American Univesity of Beirut

LDEM hosted a workshop that tests Virtual Reality as a tool for participatory planning in biosphere reserves

Ibrahim Dhaini, LDEM Alumnus and current Master of Urban Planning and Policy (MUPP) graduate student at the Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (MSFEA), organized a workshop to test Virtual Reality (VR) as a tool for participatory planning in biosphere reserves under the supervision of Dr. Beata Dreksler, Assistant Professor at LDEM. 

The workshop was hosted by the LDEM Department at Reynolds Hall (December 2, 2021) and aimed to compare VR to conventional methods in co-design applications. To do that, 16 participants from the AUB community including students, graduates, faculty, and staff from different educational backgrounds and levels were invited to participate. Participants were divided into two groups: a group that worked with VR, and a group that worked with a physical model. Each group was asked to propose a design for a pond rehabilitation project in Jabal Moussa Biosphere Reserve. A representative from the Association for the Protection of Jabal Moussa was also invited to participate as an observer. The representative provided assessment to the workshops in relation to the tool and to the reserve's approach to planning. 

This workshop is part of the EduBioMed project (AUB PI is Dr. Salma Talhouk, Professor at LDEM), which aims to promote academic and research collaboration between universities in the context of Mediterranean Biosphere Reserves (specifically in Lebanon and Morocco).


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