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Reading 2050: Digital Visualisation – Understanding the Past and Revealing the Future
A lecture by Dr. Ian J. Ewart and Dr. Dragana Nikolic, School of the Built Environment
In this lecture we will explore the concept of virtual realities and digital visualization, examining how perceptions of new digital technologies influence our efforts to harness them. In applying these technologies to the urban environment we will show that it is possible to uncover the past by using evidence from sources such as archives and archaeology to recreate an environment that no longer exists, with some degree of certainty. We will describe the work done in recreating the sights, sounds and smells of Roman Silchester, and how data from surveys and 3D modelling could be used to better understand the Reading Abbey quarter.
In keeping with the theme of this lecture series, we will then discuss the potential for digital technologies to shape the urban future of towns and cities like Reading. Modelling alternative futures allows us to explore consequences and make informed decisions, so we will discuss and demonstrate some of the tools that are already available to help us do this, such as our ongoing digital mapping of Reading. Simulations at different scales, from the national to regions and cities, and down to individual interactions with small urban areas can offer insights into how our future looks. But we end with a note of caution, tempering our enthusiasm for digital technologies by recognizing that they need to be relevant and useful, and applied with a specific objective in mind.
The lecture is part of the ‘People and Lifestyle’ theme of the Reading 2050 lecture series, which provide a platform to discuss how Reading should evolve into a smarter and more sustainable city by 2050 (www.reading2050.co.uk )
Admission to the lecture is free.
The SBE, Barton Wilmore and Reading UK, established the Reading 2050 group in 2013. The Reading 2050 lecture series is structured around three themes, which underpin the Reading 2050 vision:
*Place and Environment
*People and Lifestyle
*Economy and Employment
In 2017, the School brought together expert speakers to discuss Reading’s heritage and history, the future of its transport and energy and the impact of climate change and floods. A discussion on Reading’s Art and Culture was facilitated in 2018, and there are other Reading 2050 events planned for 2019.