Various testimonials from stakeholders in the process: politicians, local government technicians, designers commissioned by public organizations, in Europe and Asia.

Municipality of Anières, Canton of Geneva, Switzerland

Claudine Hentsch Deputy Mayor, Urban Planning and Construction

Field of application

Supporting consultation as part of the preparation of the municipality's master development plan

    "Compared to a classic consultation where we usually invite residents and organize workshops in small groups, it's undeniable that the Unlimited Cities tool has inspired a much larger number of residents to take part in thinking about the future of their village.

    The digital tool has attracted the curiosity of people who don't necessarily take part in traditional sessions organized by the municipality. In this way, our participatory approach has enabled us to gather the views of different groups of stakeholders in our village, and to better understand their visions and fears for the places where they live. The participation we seek as a political authority with citizens is really enhanced, with much more motivation and creativity than with the usual methods.

    Having mediators walking around with the digital tool in the public space for several weeks is also very important for renewing participation. The availability of these mediators certainly contributed to the high level of participation from our residents, so that almost no one was excluded from this consultation."

Saint-Nazaire conurbation, France

Sophie Minssart Director of Studies, Urban Project Engineering, ADDRN urban planning agency

Field of application

Design, implementation and facilitation of an innovative urban and citizen co-design process for the development of a social and urban project for the priority neighborhoods of the city of Saint-Nazaire, as part of the Regional Interest Renewal Project of the Communauté de l'Agglomération de la Région Nazairienne et de l'Estuaire (CARENE).

    "The approach is a benchmark, it enabled us to do the participation project with neighborhood residents. I don't know how we could have done it without this digital tool, given the complex context, and with this scale on ten sites to deal with at the same time.

    The analysis work that followed provided sufficient information for programming, and with ultra-precise elements, and a lot of material to enrich the programming of neighborhood renewal projects."

City of Montpellier, France

Jean-Marie Bourgogne Director, Montpellier Digital Territory Program

Now president of Open-Data France

Field of application
Innovative approach to urban and citizen co-design at the heart of a 100-hectare urban restructuring project located to the east of the city of Montpellier.

    "Unlimited Cities was used to feed the specifications of a competition with leading teams of architects on a major urban planning project to the east of the city of Montpellier. This approach enabled elected officials to return to the site in good conditions, as the situation with residents had become conflictual following broken promises by a local councillor.

    Thanks to the accessible nature of the tool, the quality of relations improved immediately, and contacts were resumed in a friendly manner with the deputy urban planner and the district's elected representatives. Residents were able to enrich the competition's specifications with important data for the designers' work, notably on the acceptability of density, and to go further since micro-projects were imagined such as solar shelters in front of the school to wait for the children. These were projects that the residents offered to co-construct with the help of the city if the deadlines proposed by the city were too long.

    The beautiful story is that today the former urban planning deputy, Michael Delafosse, has become mayor and is much appreciated, perhaps in part because of this ability to develop contributions on urban planning projects."

City of Rennes and Metropolis, France
Hugues Aubin
In charge of Digital Solidarity, Citizenship and Culture

Field of application
Deployment of an innovative participation system around the development of the south square as part of the future TGV station project in Rennes.

    "Unlimited Cities" was chosen as an innovative experiment in urban participation. The plans for the development of the south square of the TGV station in Rennes were strongly resisted by some members of the local population, as they involved a considerable increase in density in a rather suburban area.

    The big surprise for the elected representatives and the urban planning department was that the citizens gave Unlimited Cities responses opposed to the surveys that had been carried out by the city on density, but with a series of contributions on how to make this density acceptable for quality of life.

    What this tool brings to urban planning is the ability to open up complex subjects to citizen reflection, thus avoiding the impoverishment of reflexive responses to complex subjects. It's a way of increasing the quality of contributions and creating citizen engagement."

Hsinchu District, Taiwan

Morgane Le Guilloux and Clément Tricot Urban planners and directors of the Urban Tai-ouan office

Field of application

Co-programming public spaces with residents and users to inform planning decisions and meet diverse needs in a participatory way.

    "We used this tool for the first time in summer 2018 in Hsinchu, Taiwan. Unlimited Cities is an open urban planning approach with the main aim of enabling everyone to contribute to city transformation processes. The approach is relatively easy to understand. A web application, ideally open on a tablet, enables users to sketch the future of places at any scale: street, square, neighborhood, etc. Starting from a photo, users simply drag and drop various elements and textures from the application's database and adjust them as required. In this way, users create "mixes" that are published openly on the Internet. They can then leave a short message to emphasize or not what they find essential. Used in an outdoor consultation process from the public space, this tool helps to structure dialogue between professionals, residents and local authorities. Discussions can, for example, focus on how to take into account local customs and habits. These notions and sensitive elements are difficult to perceive from inside a room. This approach complements the traditional work of statistical, cartographic or conceptual analysis, which can sometimes seem too disconnected from everyday realities.

    In our opinion, the hyper-realism of the application is one of its greatest qualities. Of course, the results won't be on a par with the work of a professional graphic designer. However, the mixes have a very different merit. First of all, their creation is very simple, whatever the user. This makes them accessible to all. What's more, the use of photos enables easy mental projection into a concrete environment. The impact of realizations is reinforced when deployed directly in the field. This helps to create a climate of trust and to simplify exchanges in a positive way, which, let's face it, is not always easy. In addition, reflection is not limited to a fixed plane, but rather takes place in an environment observed from 360 degrees. This also avoids any mismatch between some of the superb graphic designers' creations, which are too flattering compared to the actual layouts. What's more, the various mixes can be viewed online, allowing anyone to consult the results.

    The knowledge held by residents can also reveal imperceptible details. Professionals, meanwhile, can provide more in-depth technical or methodological insights. Community representatives, whether or not they initiated the project, also have a role to play. They can be attentive and better understand local expectations and territorial issues. They can also communicate on the actions they have initiated."