Virtual Reality (VR) and the Possibility of Application in the Palestinian Built EnvironmentStudy case: Proposed solutions to ease the movement through the mountainous stairs of Nablus city

Discussion Committee: 
Dr. Hasan Qadi/supervisor
Dr. Salem Thawabeh/external examiner
Dr. Ehab Hejazze/internal examiner
Dr. Hasan Qadi/supervisor
Luay Mudar Wasef Al-Sharif
Virtual reality is considered one of the most computer systems that work to simulate the real life, because it is considered an interactive system where humans are a part of it (where in other systems humans are mostly receivers). The action of the humans and the reaction which is given by the system emphasize the sensational and the conceptual interactivity between the humans and the virtual environment which is delivered for a specific project. This fact about the virtual reality has made many industries and trainings in many aspects such as medicine, engineering, army and avail industries easier and less expensive than they was before implementing the virtual reality programs. Nowadays, many factories tend to use the virtual reality systems to develop their outputs because they consider it faster and less expensive than it used to be before. This study– theoretically and practically- examines the possibility of implementing the virtual reality to improve the built environment in Palestine. It also examines one of the architectural problems in Nablus city which is represented by the urban stairs that connect different levels of Nablus mountains. These stairs are considered the main access for some neighborhoods and a secondary access for others. Residents of these neighborhoods suffer from using such stairs because they consider them not convenient to the human scale. Regarding the fact of the necessity of such stairs, the study examines some solutions and alternatives which could be applicable to mitigate the impacts of this problem, Moreover, study the consequences of these solutions on the architectural, urban and economical aspects of Nablus city. Implementing these solutions will work as main residential paths for the residents of the city and will positively affect its architectural identity and also the land use nearby their stations, and on a more comprehensive scale, it will affect the urban planning inputs around these areas, in addition to using them for tourism aspects. To achieve the goals of this study, previous applications on virtual reality were studied and analyzed, specially on architectural projects in Palestine, and examine outputs of such studies and whether their goals were achieved or not, then the study implements the virtual reality system for finding practical solutions for the urban stairs of Nablus city. This study also analyzed study cases that examine the movement problems through urban stairs and mountainous areas around the world in a way to study and figure out the best solution that could be applied on Nablus city. And after finding the solution, the study implements it on some specific areas of Nablus city by using the virtual reality to support the design and development of some systems and setting scenarios for implementations. After achieving a reasonable and applicable output represented by a virtual environment for the city including the implementation of proposed solution systems the study examines the use of using the virtual reality to support the designed solutions and use it to convince the stakeholders and the residents of the city by the set designs, and if it could do so, the study recommends to use the virtual reality in improving and presenting similar projects interested in improving the architectural environment of Palestine. After achieving the study goals, the study recommends using the virtual reality systems more intensely for educational purposes, and also recommends implementing the proposed solutions for the urban stairs of Nablus city by the stakeholders –such as ministry of local government and Nablus municipality- because it succeeded to address the problems and professionally could build and present the virtual environment of the problems and the solutions, with the possibility to improve these proposed solutions by using the virtual reality in future studies to achieve the optimum benefit from this program and apply it to improve the architectural environment to the benefit of the residents of the city.
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