Block’hood: A Video Game For Budding Urban Planners

  • June 15th, 2016

Calling all aspiring urban planners. There’s a new video game on the block. Quite literally. It’s called Block’hood – and it challenges you to create a functioning community on just one city block.

Similar to games such as SimCity and Cities: Skyline, the game allows you to experiment with constructing virtual environments. But the goal in Block’hood isn’t to build an entire city. In fact you only have one city block to build on. And because land quickly runs out the only way is up, with the constraints and scale forcing you to place single structures with a more urban perspective. 

Just like the real world, resources are not infinite and, as your Block’hood gets bigger, the resource network becomes more complex. Every rooftop garden, apartment, or solar panel you install in your Block’hood depends on existing resources. But beware – it’s a temperamental balancing act. If too much pollution from your neighbourhood kills your rooftop garden, for example, you might not have enough food to feed your children.

The developers also hope their game will get people thinking about the delicate balance of resources and services necessary to create an ecologically and socially sustainable city. The game certainly taps into our desire to build with blocks, and challenges us to think creatively about building in a dense, urban environment. An efficient design is rewarded with increased resource output so you are constantly trying different options, partnerships and relationships.