The Shared Architecture project is a further development of the 360 Days in ActiveWorlds work and is part of the Designing Better Cities project.
This project is funded under the Public Understanding of Science scheme by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Shared Architecture provides a unique opportunity for users of 360 Days in ActiveWorlds to place their real world house or favourite building in the virtual world. By sending in photographs of a particular building, fully textured three dimensional models are created within the virtual environment. This will create a unique insight into not only the locations and environment where our communities live and work in the real world but also provide opportunities to view various architectural styles from around the world within the virtual space.
These technologies allow visitors to the World Wide Web to roam through a virtual world, essentially, allowing users to design better cities through online virtual public participation. In this electronic world participants can be posed with the kinds of questions real-life planners and decision-makers face. In urban planning, virtual reality allows us to seek answers to ‘What if?' questions. What happens if we change the traffic flow, or knock down this building? Planners and politicians - the decision-makers – can see the results of making changes. The virtual world has an impact no mathematical model or two-dimensional plan can match. Seeing a neighbourhood in 3-D changes our preconceptions.