City Innovation Game

Buiksloterham, Amsterdam

As the Dutch government is gearing towards the European presidency in 2016, developing a common Circular Agenda for the EU is high in her agenda ref: RLI Circular Economy Report. Meanwhile Amsterdam's Alderperson for Sustainability, Abdeluheb Choho, set clear Circularity ambitions for the capital’s future.

Amsterdam’s Buiksloterham is one the showcases of this policy with the vibrant De Ceuvel -an on-land-boat office park and Schoonschip -a sustainable floating village. As Buiksloterham is transforming itself from an industrial past to a living circular city laboratory, Play the City team has been asked to develop a new City Game addressing the Circular Economy. The Hackable City, Pakhuis de Zwijger and other influential parties engaged in the topic are co-investing in the development of Circular City Game.

Setting the Stage

In only a few years, the fate of Buiksloterham (BSH), a former industrial site in Amsterdam Noord, changed dramatically. Today hardly anyone hesitates that BSH is Amsterdam’s fastest growing living and working quarter with the latest innovations in clean building technologies. Self-builders and building groups, who kept believing as well as investing in BSH during the real estate crisis ask for credit in today’s success.

A closer look at BSH reveals behind the scenes innovations in city organization: a legal plan with flexible building rules, housing companies seeing potential business cases in collecting waste from their tenants, building groups collaborating - instead of competing - for a jump in scale, social housing corporations co-developing city plots with individual self-builders, residents developing a floating self-sustainable village and more. Meanwhile, as larger players of construction are returning to the ‘game’, the question rises - will BSH continue to be the innovation ground of the city or will ‘business as usual’ prevail?

City Gaming as the Living City Laboratory

To strategise and create innovative scenarios with alternative business cases, we propose to play out the alternative futures of BSH: when fully developed Play the Circular City will become the world's first interactive physical game system that includes layers such as building, energy, water, food and waste flows. The main aim of the city game is supporting the Circular City’s players to translate their ideas into tangible plans with realistic business cases from individuals and building groups to housing companies to the city. Governments - national, provincial and
local levels - market parties as well as citizens form major players of the game. Real stakeholders currently responsible for making BSH will find a chance to play, learn and generate smarter plans collaboratively. Systematically recording and monitoring the ongoing processes in the area, Play the Circular City will become the physical simulation platform of the Living Lab.

Important Dates

Just as BSH itself, the City Game will be built in phases. It will be evolving through prototypes in prestigious national and international events, continuously growing through the new episodes added to the game. Some of these future prototype testing events include:

1. 19 - 28 September 2015, Buurtbouwmarkt in Buiksloterham
- Research session with Local Players

2. 20 October 2015, ISOCARP International Congress in Pakhuis de Zwijger
- Session with a mix of International Planners attending conference and Local Players

3. 26 November 2015, City Simulation Room in Pakhuis de Zwijger
- Session for Locals only

4. April 2016, International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam - The Next Economy
- City Simulation Room prototype stand at the Biennale
- Session for Locals and Biennale Visitors

We are currently looking for investors -both for content and finance- for the next development phase of the Circular City Game. You may reach us at