Play the city

'The city game' beoogt win-win situaties te creëren tussen spelers met conflicterende interesses, die zullen resulteren in reële business cases om de stagnerende stedelijke ontwikkeling te ontsluiten.

Presentatie Nederlandwordtanders/Live #1

Play the city

"Play the City introduces ‘city gaming’ as a method for fostering the open and collaborative city-making. This method has been first tested in Almere Haven for an expansion plan in 2008 as part of the doctoral research of Ekim Tan. Since then, the method was implemented in various urban situations, such as for masterplans on hold in Amsterdam Overhoeks, The Hague Binckhorst, Brussels, Ninoofsepoort, for urban transformation of self-built neighborhoods in Istanbul, for a train station hub in Tirana and more.

City gaming is an innovative method building up on the tradition of serious gaming. Different than serious gaming, the ultimate aim of city gaming is to become operational in urban processes rather than educational. The simple language and rules of games allow various stakeholders, experts and non-experts, to communicate without being handicapped by jargon. The collective intelligence of genuine players develops through the interactive and iterative nature of city gaming. Players sometimes with conflicting interests find an opportunity to develop shared visions through city gaming, which results in engagement. Such playful and engaging experiences unlock conversations between various players and help to build communities in the long term. As the city gaming sessions are registered online, they can also be shared with larger crowds who could not play real-time. These collaboratively generated plans increase social coherence, cut costs and save time in urban development processes. Please find more information on a city game, Play the City is working as of 2014 for the city of Cape Town’s largest township Khayelitsha.

City of Cape Town

City of Cape Town

University of Cape, Dutch Stimulation fund for Creative Industries, in/formal south, Future Cape Town.

Financiering en businessmodel
City Gaming as a generative method is new for city-making, for which cities do not have ready protocols to hire such as for the masterplans. Thus the process of city gaming is mostly funded by multiple parties, which also have research interest in their mandate.

Beslissende factor
Play Khayelitsha as a playful and serious method for urban conflicts, helping parties solve own problems, is a perfect match for the South African urban context.

Play Khayelitsha integrates social, political and environmental dimensions of Khayelitsha Business District development.

Added value of design scenarios resulting form city gaming is their capacity for overlaying parameters of governance and design in one domain. The role of Play the City Studio has been adding a comprehensive method allowing engaged parties design collaboratively.

Drijfveer en ambitie
My personal incentive and ambition is bringing city gaming to the position it deserves in city-making practices. The implementation in South Africa is particularly significant due to the complexity of the challenge. The success of this project in a township can become a precedent for many other cities of developing countries."



Ekim Tan

Ekim Tan is oprichtster van Play the City en sprak op de bijeenkomst Nederlandwordtanders/Live #1 Internationaal op 10 april in Den Haag over 'Design and Governance to the People.'


Play the city