The City Experiment Fund. Should we play with it?

Our old friends and clients at UNDP are zeroing in on cities. I agree: they are where a lot of action is right now. Recognizing the need for bold, “catalytic” investment, they are moving to support initiatives in areas like well-being, new types of infrastructure and the commons. We even had a small part to play in how they defined their priorities, back in November at the Istanbul Innovation Days.

Does anyone want to propose some initiative? @hugi? @matteo_uguzzoni? @winnieponcelet?


I’m interested. I’m thinking this is up the alley of @jakobskote and @brooks. Interestingly, this is also up the alley of my friends over at Burning Man. My friend Steven Raspa from the Burning Man organisation has been invited numerous times to talk about urban development from the perspective of Black Rock City – a city that disappears every year. There might definitely be an opportunity here.

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Ok, so maybe have a look and then see if we have an idea and the capacity to look into it?

Will do. Will talk to @brooks about it next week when I’m back in Stockholm. I have also reached out to our friend in Copenhagen who does research on experimental urban design.

Thanks @alberto!
One of the goal of Trust in Play is bring back trust between citizen through playful activities in cities and public space, so reading the Medium article I feel that we are in line with at least one of their points (2. Well being and 3.Arts, Science and Power).

The idea of the School is to design games that can have an impact in urban space, it will be amazing to have UNDP as potential stakeholder.

I didn’t get what’s the best way to get involved, maybe is because the second link of their text is not immediately accessible.

@natalia_skoczylas and @noemi what do you think?

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Only had a quick look, but from a development perspective my hunch is urban games will be applied to one of the challenges, so it will be a sexy add on we would propose on top of something more hard core I. E. organising games for a next gen of citizen scientists - remember the water testing we did as part of the game in Brussels? Imagine that in a more controlled environment, with prior preps and multiplied etc. So I would use games as learning and dissemination component of something bigger…


Yes this is one way: games are very useful for dissemination and community consolidation.

But it could also happen that, if we have the right team, they can create something similar to CriticalCity Upload o Basilicata Border Games, using IoT system or other networks, in that case, is the game itself that create a community around a theme and can explore it creatively.

There are 2 big difference between the two ways:

  1. budget, the first is one design / one shot, the second is based on time i.e. people working on it.
  2. the first is a game where space and time are limited, the second is a pervasive game ie a community that needs what community needs, energy, management, care etc…

And I agree, for my previous experiences, that the second needs a more robust and committed involvement, design and budget wise.

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I think we are both talking about the second option, its just that my hunch is that in this program it will be stronger to build the community around a hard core topic and the game as a key component to it, but not the only one. Which makes it live dissemination, as the project is ongoing. or something :slight_smile:

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Sounds good, we could also invite some of the solarpunk/cancel the apocalypse guys from re:Publica last year: 
and make some sort of artistic and activist blend of ideas on post-postapocalyptic visions of the future, sustainable and inclusive cities with new kinds of aesthetics, and a game as a learning methodology.

Dense networks concept we developed with @hugi Hugi and @matteo_uguzzoni for WB could be a match…


@alberto should we have a meeting to discuss an application? Is there a call out?

I would like to involve @Val.Muresan and the Timisoara crowd.

@brooks and I are talking about this on Monday.

I think the opening of the call is imminent (see), but anyway the blog post ends with an invitation to email some people (including Millie).

Sure, happy to be in a call.

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This sounds super engaging and I’d love be part, but I have to admit I’m far out of my depth. The more I think about especially about climate change and cityscape, the more I think that there are no low-hanging fruits to be plucked here and that cities are already so optimized that changing anything for the better requires serious effort.

Also, being new to the Edgeryders ecology, I’d be interested to see what projects in this field that have already been done and how you see the strengths of Edgeryders playing into this?


If you ask me, I would say there is no “Edgeryders” specifically. This is a call that might fit into different ideas of different people within Edgeryders, from Matteo’s urban games to Matthias’s carbon-negative city block. So, the way it would work is: someone decides they want to do this; others might hopefully help him or her; and Edgeryders can provide company plumbing (incorporation, statute, bank account, filed accounts…) if applying as an individual does not work.