Detailed project information
Title: Virtual Water
Project Coordinator: Prof. Luciano Gamberini
HIT Scientific Coordinator: Prof. Luciano Gamberini
River floods are one of the most frequent and threatening climate events, and because of climate change, they are expected to become even more frequent and intense. Indeed, river floods have an increasingly devastating impact on the safety of citizens and our planet. The Virtual Water project aims to investigate the behavioral models implemented in emergency situations following riverbank breakdown/floods and facilitate the learning of the correct evacuation procedures. In addition, the project aims to educate citizens to recognize the risk factors that indicate an imminent river flood, in order to increase the safety perception and the risk awareness in people living in the proximity of a river, an eventually their quality of life.
To achieve these objectives, an interactive virtual simulation of a river environment will be designed and implemented, allowing the user to face a flood emergency in a realistic but safe way. Indeed, Virtual reality a technology widely employed to recreate reality-like scenarios, including dangerous ones, allowing users to observe and interact with phenomena that would otherwise be difficult to deal with in a real context due to the high associated risks.The Virtual Water project will follow a participatory design approach, involving a multidisciplinary team with highly qualified personnel from different fields. In particular, a series of participatory activities (e.g., affinity diagram, focus group) will be carried out with HCI experts, designers of virtual environments, hydrogeological engineers, and target users, to identify educational contents and interactive modalities to build and provide the virtual experience.Once implemented, the virtual prototype will be tested by end users, with a special focus not only on the educational content, but also on usability and user experience. Virtual Water represents an incredible opportunity to empower citizens’ ability to face flood emergencies.  Virtual Water: a virtual experience for real learning.

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