Project reports

During the course of the project, several project reports have been issued, with most of them being for internal use by the funding agency. For you to get a glimpse of the progress within U_CODE, this page presents the abstracts of these reports.

Deliverable 1.1: Scientific Coordination Plan

This document provides an overview of the Scientific Coordination Plan (SCP) of the U_CODE project in order to ensure efficient project execution as well as high-quality project results. With this plan, work of all work packages is coordinated and consolidated throughout the project duration. It ensures that all necessary steps will be planned and synchronized to achieve the goals of the project during the different phases. The continuous work planning will be a major tool to ensure project contingency. The focus of this document is the description of approaches taken in order to:

  • manage and coordinate the workpackages, and tasks
  • control the quality and integrity of project deliverables
  • report the project implementation and results.

Key instrument for the Scientific Coordination is the establishment of a netplan showing all relevant interdependencies and links between tasks and deliverables and partners. Where needed, this SCP refers to the relevant legal and underlying documents such as the Grant Agreement (GA) with its annexes including the Description of the Action (DoA) and the Consortium Agreement (CA). If necessary the General Assembly can decide on removing and adding parts and in general modifying the document in order to reflect the actual situation of U_CODE.

 

Deliverable 1.2: Project Management & Knowledge Management Tool

This document provides insights on the Project Management and Knowledge Management processes and tools used in U_CODE. General aspects and challenges for the Project Management resp. Knowledge Management are outlined in Chapter 2. In regards to project management, challenges such as high interdisciplinary in the U_CODE team are highlighted, and the key approach of “Agility” introduced. In regards to knowledge management, the importance of a life-cycle perspective on knowledge is explained. Chapter 3 presents the deliverable “Project Management & Knowledge Management Toolbox”. The toolbox comprises instruments utilised, and partially newly developed, by the U_CODE partners in order to support smooth and efficient flows of work items, concepts, and ideas. Chapter 4 introduces the website which is U_CODE ́s communication means to the general public.

 

Deliverable 1.3: Data Management Plan

In this report the initial Data Management Plan (DMP) for the U_CODE project is presented. The report outlines how research data will be handled during and after the project duration. It describes what data will be collected, processed or generated with which methodologies and standards, whether and how this data will be shared or made open, and how it will be curated and preserved.

The Data Management Plan (DMP) describes the data management life cycle for all data sets. The purpose of the DMP is to provide an analysis of the main elements of the data management policy that will be used in U_CODE with regard to all data sets that will be generated by the project. The data collected and generated by the different U_CODE partners will have multiple formats. In general four different types are generated and processed 1.) text based data, 2.) visual based data sets, 3.) models, and 4.) software / source code data sets.

The Data Management Plan provides information on the following points:

  • Data set description
  • Data set reference and name
  • Data sharing
  • Standards and metadata
  • Archiving and preservation (including storage and backup)

The DMP gives a first overview on the diversity, scale and amount of data which will be handled during the U_CODE project. While the project is ongoing, conjectPM is used as the collaboration platform for the management of U_CODE data.

The DMP is not a fixed document, but evolves during the lifespan of the project.

Read the full document …

 

Deliverable 1.4: E-Learning course

In this report the E-Learning course for the U_CODE project is presented. E-Learning within U_CODE enables the project partners to do a self-directed and self-driven education independently and individually according to time, speed and their usual residence. To support this and to train cross-disciplinary cooperation, a modular E-Learning course in English language was designed, created and made accessible for the U_CODE partners via conject pm. The report outlines the aims of the E-Learning course, the applied methodology, the learning resources and the description of activities, as well as the summary of the outcomes und outlines so far. The learning resources are structured in different modules and consist of web based trainings and other resources, such as presentations. Chapter 3 presents the course materials.

 

Deliverable 2.1: Survey on Co-design methodologies in urban design (initial version)

This report originated from research project „U_CODE: Urban Collective Design Environment: A New Tool for Enabling Expert Planners to Co-create and Communicate with Citizens in Urban Design”, which is funded by the European Union. Under the leadership of the Technical 1 University of Dresden Laboratory of Knowledge Architecture (Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jörg R. Noennig), the pan-European research project will develop methods and processes for the involvement of a broader public community in large Urban Design projects.

