Urban Diplomacy

İlayda Memiş
Architectural Informatics

Urban Diplomacy is a role-playing game aimed to promote people to learn about urban planning process. The intention is to empower citizens through a glance at the collaborations and negotiations during the course of planning and designing a city. Therefore, the citizens will know how and when they can have an impact on their city and how much power they have on their surroundings. Urban Diplomacy is designed to be played in city councils and participatory events, but it is suitable to play at home as well.

The game consists of four different roles; mayor, urban planner, investor and the citizen. The game is based on rounds, and on each round, twenty buildings are to be placed. The round starts and ends with the mayor. Each role has different input, different actions they can take and limitations to those actions. Mayor’s input displays the building ratio and attraction rate of the city, and she is expected to create a ratio plan according to the input. The limitation is the approval rate of herself and attraction rate of the city. Thus, while creating the plan, the mayor should be aware of the limitations. After the ratio plan is published, the urban planner should place the buildings on the city. On the urban planner’s screen, the influence zone of the buildings and the rules regarding those zones can be seen. So, the urban planner should place the building types given by mayor, according to the rules she sees. The next role is the investor who can change the building types in order to reach the budgetary goals. The input of the investor is the cost of each building and the limitation is the initial budget. The investor should also consider the future profit of each building. Since the citizens are the ones experiencing the problems, the citizen’s input is the problems of the city. This input is defined according to the actions of the others. Therefore, the actions of the citizen will affect other’s and her own limitations. For example, the limitation of the citizen is time. When she takes action, the participation time decreases. The limitations of each role don’t stay the same until the end of the game, they change according to certain parameters within the game.
I have implemented the user interface and the actions of each role. Therefore, the interactions between roles are visible. For the next steps, I would implement the background calculations and the feedback system of the game which impacts the input and limitations of different roles and make them visible in the UI. For later additions, I am planning to create different levels in the game which have geological implications like rivers and topography. Another addition would be having variety of buildings on each building type, such as selecting hospital, fire station, school as cultural building type. The gamers can also upgrade the buildings to have multiple floors.

Urban Diplomacy
München 2020