The recent 10th Urban Social Forum, organised by Kota Kita on December 9-10, 2023, provided an engaging platform for urban enthusiasts and organisations.
With 917 registered participants, the forum, held in different venues across Solo city in Central Java province, Indonesia, aimed to foster discussions on various urban issues.
One of many interesting events was the board games session on the second day, December 10, 2023, which featured a board game titled "How Climate Resilient & Inclusive Is Your City?". This interactive board game, developed by UCLG ASPAC under the European Union-funded Climate Resilient and Inclusive Cities (CRIC) project, captivated participants with its unique approach to tackling urban resilience.
Developed in 2019, this interactive game was designed to enable and empower local authorities to ideate, explore, and optimise their plans for creating climate-resilient cities. Mahawira Singh Dillon, the game creator and facilitator, excellently guided participants through the game, facilitating insightful discussions and encouraging creative exploration of climate resilience and inclusivity in urban planning. Mahawira has also developed other games for participants, such as "Coralico" in collaboration with the Coral Triangle Center and "Emisi" in partnership with WWF.
The game received a positive reception and keen interest from participants, primarily urban enthusiasts and organisations from across Indonesia, regarding the interactivity of the game, with all 20-seated areas for board games fully occupied. It offered a unique and enjoyable way to introduce and engage individuals in discussions about urban resilience, adapting and mitigating climate change.
The success of the board game session highlighted the transformative power and effectiveness of gamification in promoting understanding and dialogue around critical urban issues. The game offers an alternative form of discussion in non-formal settings that can be useful for local authorities and many other enthusiasts in engaging and introducing the concept of urban resilience to the public.
Finally, besides engaging a group of adult audiences, the board game also sparked attention among young people passionate about urban issues, offering them a fun and unique platform to explore climate adaptation and mitigation through the lens of city planning. Simultaneously, the board game is also a catalyst for their heightened awareness of what makes resilient cities, helping them rethink the concept from various perspectives such as policy, infrastructure, environment, and social factors.
From a player’s perspective, they deliberated on policy and programme options for a city, weighted their costs and benefits, and explored whether programmes and actions are part of climate mitigation or adaptation. Therefore, knowledge from playing the board game broadens their perspective as proactive young urbanists of the critical points needed for a thriving, sustainable urban environment. It empowers them to become informed advocates and agents of change in building a more resilient future for all.
Written by: (Lead Author) Mahessa Bagus Ardika - Knowledge Management and Communications Assistant at UCLG ASPAC and (Contributor) Kesuma Yanti - CRIC Project Field Officer for Kalimantan Region