Deliverable 2.1, “Survey on co-design methodologies in urban design (initial version)” is about:

  1. establishing a deeper understanding of the dynamics of Co-Creation processes;
  2. reviewing existing community-based tools and methods with a special focus on game-based approaches; 
  3. providing insight in the impact of cultural differences and legal frameworks within different European countries.

This report (and its sub studies) cover this broad spectrum of topics and additionally aims to provide already some initial guidelines and requirements for the U_CODE designers and developers. Research methods and analysis include literature research, reviews, expert interviews, systematic internet research, case studies and discussions within the U_CODE team.

User-Centered Design, Participatory Planning and Co-Creation

Both in literature as well as in daily practice, the concepts of Public Participation and Co-Design are not straightforward. Different disciplines and even different people within the same discipline use these concepts in different ways in different situations. Therefore, the first aim of this report was to develop a definition regarding these concepts to promote a shared understanding within the context of U_CODE. In order to develop the definitions, the stakeholder groups were simplified into two groups: Customers and Professionals. Customers are the end-users of the U_CODE tool, e.g. citizens, local authorities, interest groups and local business. Professionals are the people professionally involved in the project of urban planning, urban design and architectural design, e.g. urban planners, authorities, architects, etc. Three Professional-Customer interaction types were distilled: User-Centered Design (UCD), Participatory Planning (PP) and Co-Creation (CC). The latter two (PP and CC) can actually be referred to as a form of Co-Design. The main difference between PP and CC is that in CC the Professionals and Customers interact and collaborate in a mutual value creation process, while in PP the Customer is only involved and consulted by the Professional.

Read the full document …

 

Deliverable 2.2: Functional scheme of a communication system

This deliverable presents a functional scheme of a communication system that integrates the conceptual-procedural and the technical-functional requirements of U_CODE. The communication system presented here brings fusesthe component architecture as derived from user stories and epics in the technical tasks of workpackage 3 with the workflow scheme called “Minimal Viable Process”, already introduced in D3.2. Thus the document provides a comprehensive basis for the further technical development the software tool and platform. Added value from the communcation system comes from detailed information about the interaction demands between the devised technical components and human participants. – First, the deliverable describes the communicating instances that make up the communication scheme (functional components such as “Co-Design” tools, user groups and stakeholder roles such as “Professional Designer” or “Citizen Participant”). Second, it explains the different settings (“Workspaces”) in which interaction and communication happens (“Professional Collaboration Space”, “Co-Design Space”, “Public Playground”). Third, it explains the agglomerate functional blocks (“Modules”) such as “Project Initiation”, “Co-Design” or “Sentiment Analysis” which form key activities activities of the envisioned participatory design process. Moreover, it is explained how they are sequenced into meaningful workflows, which can be varied in regards to complexity and level of participation / co-design.

 

Deliverable 2.3: Survey on Co-design Methodologies in Urban Design

This report originated from research project „U_CODE: Urban Collective Design Environment: A New Tool for Enabling Expert Planners to Co-create and Communicate with Citizens in Urban Design”, which is funded by the European Union. Under the leadership of the Technical 1 University of Dresden Laboratory of Knowledge Architecture (Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jörg R. Noennig), the pan-European research project will develop methods and processes for the involvement of a broader public community in large Urban Design projects.

Deliverable 2.1, “Survey on co-design methodologies in urban design (initial version)” is about:

  1. establishing a deeper understanding of the dynamics of Co-Creation processes;
  2. reviewing existing community-based tools and methods with a special focus on game-based approaches; 
  3. providing insight in the impact of cultural differences and legal frameworks within different European countries.

This report (and its sub studies) cover this broad spectrum of topics and additionally aims to provide already some initial guidelines and requirements for the U_CODE designers and developers. Research methods and analysis include literature research, reviews, expert interviews, systematic internet research, case studies and discussions within the U_CODE team.

