Conference Paper

A novel application of city information modelling : filling the gap in the data through better citizens' engagement : insights from Al Baqa


City Information Modelling (CIM) is a new approach which merges existing digital technologies for urban and building management. Its application is still in its infancy, as well as its potential has been not yet fully exploited. This paper presents some preliminary findings from a novel application of CIM to a pilot case study providing fresh insights on how CIM technologies can be applied in urban areas where inconsistency of data may challenge the implementation of digital technologies. The novelty of the method stems from a mixed methodology, which integrates knowledge and technical expertise on CIM and social science thus providing a basis for building community resilience. The case of Al Baqa’ has been chosen, as paradigmatic example of a challenging urban context, as it was originally a Palestinian refugees’ camp, and evolved over time into a dense development of mainly two-story concrete buildings. High population density in the area impacts on the environment in terms of pollution, shortage of services, water sewage efficiency and waste management. Refugees have been living in Al Baqa’a since 1967 facing daily challenges from different angles: political, because of the precarious acknowledgement of their rights as citizens; economic, for the settlement offers limited opportunities to grow; physical, as Baqa’a residents are plagued by a variety of issues, including underperforming water sewage system, lack of ventilation and daylight in the houses, poor waste management. In such context, the pilot project aims at developing a CIM prototype, merging in one platform a variety of data, including mapping of the water sewage system, 3D views of the buildings, and qualitative data collected from residents, in an attempt to combine data from different sources and actors and explore the potential of CIM in overcoming one of the major environmental challenges, e.g. water management. Further studies may apply the same methodology to different contexts and or different sectors, thus allowing for a better understanding of potential benefits of CIM in terms of enhanced community resilience.

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Trillo, Claudia
Aburamadan, Rania
Cotella, Victoria
Makore, Chiko Ncube
Al-Betar, Qassim

Oxford Brookes departments

School of the Built Environment


Year of publication: 2023
Date of RADAR deposit: 2023-07-20

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