City Builder Lab

There is a very exciting project that has evolved from the Rotary Club of Wellington's 2017 Rotary Forum: "Achieving the Impossible Dream for Wellington: the city and region". It is called the Tawa City Builder Lab 18-20 September 2018. It is described in the attached two documents.

Microsoft has agreed to provide $20,000 sponsorship for the project. There are other sponsors also providing support, including the Tawa Business Group. Further funding is required to allow the project to proceed. In particular, this is to help meet the costs of bringing international Child-friendly Cities expert Alfonso Govela of Mexico to facilitate the Lab at Tawa Intermediate school.

This project will have a huge benefit for Tawa, in particular engaging almost 1,000 students from schools in Tawa using Minecraft to reimagine the Tawa Town Centre and links to the railway station, that will help shape the future of the town centre as a vibrant, exciting and safe place.

Project lead, Roger Blakeley can be contacted here for more information.

“Taller Construye tu Ciudad”

Children grow up in cities built by adults, and have little chances to construct their own surroundings. This early exclusion from city making hinders future engaged citizenship. The sooner we recognize their voices and priorities the better quality of life we shall bring to our communities.

City Builder Labs teach children to build public space playing with Minecraft. We promote learning by doing, and doing by gaming. We create enabling environments where many stakeholders help children improve real places of their cities.

A Tournament is organized. Local authorities facilitate a public space. A model is built in Minecraft. A challenge to improve it is defined through social media. A collaborative space is provided. A group of young facilitators is trained. Each child gets her, or his, own Minecraft model, a computer, and one hour of playtime. Real-time gaming is streamed on-line to remote audiences. A transparent evaluation process selects daily finalists. A social network channel registers public votes and dialogue. A jury selects final winners. An Award Ceremony recognizes talent and commitment. Children take the stage, are interviewed and broadcast on public media. A consultation process follows with neighbors. A sponsor funds construction. An open repository holds, and curates, their ideas for future use.

We have taught 19,000 children to build plazas and parks in 17 Mexican Cities, and won a Guinness World Record at Aldea Digital 2016 in Mexico City.

Games are a powerful medium to engage children, and we envision further city scales to expand this approach:

  • “My House and my Things”, with LittleBits, to teach Internet of Things
  • “My Street and my Square”, with Minecraft again, to teach urban design
  • “My Neighborhood and my City”, with Sim City Edu, to teach policy-making
  • “My Digital World”, to teach consensus building and currencies of value

We believe in the future, and we create it today.

City Builder Lab

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