Ucodesign

Both in literature as well as in daily practice, the concepts of Public Participation and Co-design are not straightforward. Different disciplines and even different people within the same discipline use these concepts in different ways in different situations. Therefore, the irst aim of this report was to develop a deinition regarding these concepts to promote a shared understanding within the context of U_CODE. In order to develop the deinitions, the stakeholder groups were simpliied into two groups: Citizens and Professionals. Citizens are the end-users of the U_CODE tool and represent a broader group of stakeholders beyond citizens, i.e.: local authorities, interest groups and local business. Professionals are the people professionally involved in the project of Urban Planning, Urban Design and Architectural Design, e.g. urban planners, authorities, architects, etc. Three Professional-Citizen interaction types were distilled: User-Centered Design (UCD), Participatory Design (PD) and Co-Creation (CC). UCD is more on a consultation level, while the latter two (PD and CC) are on a collaboration level and therefore can be referred to as what we will call Ucodesign. The main difference between PD and CC is that in CC the Professionals and Citizens interact and collaborate in a mutual value creation process, while in PD the Citizens are ‘only’ actively involved by the Professionals.

Read the full document …

 

Deliverable 3.1: Initial report on co-design sessions, ethnographic study and interviews

WP3 of the U_CODE project aims at producing use case descriptions and functional requirements. The methodological approach heuristically designed to achieve this purpose consists of two phases: In phase 1, starting from ethnographic observations and field interviews, complemented with the analysis of the state of the art, the consortium derives challenges and success factors for public participation as well as needs of different actors involved in urban design projects. During this phase, ethnographic observations and interviews have been conducted by four consortium partners. Three locations were selected to collect information about the current status of practices, needs and challenges in three European countries – France, Germany and the Netherlands. ISEN-Toulon has focused on the case of the urban renewal project Euroméditerranée in Marseille. TU Delft has visited the field of the former military airport of Valkenburg and interviewed representatives of the project. The office of gmp provided information about the design of the masterplan for the Olympic games in Hamburg 2024. In addition to this, gmp attended participatory workshops – Finding Places Hamburg - organized by the city of Hamburg and the City Science Lab with the aim to decide on possible housing locations for refugees and asylum seekers. Conject interviewed representatives of the Stuttgart 21 project. The TU Dresden KA interviewed a professional facilitator and worked with the city of Dresden planning authorities.

 

Deliverable 3.2: Description of interaction formats between professionals and citizens at specific stages of architecture and urban design projects

 

Deliverable 3.3: Use case description

To establish a suitable conceptual framework for public involvement in urban development, within WP 3 the U_CODE partnership has evolved a general workflow and interaction process scheme called Minimal Viable Process (MVP). The MVP, as described in D3.2 (chapter 3) determines the necessary workflows and interactions between stakeholders and users on concept level. In the context of development of the U_CODE software solutions according to an agile methodology, the MVP process is further detailed in the present deliverable in the form of user stories and high-level use-cases from which specifications on technical / coding level will be derived in WP4 and WP5. User stories describe single actions to achieve a single objective are then regrouped into ‘Epics’ and ‘Super Epics’ to give the description of a larger workflow they are part of. The purpose of this document is to describe epics, super epics where helpful, user stories and use cases for common scenarios in the U_CODE project.

  • It will  define the user roles and rights: according to specific roles attached to user’s account, access to system components and project content will be granted or denied 
  • define the basic use case, identified as “Minimal Viable Process”: to scope its objectives, functions, and the “must have” processes that the solution must facilitate
  • provide description of cross-cutting functionalities that support the MVP process, like communication and data analytics

 

Deliverable 3.4: Functional description of the U_CODE tool

The project’s context is to develop concepts and software tools to enable professional urban designers and architects to communicate and collectively design urban spaces with nonprofessional citizens. This deliverable puts together the conceptual building blocks and shapes out the functional architecture of U_CODE.

Functional components are grouping behavior and functionality, so that user stories (Deliverable 3.3) can be assigned. While user stories provide a stakeholder’s view in terms of requirements and goals, the functional review reflects these goals and provides behavior (functions) to meet them.

