Play the City helps you build communities, co-design with stakeholders, develop tools for digital urbanism and create strategies for urban development through serious gaming.
US starts the public budgeting in a highly diverse industrial town on the San Francisco Bay. Which European city would be the best place to start with?
After Porto Alegre, Brazil, now also Vallejo, California engages taxpayers in participatory budgeting to act upon unequal living conditions. Watch here the promotion video.
Participatory budgeting (PB) is a different way to manage public money, and to engage people in government. It is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. It enables taxpayers to work with government to make the budget decisions that affect their lives.
Though each experience is different, most follow a similar basic process: residents brainstorm spending ideas, volunteer budget delegates develop proposals based on these ideas, residents vote on proposals, and the government implements the top projects. For example, if community members identify recreation spaces as a pri...
The inadvertent urbanism that results from the necessities of both the city and its inhabitants may be chaotic or haphazard, but responds precisely to Cairo’s immediate needs.
Yet an urbanism based on patchwork alone, however creative, cannot sustain the growth of a city like Cairo...
Cairo’s population estimates vary wildly between an “official” 18 million and a popularly exaggerated 30 million. This extraordinary margin of error reflects the very real margin of unofficial growth. As the city densifies and expands, its population improvises. Ranging from informal building extensions to whole neighbourhoods emerging almost as quickly as voids appear in the city fabric, or to the everyday irregularities that compete for space and attention on the streets, Cairo functions best through this vibrant and informal —rarely sanctioned yet rarely curbed— use of the public realm. It would be misleading to call it “pub...
Play the City envisions the emergence of collectivity for L'Architecture d'Aujourd'hui.
Aren’t we all bored with rhetoric that launches into grandiose criticism of how the modernist city planning in the post-war era has swept away the complexity of old cities, their quasi-organic forms, their mixed uses?
Having spent all the energy on this criticism, weak suggestions follow of how today’s cities need to challenge the mega master plans and conclude with romantic slogans like “Small is beautiful!”.
A more direct answer to 21st century- city questions in fact lies in carefully scrutinizing and improving the counter movements to modernist planning that flourished in the 1970s. “Advocacy planning” began in North America with professionals calling themselves “counter-professionals” and aiming to express the user’s view. While designers were looking for ways to advocate users, a British architect, John Turner, was taking a...
"For the first time in history design loans inspiration to other sciences instead of hiring wisdom from natural sciences." Christopher Alexander argued in 2003.
Today, voices proclaiming design as the new science are getting loud. Sir James Dyson, inventor, designer and engineer, argues that design should be recognized as the fourth science after physics, biology and chemistry - a concept his foundation promotes internationally through teaching design skills and thinking at schools. More than ever, design constantly generates new ideas and material of its own. City gaming, for example, has a direct bearing on the solution of problems. It classes as a theory (and practice) of self-organization. From Play the City we send our support to Angus Montg...
A web search engine for the best work and meeting places throughout the Netherlands, offering a location-finder for professional environments outside your office. We offer personalized booking solutions for corporate, SME and ZP-ers to work there. We recommend Smart Work Centers (including operating models). We advise principal portfolio holders regarding their vacancy.It is launched by the local government of Amsterdam with the support of Cisco systems.
More information here
Urban trend: Co-working
Created by: Local government and private company
Created for: People and entrepreneurs
Serious Gaming for Architecture
‘Games are the most elevated form of investigation.’ Albert Einstein
Buckminster Fuller proposed to house The World Game™ in a giant geodesic dome that he designed as the U.S. Pavilion for the 1967 Montreal World's Fair. The World Game™ was a simulation of a ‘logistically 100% functioning better world’ by fair distribution of the world’s resources, the disappearance of national borders, and ecologically responsible developments based on spontaneous cooperation of distinct regions. Fuller’s geodesic dome was built, but The World Game™ exhibition was...
"Open up your code and let citizens make their city."
Notes on the Future Everything Summit in Manchester 2013, by Luis Veracruz
Sometimes it is simply better to elaborate a desired future, rather than loosing time to improve failing tools of the imperfect present.
Dan Hill set the tone of the conference in his keynote speech: “18th century institutions are not adapted to the 21st century problems”. “There is an institutional collapse and '5 Star Movement' in Italy is a good example of that.”
After his reflection on institutions Hill showed some good practices that mix analog and digital technology, and the question arrived early: are those examples of smart cities? From Dan's point of view, “Sm...
Majority Report's first conclusions
It's been four months since we began the research project Majority Report. As some of you already know, this project evaluates interactive city tools, both analog and digital, such as apps, interactive websites or crowd-sourced data sites for the 'Smart City' or rather 'Smart Citizens' as we like to refer.
The research is an ongoing progress; we are currently working in the differences between these tools depending on the field in which they are being used. However, we have already detected some patterns which are common to all the interactive city tools (both physical and analogical). Any interactive city tool should pay attention to these questions in order to be successful:
The usage of a tool will grow as fast as the users get responses from it. This seems obvious in tools for government, such as SeeClickFix, where the citizens can report any issue in the city to the city council directly through this platform....
Richard Florida defends the need of a U.S. Department of Cities in an article published at New York Daily News.
"A new Department of Cities could be a primary engine of job creation." Florida argues. The President can make cities a centerpiece of his remaining time in office. And what better way to do that than to establish a new, cabinet-level, Department of Cities?
Florida name drops a whole list of bipartisan mayors and city builders to take part in such a department; Philadelphia’s Ed Rendell and Milwaukee’s John Norquist, who heads the Congress for New Urbanism; business leaders like Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh (who is redeveloping downtown Las Vegas); Rocco Landesman, the Broadway producer and former National Endowment for the Arts director, and academics like Harvard economist Edward Glaeser. According to him this new Department would absorb pieces of HUD and the Departments of Energy, Transportation, Education, Commerce and Interior.
Would such a new department trigger top-down decision m...
Freezing Favela will become the first urban building plan of 3000 square meters to be constructed according to an evolutionary city game process in the Netherlands.
Play the City translated twenty-four enterprises into a coherent temporary plan in Van Gendthallen, Amsterdam.
A group of entrepreneurs in food production, trash and poo processing, fish and mushroom farming and more came together to play Van Gendthallen for the Freezing Favela on a cold sunday on 6th of January 2013. The city play session came out to be a success, as a realistic, construction-ready plan emerged in the future location of the co-created city. From the twenty four online-registered projects, about twenty representatives came to defend their spots in the favela-in-making. Initiators and team members of projects such as Bar Vacant, Aquaponic Farm, Open Cooking Platform, Inside the White Whale, Mediahammam and the Clean Lab discussed an...