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Education Games for Cities

Learn to develop serious game for spatial and social challenges

Urban renewal, climate adaptation implementation plans, consultation on redevelopment of inner-city locations and more. In this training, you learn to develop serious games for spatial and social issues. On the basis of theory, various game methods and practical examples, you develop step by step all the competences you need to get started yourself.


You work with a completely new theoretical framework for spatial and social issues that demand collective solutions. Together with your fellow attendants, you exchange professional experiences and practical examples, and you develop skills for designing serious games. You get access to the unique knowledge developed by Games for Cities such as existing gaming methods, their applicability and concrete results. You conclude the training with the development of a game [supported by experienced game experts] and a personal conversation. You will receive a certificate upon completion.

Play the City is the leading company and the intellectual force behind the Games for Cities Training.  Founder Dr. Ekim Tan is the author of several books and scientific articles. Txell Blanco is an experienced architect and often works with communities. Blanco has been working with Play the City for over seven years. Over the past ten years, PtC teams have developed more than 50 serious games in the Netherlands and abroad. Successful international applications are Affordable Housing Game developed in collaboration with the Urban Land Institute and applied in cities Dublin, Amsterdam and Almere,  Climate Game for the Metropolitan Municipality of Istanbul, Municipality of Amsterdam and for the Municipality of Goeree-Overflakkee and Play Khayelitsha for the City of Cape Town.


The Games for Cities program is suitable for professionals who are involved in spatial and social issues in which participation plays an increasingly important role. These are, for example, policy advisers, strategists, urban planners, environmental managers, architects and communication advisers at the government, utility parties or developers.


The training sessions take place once a week at Mediamatic, Amsterdam and include lunch. Training groups consist of a minimum of 7 participants. The training can be booked for a unique package of training components. Please send an email to for bookings.


  • Self-organization theory, games and spatial tasks

  • (Self-organization and the City by Juval Portugali, New Theory of Urban Design by Christopher Alexander)

  • What is the Play the City method and how does it work exactly?

  • Evolution of the method from a tabletop physical game to Network of Games*

  • Applicability and concrete results

  • Digital, hybrid or physical: which game interfaces are relevant for which tasks and target groups

  • Test game

  • Group reflections

  • Guest speaker with serious game experience


Mrs. Dr Ekim Tan

Architect, urban planner and PhD Game Designer

“Born in Istanbul, I moved to the Netherlands after working and studying in the United States, Syria and Egypt. Trained as an architect, my growing interest and passion for cities and games led to a PhD at Delft University of Technology "Negotiation and Design for the Self-organizing City: Gaming as a Method for Urban Design".

In 2008 I founded Play the City, in Amsterdam and Istanbul, which helps governments and market parties to collaborate effectively with stakeholders. Since developing the City Gaming method during my PhD research at TU Delft, it has been applied in projects worldwide, including in Istanbul, Amsterdam, Dublin, Shenzhen, Tirana, Cape Town and Brussels.”

Mrs. Txell Blanco

Architect and Game Designer

“I am from Barcelona and have completed my bachelor's degree in interior design at the Escola Massana. In 2005, I moved to the Netherlands. At the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture, I obtained my Master of Architecture with 'cum laude' degree on a project for the market square in Leidsche Reijn, Utrecht. This project grew out of starting a collective of active neighbors and artists called 'The Outsiders' in 2013. We create dynamic public spaces and engage citizens to take an active role in exploring the identity of their territory, with a focus on culture, food and the physical environment.

My role at Play the City is to lead design teams. Games I've led deal with themes such as circular economy, social change, alternative food chains, migration and affordable housing. I am inspired by Play the City's ability to bring multiple stakeholders towards a common goal.”

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