Therefore, this document will

  • Translate the user language (user stories) into functional descriptions of the U_CODE system features and components
  • Identify implementing partners for each component
  • Map the input/output relationships between components and thus the responsibility of implementing partners to provide input and output as specified.
  • Attach implementation priorities against the minimal requirements from the users’ perspective (crucial feature/important/nice to have) but not against technical difficulty of implementation (high/medium/low effort).
  • Shape out where ever possible the functional capabilities that might be desirable but are not included (i.e. for technical or other reasons)

The U_CODE platform is the common data environment (CDE) of a U_CODE project. It is the single source of information and coordinates all U_CODE processes. The common data environment makes sure that there is a common place in the project where the most recent version of an information entity, i.e. models, documents or drawings, can be stored and can be retrieved from. There is a clear separation between components implemented inside the core and components that make use of the call functionality but are implemented outside. This separation is made to give U_CODE projects as much flexibility as necessary with as lower effort as possible.

The functional components of the U_CODE platform are grouped into three logical layers:

  1.  The U_CODE core layer
  2.  The U_CODE application layer
  3. The U_CODE data store

The organization of the components into three-layered architecture with applications and core components supporting the main stages of the MVP is illustrated by Fehler! Verweisquelle konnte nicht gefunden werden.. Figure 2 further describes how different applications are implemented in the Co-Design Space and Public Playground Space setups.

The description of each component follows an established formalism: 

  • the general intention of the component
  • the specific functionality it providesthe interfaces exposed by the component in order to provide its functionality
  • Other components consumed by the component itself, that is: interfaces used by the component 
  • partners to agree upon exchanged data going through the specified interfaces
  • the epics and user stories it supports
  • designing partners and e implementing partner

During the next iteration of functional description, two additional items will be attached specifying the DoD and acceptance criteria for each component. They will be defined together by the partners who carry out the design and implementation of components: 

  • Definition of Done (DoD) 
  • Acceptance criteria.

 

Deliverable 3.5: Roadmap for technical specifications, development and integration

The project’s context is to develop concepts and software tools to enable professional urban designers and architects to communicate and collectively design urban spaces with nonprofessional citizens. This deliverable describes the agile process adopted to implement the U_CODE tools and platform. The functional description defined in D3.4 is the product vision from the 'customers' side of view against which the implementing partners Optis, ACONEX and ISEN derive technical specifications, set sprint backlogs and implement the designed software solutions. Praxis partners take the role of customers and define functional requirements (user stories). In the context of the U_CODE project, this role is called product manager (PM). Between customer and development team, the product owner (PO) maps conceptual requirements given by the PM into technical requirements to be implemented by the development team. POs of the implementing partners Optis, ACONEX and ISEN define implementation macro-planning and align their implementation schedules. In doing so, the partners Stakeholders (PM, PO, development team) will be able to smoothly go through the design – implementation – integration- testing cycle within short 2 to 4-week time periods called sprints in agile terminology. Sprints reviews are to adjust results and goals in close communication between all stakeholders and re-align upcoming sprint goals with re-defined targets (i.e. more detailed user stories).

The implementation of the U_CODE tools (on top of the already developed U_CODE platform functionality) is currently run by 4 agile teams, each composed of a development team, a scrum master and a product owner. The responsibilities between these agile teams are delineated as follows: 

  • “High-end VR headset “ – the team is in charge of implementing high-end VR environment for co-design/focus group session and visualization with multi-touch displays
  • “Multitouch” – the team is implementing the co-design environment for a multitouch screen as well as the visualization and feedback environment for low-cost VR headsets, like google cardboards 
  • “Platform” – the team is responsible for implementation of the platform core features as well as selected applications, which do not run with VR/AR
  • “Sentiment analysis” – the team is expected to implement the sentiment analysis tool

Last, a fifth agile team is planned, to test the developed applications and the platform.

Agile project management tool: The teams use the Trello boards as project management environment, report sprint implementation via a shared sprint schedule document and joint sprint review teleconferences organized by the project leader. The initial demonstrator release macro-planning allows checking the implementation progress against the project deadlines and transparency of project execution.

