‘Green the Street’ was an urban design initiative that began in 2018 by urban designer, Catherine Simpson. Her vision was to demonstrate future street design to inspire Queenslanders to reimagine what their street could be using innovative, immersive technology, and to advocate for creating greener, healthier, more inclusive streets in Brisbane.


To achieve this, Catherine partnered with Real Serious Games to develop a 360-degree virtual reality vision of Brisbane’s Gregory Terrace 30 years into the future, with a reduced roadway, autonomous and electric vehicles, new cycleways, a linear parkway.

The virtual reality experience was designed using input from a multidisciplinary team, including various urban designers and the ageing-inclusivity consultants, The Ageing Revolution, and then put on display at the Brisbane Ekka festival. Using a virtual reality headset, participants of all ages could immerse themselves in a forward vision of urban green spaces.



Using the existing structure of the Old Museum on Gregory Terrace, the virtual reality experience gave viewers an insight into a greener future with more inclusive infrastructure, including rainbow crossings for the elderly, benches, glasshouses, and high rises with hanging gardens and rooftop green spaces with a futuristic ‘park in the sky’ feel. Users could look around this 360-degree experience to see a familiar space reimagined into a vision of a community focused green urban village.

The debut of ‘Green the Street’ at the 2018 Brisbane Ekka was an enormous success, leading the project to become a yearly activation at the Ekka with over 400,000 visitors each year and sparking new ‘Green Street’ initiatives and collaborations. To date, the project has led to more than 25 ‘greened streets’ around Brisbane and has helped to showcase how emerging technologies can be harnessed for ethical, innovative urban design.


‘Green the Street’ showed the impact of immersive technology to meaningfully showcase future urban design and engage both community and local council. This type of experience can be applied in other urban design projects, such as the creation of parks, public spaces and infrastructure.

More broadly, virtual reality can be a powerful engagement, project management and communication tool in any context where stakeholders or the public need to visualise proposed changes, such as architecture and construction.
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