With Play the City Foundation and The Mobile City. In the fall of 2016 and spring of 2017  I was involved in the organization of a programme on urban games, tied to three ‘City Game Talk Shows’ and three ‘City Game Jams’ to be held in Amsterdam, Utrecht and Eindhoven.

A final conference was held at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, in the spring of 2017.

In addition we organized and hosted a training School in co-operation with the EU COST Action Cyberparks in October 2016. A report of the training school can be downloaded here.

Sjors Martens wrote a number of reports about the various city events and the final conference.

Play the City also compiled a database of Urban Games.

About the programme

The challenges of 21st century city-making require innovative methods that incorporate the complexity of today’s rapidly urbanising world. Traditional ways of urban planning and design — top-down and singlehanded — are already making way for a practice of city-making deeply rooted in the collective experience, creativity, and intelligence of growing and increasingly diverse groups of people. This will be crucial in building sustainable urban futures.

Gaming carries unexplored potentials for city-making. When inserted carefully into urban processes, games significantly improve the practice of conventional urban design by, for example, supporting collaborative decision-making and design, extracting and visualising comprehensible meaning from big data, and contributing to conflict resolution. However, the field of City-Gaming is relatively new and there is an urgent need for building an integrated community, developing a common language, and supporting newcomers. These are the driving motivations behind the launch of GAMES FOR CITIES: a public research- and event-programme that explores the role of gaming for complex urban issues.