18th meeting: Games for Cities

Published at: 11 October 2019

Cities are multidimensional complex systems. While they always have been, today’s societies are confronted with accelerating dynamics. Processes such as globalization, the information society and the unprecedented possibilities of artificial intelligence illustrate the intensifying connectedness of social and spatial changes. Meanwhile, the rise of the civil sector, next to the public and the private sectors increases the complexity underlying the interplay between different stakeholders. This comes with spatial and social consequences, which are even more relevant in situations associated with strong moral and political issues.

Complexity theories of cities (CTC) embody both “hard” and “soft” approaches needed to tackle complex societal challenges within and of cities. In this setting, planning for responsive and adaptive city systems requires tools and approaches that can support the design of solutions for dealing with strategic decisions and uncertainty, while simultaneously promoting transparency and fostering cooperation among stakeholders.

Games for cities aspires to provide a platform where interdisciplinary crossovers among policy-making, games, urban design, simulation, analytical models and other digital technologies can harness urban complexity by interlocking theory and practice in planning.

The diversity in city games is growing and we welcome it into the meeting. We encourage theoretical, methodological and case-study papers that:

  • showcase how games can promote future cities,
  • analyse the critical conditions for successful application of games
  • evaluate how games can provide grip on the intrinsic complex nature of cities.


Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • (Evolutionary) game theory, serious games and gamification (digital and non-digital games);
  • Innovative technological platforms (e.g. virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), agent-based models, digital participatory platforms, internet of things (IoT)…);
  • Game-generated opportunities to foster transparency, public participation, scenario planning, consensus building and (strategic) decision-making;
  • Games for capacity building;   
  • Challenges and limitations of games for cities (e.g., scale, analytical, skills set, communication, political, technical, legal and ethical challenges).
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