Department of Planning now able to see city in virtual reality

Until recently, employees at the city’s Department of Planning have had to make use of a wooden model of the town to help in decision-making. Now, thanks to digitalisation, they can benefit from seeing the city in virtual reality on computer screens.

As André Wicki, the head of planning in the city, explained, the department has to deal with as many 700 building applications every year, but now this digitalisation project, which has been under way since 2016 and is still in its test phase, will make everything so much easier. In fact it not only covers the city of Zug but also neighbouring Baar and Steinhausen, and further municipalities are expected to be included in it soon. The new system also means not having to pay for further wooden models on a 1:500 scale to be built anymore.

Deputy town planner Remy Frommenwiler mentioned how detailed the new images were, even the shadow of buildings able to be depicted. However, as there could be a variance of up to 20 centimetres when it came to the height of buildings, this shadow effect was not 100 per cent accurate.  What is good is that, at the click of a button, projected buildings can be re-positioned as required, enabling planners to view new buildings from all angles.

Unfortunately, the system is not able to be viewed on personal computers or through tablets for the general public, though it is available to architects free of charge.

Those who rather enjoy looking at wooden models of towns with all the work that has gone into making them will be pleased to hear that that of the city of Zug is not being discarded but will used in exhibitions and in discussions with specialist planners and members of the public. Once the city’s administration offices have been moved to their new premises on the former Landis+Gyr headquarters on Gubelstrasse, it is thought the model might be put on display in the entrance area.

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