(aka How to have the most fun ever in our next planning charrette) 

Recognizing that most people understand 3D models better than 2D plans, Play the City, and Amsterdam and Istanbul based company has developed a ‘City Gaming’ tool to help in community planning sessions. This isn’t online video gaming we are talking about, this is old school ‘building blocks on a site plan’ gaming, and it works wonders for generating discussion, debate and identifying crucial interactions between community stakeholders.

‘The gaming environment “demystifies, softens and humanises what can be a very technical and often alienating urban design, planning and stringently legislative building control process.’

This article is a case study of how this was applied in a South African township- scroll down to ‘Playing the City as a Game’.

‘The game comprises a three dimensional representation of the KBD [the business district] and players have access to a library of over 600 game pieces which represent physical components of potential urban projects, for example; housing or office blocks as well as organisational components such as social networks or public support. Much like in an online game of Sims, players can create buildings and partnerships, moving them around the board and test out different ways to configure new developments.’

photo courtesy of futurecapetown

photo courtesy of futurecapetown