Skip to main content

UN-Habitat uses Minecraft to co-design 300 public spaces with local citizens

by Futures Centre, Apr 28
2 minutes read

UN-habitat, the UN agency that promotes sustainable cities and towns, is using the popular game Minecraft to involve local citizens in the design of public urban spaces such as playgrounds, parks, marketplaces and squares.



The UN partnership with Mojang (the makers of Minecraft) is called “Block by block” and is being used to upgrade 300 public spaces around the world from 2012 – 2016, in cities such as Nairobi, Kathmandu, Mogadishu and Mumbai. Local people and children who use the spaces are invited to ‘walk around’ and discuss the proposed designs in Minecraft, and then make changes. Sometimes Minecraft competitions are also used to draw out more ideas from the community. Minecraft has turned out to be an ideal facilitation tool for this process due to the ease with which the physical world can be modelled in it.


Once agreed upon, the co-designed plans are implemented to create high quality, inclusive public spaces that can be maintained in the long term.


The targeted public spaces are typically in deprived areas, such as a current project in a slum area of Les Cayes, Haiti. In this case the aim is to upgrade a waterfront currently used as a dumping ground and latrine, and transform it into a public walkway for all the citizens of Les Cayes.


  • Other Tags:
by Futures Centre Spotted 1994 signals

Have you spotted a signal of change?

Register to receive the latest from the Futures Centre.
Sign up

  • 0
  • Share

Related signals

Our use of cookies

We use necessary cookies to make our site work. We'd also like to set optional analytics cookies to help us improve it. We won't set optional cookies unless you enable them. Using this tool will set a cookie on your device to remember your preferences.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our Cookies page.

Necessary cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

Analytics cookies

We'd like to set Google Analytics cookies to help us to improve our website by collecting and reporting information on how you use it. The cookies collect information in a way that does not directly identify anyone. For more information on how these cookies work, please see our 'Cookies page'.