Minecraft is one of the most popular computer games in the world. Like a virtual version of Lego, it invites players to create their own world of buildings, villages, and other spatial elements. Every month, more than 110 million people play Minecraft – but did you know that it can also be used for urban planning?
In February 2020, one of the most important events for urban planners took place: The 10th World Urban Forum. This year, it was Abu Dhabi’s turn to host the conference with an attendance of about 13,000 international guests and the theme “Cities of Opportunity: Connecting Culture and Innovation”. While one might argue that cities have more pressing issues to tackle these days, such as climate change, inequality, or immigration, there were some interesting lessons to be learned, Laura von Puttkamer reports from Abu Dhabi.
In neglected parts of Mexico City, the work of the NGO ENSAMBLE shows how investing into community and togetherness can change poor urban areas for the better, including all residents in a highly participative process.
In Mexico City, residents organised to convince the city government to build a public park instead of developing an area for office buildings. The Parque Imán can serve as an example for successfully greening neighbourhoods, and reclaiming public space in a participatory and transparent manner.