At EUrbanities we’re interested in the increasing use of gamification as a method to motivate people to activate people and raise awareness about urban issues. We’ve compiled a list of interesting examples how city administrations, grassroots groups and enterprises from around the world are constantly developing innovative ways for engaging fellow citizens to shape their urban realities. Please contact us if you know about games that should be on the list!

Games for Cities

This actually is not a game but a public research and event programme that explores the role of gaming for complex urban issues. They offer a wonderful resource for everyone into games that improve city making: the extensive city-game database.

EpiPen Tycoon

The game places you in the drug/medicine trade and tells the story of increasing prices. Game website:

Mapatón CDMX

Mexico City has a huge bus system but it lacks any official route map. A diverse group of organizations created a participatory mobile app game to address the problem. Bus passengers would have a chance to win prices if they used the app and allowed it to GPS track where the buses go. Read more here. Game website:

Big Easy Budget Game

This game from New Orleans uses open data from the city to allow players to create their own version of an operating budget. Read more here. Game website:

The Traffic Agent

The free app allows children to send reports on safety hazards they encounter while walking to and from school. Read more here. Game website:

“The Power Broker”

A series of games were invented in this game design competition which aimed at making Robert Caro’s hard-to-read book “The Power Broker” about controversial urban planner Robert Moses more accessible to people. Read about the competition here and here.

Rise Up: The Game of People and Power

Rise Up is a board game (to be) about cooperating to build people power and take on oppressive systems to create change. Read more here. Game website:

City Innovation Game

In the game participants (real stakeholders or people taking the role of stakeholders) negotiate and discuss development strategies to cooperatively achieve the most sustainable solution. Amsterdam has done a real-world experiment with the game around a development project in Buiksloterham.Read more here.

Cards Against Urbanity

This card game is an adaption of the more known “Cards Against Humanity”, which basically is a fill-in-the-blank-with-funny-answers game. The point of the city adaption is to simultaneoysly teach players about planning concepts. Read more here. Game website:


This board game is an adaptation of Monopoly’s game mechanics. It models the livelihood strategies of families living in persistent poverty. Game website:

Budget a Park

Budget a Park was an online budgeting game that provided residents with a fun and easy way of taking part in the planning and upcoming acquisitions for the Suvela residents’ park. Read more here.

Pelissä yhteinen kaupunki!

This is a hands-on game to build a city collaboratively using wooden blocks and other materials. The game has a strong educational edge and each game typically involves experts in urban planning to guide the players. Game website:

Cities: Skylines

Cities: Skylines is a commercial city simulation game, which has been used as a medium to gamify participation in city planning (at least) in Finland and Sweden. Read more here and here. Game website:


Minecraft is a sandbox video game that enables players to build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3D procedurally generated world. It has been used around the world as a medium for engaging with the youth in public space design.Read more here. Game website:

Community Hero

A game prepared by a group of students attending the course “Jeux Pédagogiques (Game based learning)” at the University of Geneva. The Community Hero game was created in cooperation with the EUrbanities project, and based on one of our experience evaluation cases. The game is not available online at the moment.

Syrian Journey

BBC-developed Syrian Journey is a newsgame where you choose your own escape route as a Syrian refugee. The aim is to bring the audience closer to the plight of Syrian refugees in an interactive and creative way. Game website: