Omgevingswet Game

A multiplayer role playing city game designed to prepare Dutch spatial planning professionals for the new Dutch Environment and Planning Act [Omgevingswet]

OWGAME

purpose: Training Dutch spatial planning professionals for the new Dutch Environment and Planning Act

partners: City of Katwijk and Province of South Holland

client: Wesselink van Zijst and Driven by Value

[expected] engagement: about 1800 policy makers/regulators through 100 sessions played by min 14 and max 20 players.

project duration: februari 2018–ongoing

Seen as the largest legislative operation in history, Omgevingswet is expected to take effect in 2021. There are ongoing experiments and pilots working towards this change that will combine and simplify the regulations for spatial projects. For example, the construction of housing on former business parks, or the building of wind farms. The new Omgevingswet requires engaged parties collaborate from early stages of the development process. Adopting a collaborative attitude concern all city development actors.

These fundamental changes put serious games into the spotlight as a working method. New games emerge addressing the new Omgevingswet: card games creating relevant debates for stakeholders, supercomputers calculating and visualising plans digitally for decision-makers, board games informing players about upcoming legal changes, low threshold smartphone games for citizens building imaginary neighbourhood collectively… Play the City, a forerunner in city gaming, has been advocating games as multi-stakeholder and data-driven environments to share and create new knowledge for urban development. We expect that the trend of games simulating spatial, legislative and attitude changes in planning cities will only increase and diversify in coming years.

Throughout 2018, our team has been working on a new multiplayer tabletop game to prepare Dutch spatial planning professionals for the Omgevingswet. The game, designed for training purposes, is planned to run more than 100 times reaching to local and provincial governments, large developers and investors interested in organisational across the country. A generic fictional Dutch city is visualised on a 2x4 meter board. 14 characters gather around the game table to negotiate a final ‘Ontwerp Omgevingsplan’ including the provincial and local government, private developers, businesses, citizen groups, GGD, safety services, energy and water bodies. A system of decisions from general rules, reporting obligation to permit obligation helps participants proceed in shared choices. Event cards, 3d printed building, energy and mobility units make discussions tangible. Role play includes a city council meeting where local politicians