Lumina Foresta – carried out by IAAC in Barcelona on March 12, 2021. Image and text courtesy of @publicplayspace via Instagram


Details courtesy of


14 – 15 JULY 2021 // ONLINE


Public Spaces play a key role in urban systems, by both acting as physical manifestations of societal relations and imaginary, as well as structural nodes that contribute to the resilience and functionality of cities. The COVID crisis itself has underlined this, calling for public spaces to quickly adapt and embed novel behavioral and utilization patterns in order to address the changing needs of communities.

The importance of societal engagement in the process of design and implementation of the public built environment is widely acknowledged by policymakers and the scientific community. Over the past decades, there has been a surge of participatory and co-design processes worldwide including placemaking practices, calls for action, or co-design initiatives.

During the last decades, policymakers and city managers have started to use digital technologies as means to further engage citizens in the decision-making process. For instance, these activities can be supported by digital platforms which include features like polls for decision making, forums allowing interaction and discussion, or visualizations and animations in order to ease the communication of complex concepts. The concept of Gamification is also gaining importance; it is intended as a strategy to thoughtfully make these processes fun by applying game elements to real-world activities. The objective of this addition is to trigger more appealing and engaging participatory practices, as well as incentivizing active and consistent behavior of the participants. Games are in fact demonstrated to have a motivational effect on their users, consequently increasing their level of participation. Some of the dynamics applied include rules, competition, outcomes, conflict, and other gameful or playful elements.

When applied to participatory practices for co-design in Public Space environments, gamification and responsive digital technologies, such as Virtual and Augmented Reality or Digital Interfaces, can become powerful tools to tackle the limitations of conventional methodologies. This contributes to widening the audience, ensuring the inclusivity of proposals, as well as to increasing the accessibility of design activities to non-expert citizens, empowering them as agents of transformation of the public realm.

The combination of Responsive Digital Technologies and Gamification Strategies can also empower designers with a wide range of applications. These include stimulating citizen reflection and civic learning; generating interaction and resolving conflicts between citizens with contrasting views; promoting values such as sustainability, coexistence, and circular economy thanks to the purposeful use of objectives, challenges, and tokens; simulating the impact of different design solutions; and generating awareness and informed decisions thanks to data visualization and indicators.

The Public Play Space Symposium is organized in the framework of the Public Play Space (PPS) project, co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, aiming at exploring innovative and creative practices for the co-design of inclusive, cohesive and sustainable public spaces, through the use of games and digital technologies.


The objective of the Public Play Space Symposium is to investigate how Gamification strategies and Responsive Digital Technologies can foster and enable the implementation of Co-Creation and Co-Design processes in and for Public Space.

-The symposium is organized around the following topic sessions:

-Gamification and Serious Games for the co-design of Public Space;

-Responsive Technologies for the co-design of Public Space;

-Interactive and Community-based Strategies for the co-design of Public Space

To learn more visit their site:
Courtesy of Public Play Space
PUBLIC PLAY SPACE (PPS) is a project co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union and developed by IAAC, BUas and CLAC. It promotes innovative and creative practices for the co-design of inclusive, cohesive and sustainable public spaces, through the use of games and digital technologies, in a transnational and European perspective, fostering the process of placemaking.
Katherine Guimapang

Katherine Guimapang

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