Working Paper

Urban Design, Public Spaces, and Social Cohesion : Evidence from a Virtual Reality Experiment

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collection.link.5
https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/9
collection.name.5
Policy Research Working Papers
dc.contributor.author
Llopis Abella, Jimena
dc.contributor.author
Fruttero, Anna
dc.contributor.author
Tas, Emcet O.
dc.contributor.author
Taj, Umar
dc.date.accessioned
2020-09-24T18:56:15Z
dc.date.available
2020-09-24T18:56:15Z
dc.date.issued
2020-09
dc.date.lastModified
2020-09-25T05:10:40Z
dc.description.abstract
Public spaces can be an instrument to increase social cohesion, yet they are often underutilized. This paper presents findings from a randomized virtual reality experiment with more than 2,000 participants in Karachi, Pakistan. The paper investigates the relationship between urban design, willingness to use public spaces, and social cohesion. The findings show that exposure to a two-and-a-half-minute-long virtual reality experience featuring various urban design and social diversity elements has a statistically significant impact. In particular, improvements in the design of a public park through the virtual reality experience increased the park's perceived attractiveness and participants' willingness to use it. Exposure to diverse social groups in the virtual reality experience, by itself, had mixed impacts on social cohesion indicators such as trust and perception of and willingness to interact with outgroups. The impacts varied by ethnic affiliation, income, sex, and education level. This may be partly explained by the segregated nature of Karachi and the high prevalence of mistrust of outgroups. The paper illustrates how modern technology can be used as an effective, low-cost tool for diagnosing social phenomena, soliciting feedback about urban interventions for inclusive design, and promoting social contact.
en
dc.identifier
http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/845321600708199915/Urban-Design-Public-Spaces-and-Social-Cohesion-Evidence-from-a-Virtual-Reality-Experiment
dc.identifier.uri
http://hdl.handle.net/10986/34505
dc.language
English
dc.publisher
World Bank, Washington, DC
dc.relation.ispartofseries
Policy Research Working Paper;No. 9407
dc.rights
CC BY 3.0 IGO
dc.rights.holder
World Bank
dc.rights.uri
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/igo
dc.subject
VIRTUAL REALITY
dc.subject
PUBLIC SPACE
dc.subject
DIVERSITY
dc.subject
BEHAVIOR
dc.subject
URBAN DESIGN
dc.subject
SOCIAL CONTACT
dc.title
Urban Design, Public Spaces, and Social Cohesion
en
dc.title.subtitle
Evidence from a Virtual Reality Experiment
en
dc.type
Working Paper
en
okr.date.disclosure
2020-09-21
okr.doctype
Publications & Research
okr.doctype
Publications & Research :: Policy Research Working Paper
okr.docurl
http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/845321600708199915/Urban-Design-Public-Spaces-and-Social-Cohesion-Evidence-from-a-Virtual-Reality-Experiment
okr.googlescholar.linkpresent
yes
okr.identifier.doi
10.1596/1813-9450-9407
okr.identifier.externaldocumentum
090224b087deb7a1_1_0
okr.identifier.internaldocumentum
32422025
okr.identifier.report
WPS9407
okr.imported
true
en
okr.language.supported
en
okr.pdfurl
http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/845321600708199915/pdf/Urban-Design-Public-Spaces-and-Social-Cohesion-Evidence-from-a-Virtual-Reality-Experiment.pdf
en
okr.region.administrative
South Asia
okr.region.country
Pakistan
okr.topic
Social Development :: Social Cohesion
okr.topic
Social Development :: Social Inclusion & Institutions
okr.topic
Urban Development :: Urban Economic Development
okr.unit
Poverty and Equity Global Practice; and the Social Sustainability and Inclusion Global Practice

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