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The city of two towns

Unit(s) of assessment: Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory

Research theme: Global Heritage

School: School of Art & Design


The city of two towns: Mapping the wall of Nottingham’s French and English Boroughs through location-based technologies to foster a link between local heritage and community engagement.

  • Creative digital technologies can help investigating and restoring the forgotten yet unique identity of Nottingham, ‘city of two towns’, through inspiring heritage strategies shared to a wider audience.
  • Sharing Nottingham’s two boroughs history using Virtual Archaeology can promote community awareness and improve the visitor economy.
  • The technical solutions and the knowledge gained can be applied to several other heritage assets of Nottingham, for the development of the wider research project of ‘The City as a Museum’.

Addressing the challenge

The research involved data collection finalised to a georeferenced mapping of the Market Wall utilizing existing historical, architectural and archaeological data; The hypothetical 3D reconstruction (digital modelling) of the Wall in the Old Market Square of Nottingham based on existing data and archival resources; The realisation of a Website and GeoBlog to share the research aim and output; The realisation of an interactive GeoAR free App (Location-based Augmented Reality) to communicate and visualise the Market Wall to a broader audience. The App in fact, was aimed at ‘revealing’ the latest version of the Market Wall’s size, shape and position in the Old Market Square, giving the possibility to the citizens to receive info about its history and interact with it.

Research website and GeoBlog:

Making a difference

Using GeoAR technology through a user-friendly App, the Market Wall and other historical elements of the Saturday Market had been recreated with digital 3D versions, which could be easily visualised by the citizens and tourists of Nottingham. Furthermore, the App allows young generations to easily discover, experience and interact with the deep roots of their city using virtual immersive archaeology.

The research identified and tested the use of new digital locative technologies to investigate and visually recreate the hidden past, as the first step towards the creation of a ‘city museum of intangible heritage’, a new way how to understand and interact with history.

Related staff

The research team is led by Dr Andrea Moneta (NTU, School of Art and Design) who has expertise in Architectural and urban design, Site-specific performance, XR and digital scenography. It involves collaboration with research assistants Gin Rai and Yven Powell (Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies), for the use and implementation of digital location-based technologies (GeoAR App). The research is supported by NTU Strategic Research Themes -Internal Funding Call 2020/21, Global Heritage: Seed-corn/Mid-Career.