Gamification in Urban Planning

An increasing per capita consumption of space, a change in demographics and the diversification and increase in population causing the densification of urban spaces are the major challenges for future cities. These increasing social and spatial complexities  and new forms of online participation and consultation demonstrate a movement towards open government in urban planning, with a stronger participation between a more diverse body of players in a network orientated environment. This movement is unveiling various discrepancies in the understanding of projects by the different driving bodies in planning, due to the access to and the comprehension of planning information. To recognise and exploit the associated capabilities of current transformations, communication between the three driving bodies in planning (political, planners and public) and their sharing of knowledge is of vital importance.

Visualisation as a method of communication is a significant tool capable of overcoming conventional boundaries in planning influencing understanding and acceptance of decisions. Funded by the IGSSE (International Graduate School of Science and Engineering), “Game.UP” is an interdisciplinary research project assessing how gamification methods, as a form of visualisation, can be applied to the field of architecture, to address the challenges of participation and communication between driving bodies. Through a game-full confrontation and appraisal of planning information and technologies processes such as the dissemination of information; the education of planning proposals; and the education of non-traditional planning methods, technologies and structures can become easy to understand, stimulating, computer-based experiences. Furthermore, the effects of urban planning measures can be made directly accessible, visible and interactive through three dimensional digital models and real-time exploratory techniques.