So, SimCity BuildIt has been around since 2014, but I just recently started playing it (because my Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes crashed for a week due to an update), and I’ve been wanting to post some thoughts about the gameplay, because there are just so many urban planning lessons one can learn in playing the game.
When you play the game, you become the mayor of your own city. Mayors are, in essence, the urban managers of localities, so it’s up to you to decide on major urban issues: Your city framework (street patterns), locating buildings (this reflects zoning), and prioritizinginvestments (implementation using available budgets). Your Simoleons (citizens) look up to you as a mayor.
This writeup has been in my mind for a long time–many people casually use the phrase “resilient cities,” and just use it for marketing projects, creating events, and so on, without really understanding the many aspects that comprise how a city really becomes resilient. There are two main things that we have to consider: Citizens as a people, and systems in a city, and both are complex in growing urban settings, with a number of layers and perspectives to know about. Read the full article here.
I included some learnings in my writeup, which I also recommend readers to look up and study:
What we go through everyday affects us. If it’s the daily routine into a chaotic urban jungle, complete with the recipe of traffic, road rage, pollution, and the works, we pile on the stress. If it’s a five-minute walk to where we need to go, green parks, and familiar people (the sense of a community), and safe spaces for our loved ones, then it’s a good, pleasant neighbourhood and life that we have.
Here’s a late post of something I wrote on public, open spaces a few weeks back.
These spaces are very important in achieving sustainable cities because of how they improve (or otherwise degrade) the quality of life for citizens. Cities in developing countries, like cities here in Metro Manila, need to revisit the revitalization of these spaces.
This is my fifth Youngblood column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Thank you to the editors for letting me voice out what I believe is crucial in the recovery and rehabilitation of Marawi City. It’s not always about infrastructure, and the built-up environment. There are issues that require us to remove our biases and require fuller, sincere understanding of conflict to strategically address root problems.
I’m thrilled to share how on my birthday, the Inquirer actually published my article on a full page spread.
Channeling my inner Kevin Lynch, I wrote about the 32 public images and city elements in Metro Manila. Lynch wrote the book Image of the City, and told us the value of identity and legibility (or coherence) of places, and these are valuable lessons to urban design.
Conversations with civic leaders also taught me how a good understanding about these images can help in engaging communities to work on the livability of their cities, and in an entirety, a metropolitan.
One of the biggest gaps we have to address in urban management is that many countries, particularly developing ones, conduct a top-down process of planning. While there are methods that try to be inclusive, implementation and practice still tend to exclude civic participation.
I wrote this article to reverse that top-down thinking, encouraging citizens to take action about their cities. These are 10 simple, not-too-expensive ways to improve our home towns.