‘Playable City’ introduces new smart city concept

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playable cityUK-based creative media studio Watershed has introduced the concept of a “playable city”, where resident and visitors in a digital space can engage with the city and its creative and cultural future. The initiative if based on the idea that a future city should not just be smart and efficient, but fun to live in. While driverless vehicles and smart meters remain the focus of those future metropolises, Watershed said it wanted to explore how a smart city could be interactive, playful and, most importantly, how it could bring communities together.

The “street game” has been launched in Bristol, UK, last year and has now also been brought to the Brazilian town of Recife. Teams there have been free to collaborate and play with the city landscape. Some of the outcomes still verged very much on the practical side. For instance, Fun Garbage is a system where motion sensors pick up where you place your waste in the dump and congratulate you on choosing the right spot with an audio announcement. Aquatic Pathways, meanwhile, encourages the public to travel along the Rio Capibaribe through interactive lighting on the painted boats that traverse it.

“Finally, cities will be looked at in a new light,” Francisco Saboya from Porto Digital, the technology park where the R&D lab took place, said according to Wired. “Engineers, architects, planners, economists and politicians have visions of our 21st century cities, which are often focused on and limited by surveillance, efficiency and order. Cities that rock are playable cities that enable meaningful experiences, interaction and serendipity,” he added.

Watershed said that “Playable City” is a new term, imagined as a counterpoint to a “Smart City”. A Playable City is a city where people, hospitality and openness are key, enabling its residents and visitors to reconfigure and rewrite its services, places and stories. “It is a place where serendipity is rife and there is permission to be playful in public,” the company said.

The programme also includes bespoke sessions for participating creative producers. Facilitated by established practitioners from interdisciplinary research and practice, these discussions will cover different aspects of creative technology production such as developing an idea, project management, making a sustainable business, IP and pitching to clients and funders.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

UK-based creative media studio Watershed has introduced the concept of a “playable city”, where resident and visitors in a digital space can engage with the city and its creative and cultural future. The initiative if based on the idea that a future city should not just be smart and efficient, but fun to live in. While driverless vehicles and smart meters remain the focus of those future metropolises, Watershed said it wanted to explore how a smart city could be interactive, playful and, most importantly, how it could bring communities together.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

playable cityUK-based creative media studio Watershed has introduced the concept of a “playable city”, where resident and visitors in a digital space can engage with the city and its creative and cultural future. The initiative if based on the idea that a future city should not just be smart and efficient, but fun to live in. While driverless vehicles and smart meters remain the focus of those future metropolises, Watershed said it wanted to explore how a smart city could be interactive, playful and, most importantly, how it could bring communities together.

The “street game” has been launched in Bristol, UK, last year and has now also been brought to the Brazilian town of Recife. Teams there have been free to collaborate and play with the city landscape. Some of the outcomes still verged very much on the practical side. For instance, Fun Garbage is a system where motion sensors pick up where you place your waste in the dump and congratulate you on choosing the right spot with an audio announcement. Aquatic Pathways, meanwhile, encourages the public to travel along the Rio Capibaribe through interactive lighting on the painted boats that traverse it.

“Finally, cities will be looked at in a new light,” Francisco Saboya from Porto Digital, the technology park where the R&D lab took place, said according to Wired. “Engineers, architects, planners, economists and politicians have visions of our 21st century cities, which are often focused on and limited by surveillance, efficiency and order. Cities that rock are playable cities that enable meaningful experiences, interaction and serendipity,” he added.

Watershed said that “Playable City” is a new term, imagined as a counterpoint to a “Smart City”. A Playable City is a city where people, hospitality and openness are key, enabling its residents and visitors to reconfigure and rewrite its services, places and stories. “It is a place where serendipity is rife and there is permission to be playful in public,” the company said.

The programme also includes bespoke sessions for participating creative producers. Facilitated by established practitioners from interdisciplinary research and practice, these discussions will cover different aspects of creative technology production such as developing an idea, project management, making a sustainable business, IP and pitching to clients and funders.

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