 

Deliverable 4.1: Technical specification of the interfaces

This deliverable 4.1 “Technical specification of the interfaces” gives an overview of the user interfaces of the tools to be implemented within the U_CODE agile development process. The Minimum Viable Process was refined and the necessary “Minimum Viable Tools” were derived. In order to carry out this refinement, a triple-layer description was developed for each tool, comprising 1) a so-called “Swimlane Study”, 2) a Tool Documentation, and 3) an User Interface Sketch.

The first layer, Swimlane Study, allowed to refine the Minimum Viable Process by defining activities per user role all along the phases of the U_CODE process, their interactions with other stakeholders, the tools they use and their expected inputs and outputs. The second layer, Tool Mapping, allowed to define a precise description of the input and output of the tools and their functions. Based on the tool’s description, the third layer Interface Sketch, allowed to define a first overview of the user interfaces of the U_CODE tools as a guideline for development.

Before detailing the interfaces, a chapter dealing with the overall procedural scheme and the refinement of the MVP in the six phases of the U_CODE process was incorporated. Moreover this deliverable introduces new definitions and U_CODE terminology. It presents the first steps of the agile development process to be implemented within the U_CODE project. It concludes with the planned process of the up-coming (software) development work and the links to the following U_CODE deliverables.

 

Deliverable 5.1: Blueprint for a Project Information Model

The central management of processes and data within the U_CODE platform is at the core of the Project Information Model (PIM). It will coordinate the invocation of any other component within the U_CODE platform. It is therefore crucial for the overall consistence of the U_CODE platform ar‐ chitecture, to shape out clearly the functions, services and necessities of PIM. In this document the segregation of functions and components of PIM will be described and the importance within the context of the U_CODE platform architecture will be figured out.

The central idea of the conceptual architecture of U_CODE is to establish spaces for different levels of participation. Within this conceptual context PIM plays a key role in providing the basic and un‐ derlying functionality to support those components that finally implement the concrete space con‐ cepts. The user, rights and roles management is the most basic enabling factor that PIM provides to the platform. The management of workflow and the provision of an environment to implement the minimum viable process is another general supportive instrument provided by PIM. Since in U_CODE projects people of largely differing expertise will collaborate and work together, the management of complexity is the central issue. This is why the information requirements definition is key in the preparation of data for the exchange between different levels of understanding. Information re‐ quirements definitions will be applied to the data exchanged in order to reduce complexity to the level appropriate. Moderated models will therefore be the vehicle for the transfer of information between parties of different expert levels.

However, the U_CODE platform is not intended to provide each and every imaginable functionality. This would overstrain not only the project itself but would also lead to inflexibility and monolithic structures. Therefore not only the project settings themselves but also the integration of external services will have to be configured on project demand. The PIM architecture will make sure to keep the balance between the provision of an underlying basic functionality and the flexibility to add more functionality from external sources by means of configuration. 

 

Deliverable 8.1: Dissemination and Communication Plan for Period 1, including U_CODE Public Website v1

It is the aim of U_CODE to communicate and disseminate project results as widely as possible, targeting several important audiences, including end-users of the space being designed, professionals in urban design across Europe, public authorities but also academia and the broader public. Several communication and dissemination activities are described in this document including a brief description of the first version of the U_CODE public website.

Read the full document …

 

Deliverable 8.2: Dissemination and Communication Report on Period 1 and Exploitation, Dissemination and Communication Plan for Period 2

It is the aim of U_CODE to communicate and disseminate project results as widely as possible, targeting several important audiences, including end-users of the space being designed, professionals in urban design across Europe, public authorities but also academia and the broader public. This document summarizes communication and dissemination activities during the first year of the project. It also provides an initial exploitation plan and planned communication and dissemination activities until the end of the project.

The main purpose of this document is to present an initial exploitation plan aiming at the exploitation of the U_CODE project’s results once the project is completed. This initial version includes the description of the exploitation strategy, its implementation as well as market findings at this stage of the project. The document is a living document evolving during the lifetime of the project concluding in the final exploitation plan at the end of the project. The present document complements pre-existing instruments such as the Grant Agreement (Article 24 – 31) and the Consortium Agreement (Section 8) and shows the plan for exploitation of each single partner, the overall exploitation and the management of the Intellectual Property Rights. A draft of a Joint Ownership Agreement is under discussion by the partners.

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