Friday, August 7, 2015

Using Minecraft for Sustainability in Urban Environments

UN-Habitat has been using the game Minecraft as a way to involve young people in an effort to improve public space in developing world cities.

The UN's agency for sustainable urban development currently has a program to improve public space in developing world cities by building new parks, squares, sports fields and sidewalks. Minecraft, a building blocks game, is increasingly popular as an education tool, and schools are using it to teach a variety of subjects including history, geography and art. UN-Habitat has organized workshops in about 15 countries where kids redesign spaces on Minecraft, then present their ideas to local architects, politicians and businesspeople.

"It's really important to involve the local community as much as possible," says Pontus Westerberg, who leads the project from Nairobi, Kenya. "When you have public meetings, what tends to happen is that you get older people. They have the time, the interest and experience. It's very difficult to get young people to come to meetings and speak up."

Read more about the initiative here.