of proposed developments and improvements, located just north of Manhattan.

The innovative platform, built as a model for cities across the country, could be accessed through mobile devices, web browsers or VR goggles as well as at five public kiosks installed along the proposed sites of featured development projects.

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Flexible Engagement Platform

Built with the user in mind, the virtual reality platform housed current and upcoming urban development projects with the intent of community aggregated feedback. The beta platform was used as a national model through Bloomberg Philanthropies, to be rolled out across more major cities entering an economic and architectural resurgence.

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Detailed Project Showcases

The platform showcased beautifully rendered, highly detailed architectural plans to allow users to react to upcoming development proposals within their neighborhood. Users could then react to these proposed renders in a collective way through the open voting system.

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Collectively Informed Users

Each urban development project on the table received a designated, highly dynamic landing page consisting of before and after renders, user surveys, potential architectural renders and a full discussion forum. In addition, the platform provided a blog and dialogue with residents to keep them informed about upcoming announcements and approvals.

Reimagining the Downtown

32 Development Projects

The initial platform launch consisted of the entire downtown overhaul for the City of New Rochelle. With over 32 projects considered, users were given the opportunity to really shape their city of the future.

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Interactive 360 VR Views

Through VR kiosks equipped with Oculus goggles, users could immerse themselves in a 360 degree world where they could explore future plans while providing their input inside the surreal setting.

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Socially Transparent

Social accounts were managed to provide constant updates to residents to ensure transparency and frequent communication on the evolving downtown.

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Event-Based Labs

The platform continued to branch out from the digital space into the physical space as VR labs were designed and constructed in public settings to welcome potential residents commuting to and from New York City to experience the goggle 360 views for themselves.

A Downtown Overhaul

12 Million Square Feet

With the entire downtown overlay zone on the table, residents were given the exceptional opportunity to help reshape their city from the ground up.

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Visually Forward Thinking

Overall, the NRVR Bloomberg platform is a revolutionary way for residents to collectively affect the future of their urban environment through the use of today's emerging technology.