Fostering community participation in the development of sustainable housing development using virtual environments

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Successful development of sustainable housing requires effective community participation in the process of housing development from briefing, designing, marketing, construction, maintenance and management. House-buyers are often more concerned with the stylistic considerations and initial costs, than the spatial considerations, long-term suitability and lifetime costs of new houses. Marketing of housing projects focuses attention on glossy images. However, virtual environments could be used to take attention away from the architectural style and show the consumer the spatial layout of new houses and the potential for change over time. Simulation also allows for a more participatory design and planning processes. Virtual environments could be used to allow house-buyers to view the wider range of choices.
This paper introduces the advancement of virtual environments in fostering community participation to ensure sustainable housing development. Some of these include 3D virtual world, four-dimensional site management model, and Collaborative Virtual Reality. The paper presents applied examples of these virtual environments in housing developments along the benefits of their applications. The paper reflects on the constraints of fostering community participations in computer-based communication in design and planning and the potential role of networked community in overcoming such constraints. The paper enforces the role of municipalities and real-estate developers in utilizing and supporting the application of virtual reality in fostering community participation in housing development from briefing to construction, operation and maintenance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSymposium of Charitable and Affordable Housing in Saudi Arabia
EditorsMahmoud Ahmed Abdellatif
Place of PublicationKhobar, Saudi Arabia
PublisherAl-Ber Society and King Faisal University
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Design/Planning/Development Processes
  • Sustainable Housing
  • Community Participation
  • Virtual Environments
  • Computer-based Communication in Design and Planning


Dive into the research topics of 'Fostering community participation in the development of sustainable housing development using virtual environments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this