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Visualizing debates and government activity in a city



URVS is a digital project for the city of Venice starting from its complexity and uniqueness—particularly the fact that people move around the city on foot. URVS enables people to vote on proposals related to current interventions, proposals and debates, representing the mood of the citizens through the metaphor of the weather. Proposals for debate can be suggested by individual citizens or by the city administration but votes can only be cast by people when they are physically located in the place affected.

Local and national politics suffer nowadays from a lack of transparency which generates mistrust, making constructive dialogue between the administration and the citizenry difficult to achieve.


URVS exists virtually as a mobile app with “on-screen” interaction, and physically through interactive installations, enriched by augmented reality. The two media integrate and enrich each other, encouraging the democratic and civil behaviour of the actors involved.


The visualisation of the debate is translated into a weather condition, depending on the different votes added to it. The tendency of votes will represent the level of acceptance and level of cohesion of the user on the topic.Depending on the amount of vote, the visualisation displayed through the augmented reality will be more or less dense.


More a proposal is accepted and more the weather condition will be peaceful, less acceptance means a very heated discussion, so in a restless and turbulent condition. This global reading is possible even historically, managing to understand how a topic of debate has evolved over time to seek the reasons for suddenly changes of mood.


The final appearance is articulated on two levels: one is a mobile application with which you can view and participate in the discussions going on; another is a physical installation directly on the site, a “sign” of the real presence of a discussion that has been started in that place. This physical installation is represented by a poster, always the same for any discussion, because they must represent only the presence of a data stream (the moods of citizens) which can then be discovered and decrypted only using the virtual interaction on a smartphone.