PLAYtheBLOX: Re-Imagine Downtown Vancouver

Posted by on Oct 1, 2015 in projects


The Vancouver Design Nerds are excited to have presented the second installment of our urban design game PLAYtheBLOX this past week at an event hosted by Re-Imagine Downtown Vancouver at SFU Woodward’s. First unveiled this Summer in conjunction with Strathcona BIA’s Meet the Maker’s Expo, PLAYtheBLOX was designed and developed by long-time nerds Mitra Mansour and Sarah Hay as a participatory design and civic engagement tool, to foster dialogue and generate tangible ideas pertaining to development of changing neighbourhoods. For this event, the game’s map was custom-made for a region within Downtown Vancouver BIA’s 90-block area: a stretch of Seymour Street, between Robson & W Cordova.



Participants were challenged to re-design what the designated space could look like 25 years in the future. Beginning by identifying aspects of the blocks they currently love or felt strong emotions for, gamers worked to amplify positive attributes, and refine the rougher areas using principles of placemaking. Forming key partnerships proved vital in redevelopment efforts, working towards six strategic categories:

1. Getting Around
2. Fun and Entertainment
3. Community Experience/Gathering Places
4. Work and Business/Creating Jobs
5. Look and Feel
6. Other ( Affordable Housing, Training and Education, Symbiotic Innovation)











How will this information be used moving forward?

Everything we learn through this process will be collected, studied and synthesized, to help shape a compelling narrative for the future of downtown Vancouver. This will inform the ongoing advocacy work of the Downtown Vancouver BIA, and highlight ideas that can be implemented by governments, other organizations, and individuals with a passion for downtown Vancouver.






A huge thank you to our partners in this event: SFU Public Square, Downtown Vancouver BIA, Re-Imagine Downtown Vancouver, our venue SFU Woodward’s, all our volunteers, and the participants for their amazing ideas and enthusiasm!

– The Vancouver Design Nerd Team


If you would like to still participate and have your voice heard, you can fill out Re-Imagine Downtown Vancouver’s survey here.

More pictures of the event can be found on Vancouver Design Nerd’s flickr page, and keep up with the latest PLAYtheBLOX news by liking and following the game’s Facebook page.


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