With the goal of building healthier, more liveable cities, Concordia University researchers across disciplines – from engineering to philosophy – are looking for insights from citizens to improve community spaces that aren’t living up to their potential.
Coffee Park, a small green space with a playground and benches near Concordia‘s Loyola campus, is a good example of a public space that needs improvement. Although a designated bike path runs parallel to the park, cyclists have worn a ‘preferred’ trail in the grass that avoids a busy intersection. After dark, people avoid the premises because they are poorly lit.
Mazdak Nik-Bakht, assistant professor of building, civil and environmental engineering at Concordia, is using the park as a case study for “digital community engagement.”
Building upon a community design project initiated by his colleague Silvano De la Llata, a professor in the department of geography, planning and environment, Nik-Bakht digitally replicated the park and turned it into an interactive model which citizens can access, share and interact with online.