Urban Renewal

Urban Renewal: The Board Game

An art project imagines city planning as a game.

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Sounds intriguing:

The artist is Canadian, so let's pretend it says "Confederal Bulldozer."

In the game, players can assume one of the following roles: City Councilor, Developer, Community Activist, City Planning Employee, Man-On-The-Street, Academic Urban Theorist, Resident of Existing Development to be Demolished, Mayor, Random Federal Politician, Skyscraper Enthusiast, or Garbage Man. They take turns spinning the 'Decision Engine Wheel' which gives them license to place various types of development (condominium, office, commercial, park, etc.) on the board. Sometimes, players are given the option to bulldoze development, in which case they can use the 'Tabula Rasa Rake' to sweep any amount of placed development from the board. As all of this happens, the city evolves.

The most interesting part of this game might be the bulldoze option, as this simulates many actual urban renewal schemes of the 1950's and 60's.

You can read the rules in this pdf. My favorite part: "Buildings accidentally knocked out of place by the demolition must be removed from the board." Or maybe this: "Players can add variety and enliven game play by introducing new Buildings to signify world-class architecture by international world-class architects. Suggestions for Buildings: bottle caps, pebbles, dried pasta, crystals, small candies."

Looks like it's just an art project, not a commercially available game. Too bad. I want to play it.

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