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EcoCities / iLRN 2016 : Special Session on EcoCities - iLRN 2016


When Jun 27, 2016 - Jul 1, 2016
Where Santa Barbara, California, USA
Submission Deadline Mar 14, 2016
Notification Due Apr 7, 2016
Final Version Due May 8, 2016
Categories    urban environmental   ecocity   landscape   immersion

Call For Papers

There is a growing need for detailed and accurate data and information about local urban environmental conditions, as well as social and economic conditions that affect both the immediate quality of life for residents and the long-term resilience and sustainability of

GeoSUMR logourban areas and their resource bases. This information is a key driver in sustainable policy, decision-making and urban management — from the scale and use of the citizen and neighborhood, to the city, region, and beyond. Alongside the demand for data there is an equal need to accelerate learning across cities to help scale the adoption and replication of sustainable urban solutions based on local needs assessments and priorities.

For these reasons and more, Oakland California based nonprofit Ecocity Builders is developing Urbinsight, an online dynamic platform that visualizes multiple data types and facilitates city-to-citizen and city-to-city cooperation, knowledge sharing and engagement, leading to solutions that enhance both human and natural systems through Geodesign and other sustainable interventions and clean technologies. (Pioneered by Esri, Geodesign provides a design framework and supporting technology to leverage geographic information, resulting in designs that more closely follow natural systems).

Urbinsight introductory video:

Data are collected and shared through an experiential and participatory action research and learning method called the EcoCompass. Through this process, EcoCitizens are born who can plan for interventions that enhance the sustainability and equitability of their neighborhoods and cities.

Experiential learning is a well-known model in education. Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory (Kolb, 1984) defines experiential learning as “the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience. Knowledge results from the combination of grasping and transforming experience.”

360º video and photography combined as live action VR on the visual web are an increasingly popular means of sharing experiences and knowledge. Immersive environments created by these technologies engender a sense of connectedness, detail and intimacy. Immersive multimedia simulating a physical presence in places in the real world allows the user to interact and learn about it in a way that would not otherwise be possible without actually being there.

One of the ways in which Urbinsight will provide experiential tools and training is through a resource library that offers virtual tours of sustainable projects in cities around the world. These virtual tours will be embedded with links to additional information, data and knowledge portals, and to other linked virtual destinations. Visual immersion using relatively inexpensive and accessible technologies has the potential to give decision makers and service providers a more concrete feel for the potential utility and suitability of a wide range of sustainable interventions and innovations to improve the health and resilience of communities. It makes far-away places with potential local solutions more discoverable.

The idea of virtual field trips is not new. The introduction of technology like Google’s virtual-reality kits for classrooms highlights the growing importance of the education sector to major technology companies.

With Google Expeditions, Google engineers worked with teachers to develop virtual-reality field trips based on course curriculums. Google Expeditions uses 360-degree views that stitch together photographs from Google Street View, a product that displays images of roads. The company is also using a 16-camera system, built by GoPro, to create 3D 360º video images for the virtual excursions. The Google kits available to schools contain the company’s cardboard viewers along with Asus smartphones to be used as virtual field-trip screens for students.

As another example, ThingLink is an interactive media platform that empowers publishers, educators, brands, and bloggers to create more engaging content by adding rich media links to photos and videos. The technology additionally lets the creator track how people interact with the content as it spreads across the web.

Call for Papers and Demos: Within the contexts of the current participatory urban research landscape, immersive learning opportunities are likely to be trending up. Although a considerable body of research has been accomplished using immersive technologies in the primary and secondary classroom, it has not widely considered the specific problems and opportunities related to city-to-citizen and city-to-city knowledge sharing involving multiple stakeholders and potential urban interventions from the scale of the household and parcel to the scale of the city and region. This track will explore how these technologies can be used and have been used within the urban context.

The purpose of this RFP is to address this topic, through current, relevant, and situated immersive learning research and demonstrations. For this special track of the iLRN conference, we are seeking submissions that address this need.

List of Topics and Inquiries
The ILRN 2016 Conference EcoCities Special Track Chairs are looking for both papers and immersive demos addressing best practices for interactive virtual reality tours of sustainable urban systems from cities around the world using 360º video and photography and virtual reality (VR) as well as tagged 360 panorama images. In addition, submissions should research and report on how the interactive content overlay in the virtual environment impacts the viewers experience; in what ways does it enhance or detract?

Encouraged to apply: photographers, videographers, academics and researchers in immersive and virtual environments, computing and communication, smart environments, city planners, architects, government and policy makers, and others who might have context and insight into this theme.

Author Info
All accepted full papers received by March 14 will be published in Springer’s C​CIS conference proceedings series.​

The submitted papers must not exceed 4-6 pages (short paper) or 10-12 pages (full paper). Contributions are welcome on work-in-progress, research results, technical development, and best practices. Research, development, and best practices contributions will be accepted according to their quality and relevance either as full or short papers. Work-in-progress will only be accepted as short papers.

Submitted papers must follow the same guidelines as the main conference submissions. Please visit for guidelines and templates.

For submitting a paper to this special track, please use the submission system , log in with an account or register, and select the track “Special Track 5: EcoCities” to add your submission.

Deadline for Submissions: Combined special track (scientific full papers) due March 14 2016. All other contributions due April 30 2016.

Do not send manuscripts to the Chairs. The manuscripts must go through a double blind review process.

Note: Contributors may also be requested to serve as reviewers for this project. Authors are encouraged to contact the Editor to propose an idea for submission to ensure the appropriateness of the proposed study for this venue.

Special Track Chairs
* Kirstin Miller, Executive Director, Ecocity Builders
* Marsha Goldberg, GeoSUMR
* Steven R Poe, Visual Brand Connector
* Kevin Shrapnell, CEO, Magic Fuel Games

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