UN Game Enlists Citizens To Design Their Communities [My Ideal City]
Block By Block is a platform which uses the designs of Minecraft game players to design their own neighborhoods.
Block by Block is an urban planning game allowing people to participate in the reconstruction process of their own neighborhoods through playing Minecraft. Working in partnership with UN Habitat, the gaming company behind Mojang invites citizens to enter Minecraft servers and modify their own neighborhood and visualize it on screen.
Participatory online platforms and visual tools such as Block by Block are lowering the barriers to participation and empowering citizens to design their communities. The game allows citizens to submit their own urban planning ideas without necessarily having architectural training, and can provide the groundwork for political decisions. The first Block by Block site, in Nairobi, Kenya, is already in the planning phase. These systems facilitate an open dialogue between city agencies and the people they serve, establishing a structured process for collaboration and encouraging a higher level of participation at the civic level. Similarly, the game SimCity from EA/Maxis allows players to build their dream cities however they want in a constantly online world, and interact in real time with the neighboring cities of other gamers.