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Omgevingswet Game


Training Dutch spatial planning professionals for the new Dutch Environment and Planning Act


The Netherlands

Partners: City of Katwijk and Province of South Holland

10 Sessions with 200 Participants

Seen as the largest legislative operation in history, Omgevingswet is expected to take effect in 2021. There are ongoing experiments and pilots working towards this change that will combine and simplify the regulations for spatial projects. For example, the construction of housing on former business parks, or the building of wind farms. The new Omgevingswet requires engaged parties collaborate from early stages of the development process. Adopting a collaborative attitude concern all city development actors.

These fundamental changes put serious games into the spotlight as a working method. New games emerge addressing the new Omgevingswet: card games creating relevant debates for stakeholders, supercomputers calculating and visualising plans digitally for decision-makers, board games informing players about upcoming legal changes, low threshold smartphone games for citizens building imaginary neighbourhood collectively… Play the City, a forerunner in city gaming, has been advocating games as multi-stakeholder and data-driven environments to share and create new knowledge for urban development. We expect that the trend of games simulating spatial, legislative and attitude changes in planning cities will only increase and diversify in coming years.

Throughout 2018, our team has been working on a new multiplayer tabletop game to prepare Dutch spatial planning professionals for the Omgevingswet. The game, designed for training purposes, is planned to run more than 100 times reaching to local and provincial governments, large developers and investors interested in organisational across the country. A generic fictional Dutch city is visualised on a 2x4 meter board. Stakeholders gather around the game table to negotiate a final ‘Ontwerp Omgevingsplan’ including the provincial and local government, private developers, businesses, citizen groups, GGD, safety services, energy and water bodies. A system of decisions from general rules, reporting obligation to permit obligation helps participants proceed in shared choices. Event cards, 3d printed building, energy and mobility units make discussions tangible.

City Game Sessions for your Omgevingsplan

Having invested in the intricate details of the Omgevingswet, our team realizes the potential demand for helping multiple stakeholders communicate around omgevingsvisie/plans and initiatives of private actors. The tailored city gaming approach of the Play the City is geared to support public and private initiatives who will need tangible and meaningful exchanges starting at the beginning phase of their 'omgevingplans'.

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