City Player – Neighborhood-Scale Citizen Engagement
Chris Gibbs, Ursula Eicker
What if anyone could freely download their digital neighborhood, play out different future scenarios and see the effects on environmental sustainability & livability ? And what if they could tell you what they actually wanted, didn't want, and why? What if everyone in your community was doing this, exchanging ideas with each other ?
A team at Concordia’s Next Generation Cities Institute has recently created a playable prototype of this vision. It’s called City Player and is aimed at using gamification techniques to engage the attention of citizens, collecting rich information from them about their desires for their own neighborhood, and then providing that to urban planners and other stakeholders who are planning future developments in that area.
The next steps are to go beyond this initial prototype and create a pilot project that can be deployed at the end of 2025. Concordia is partnering with ARTM (Autorité Régionale de Transport Métropolitain) and OCPM (Office de Consultation Publique de Montreal) to do this, focusing on neighborhoods and use-cases that are important to the city of Montreal.
The webinar will begin with a look at Concordia’s research work on creating digital twins, given by Prof. Ursula Eicker. Then Chris Gibbs will give a demo of the City Player prototype, followed by a deep-dive on how it has been built, and explaining the next steps involved in making the pilot project.
Collecting bottom-up feedback has never been this fun!
Chris Gibbs graduated in 1988 and co-founded a video-game development studio, Attention To Detail, creating games for publishers around the world. Over the course of 15 years the studio grew to 100+ employees and released games across all genres and on all platforms. Chris mix of programming, art and design skills helped drive the success of ATD.
In 2013 Chris joined Electronic Arts, the largest games company at that time, to run their Manchester Studio. Over a 10-year period Chris was responsible for studios in London, Bucharest and Hyderabad, with a major focus on mobile gaming, all the while honing a deep understanding of designing software with the end-user at the heart of the process.
In 2016 Chris developed and released his own mobile game, Smart Numbers, which Apple promoted as App of the Week and continued supporting this until 2019.
In April 2021 Chris joined Concordia University, heading up their ‘gamification’ project – essentially to make ‘Sim City with Real Science’ to help urban planners make smarter decisions.
Chris also plays saxophone for fun, regularly gigging at venues around Montreal with the Caleb Collective.
Prof. Dr. Ursula Eicker is the Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Smart, Sustainable and Resilient Communities and Cities and Founder of the Next-Generation Cities Institute at Concordia University in Montréal.
Prof. Eicker’s research interest focuses on zero emission urban transformation. She is working on multiple eco-district projects and is building an urban modeling and data platform to assess urban decarbonization strategies. Her team develops digital twins with gamification and 3D web interfaces to engage users. She has published 7 books, 24 book contributions, over 130 Peer-Reviewed Papers and more than 330 Conference Papers.