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Windsor designer shows what South Cameron woodlot looks like when developed

Michael Hoppe created an augmented reality view of what the South Cameron woodlot could look like if it's developed.

'It's really a method that gives the community a perspective to see what this would look like'

Michael Hoppe used his skills to show people what it might look like if the South Cameron woodlot was developed. (Michael Hoppe)

As the debate continues about whether or not to develop the South Cameron woodlot, a Windsor man created an augmented reality demonstration for what the woodlot could look like with residential development.

Michael Hoppe, who works at Geopogo in San Francisco, returned to Windsor for his brother's birthday.

His company creates architectural software that helps clients view their creations in augmented reality.

Hoppe thought he could use his skills to show people what the woodlot looks like with some homes on the land.

"I felt that it was a form of protest," said Hoppe. "In this particular case we're showing development. It's very exciting, but in our case for the woodlot, we're showing a future where we get to question, do we actually want this future?"

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry retracted a provincially significant wetland (PSW) designation for around 20 hectares (50 acres) of the South Cameron woodlot in February.

Earlier this week, Windsor West MPP Lisa Gretzky made public a letter to the Ontario premier, calling on him to reinstate the provincially significant wetland designation.

Micheal Hoppe designed what the South Cameron Woodlot would look like if it was developed 0:42

Hoppe uses a Magic Leap virtual retinal display headset. With the headset on, you can stand in the South Cameron woodlot and see where houses, driveways and a road could be built.

"It's really a method that gives the community a perspective to see what this would look like," Hoppe said.

There's similar debate in the San Francisco area about preserving the redwood forests, where Hoppe said the municipalities have done a good job with the forest protection and finding a balance between development and the preserving the ecosystem. 

"What's important is that we can use these technologies to more intelligently design within these areas that need to be protected."

with files from Robin Brown

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