This article reports on the technical development and testing of the basic components of a virtual environment platform that could be used for the cross-disciplinary study of complex urban realities, such as the historic city of Nicosia, Cyprus - the last divided capital of Europe. This platform captures data of virtual visitors' movements in space, and the article suggests that these data could help better understand the impact of planning scenarios and design interventions in open public spaces that used to be popular among the citizens of the historic city. The article presents how this platform uses interaction and immersion opportunities to engage citizens and stakeholders in the management of public open spaces that are associated with built heritage. Crowd simulation is discussed as a computational technique that when is combined with the presented virtual environment platform, and under the right conditions, would contribute to a digital practice for small-scale urban modelling. However, it is beyond the scope of this technical note to provide a full empirical testing and validation of the presented immersive virtual environment.