Designing inclusive urban metaverses

PROJECT OVERVIEW: Rooting its action in urban regeneration pilots across Europe, T-Factor develops new knowledge, tools and approaches to temporary urbanism that can contribute to inclusive and thriving futures in cities. 

MY ROLE: As the leader of the T-Lab “Citizen-led smartness”, I organised the cycle of encounters “Inclusive Urban Metaverses” in the pilot city of Kaunas (Lithuania). Design Library Kaunas and Kaunas Technology University (KTU) were the local partners.

WHY IT MATTERS: As cities across the world prepare for the next step of the “smart city” and look into Extended Reality (XR) as a means to provide services to citizens and optimise the city, the ambition is to provide the first set of basic guidelines to orient the Extended City towards social justice. Indeed, although the metaverse is often coupled with Web 3.0 and its decentralised paradigms for organisation and remuneration, the most popular use cases follow the extractive models that have so far led digital technologies to exacerbate inequalities and social fragmentation. The cycle, composed of five encounters, resulted in a set of inclusive design guidelines and recommendations for implementing urban metaverse projects.