Young people currently have few ways to express their ideas about urban planning and design, other than the more conventional methods available to citizens generally (which are typically not designed with young people in mind). They are key stakeholders, but have no real 'voice'. By using a platform they are familiar with, we can capture their imagination and creativity.
Minecraft enables collaboration across cities, between countries and regions. It provides a 'visual language' that can be used by young people to communicate and collaborate irrespective of nationality or native language. The potential for young people to learn not only from the process - but from their peers in other countries - presents a significant opportunity for knowledge exchange.
City authorities and their stakeholders are typically keen to engage with young people (often an under-represented audience), but lack the methods to do so in a meaningful way. The gaming programme offers a solution that is cost-effective, replicate and applicable to many other projects and contexts related to urban design.
Being able to create interactive case studies of young people's ideas - virtual worlds that people can 'visit' and explore - and when ready, share them globally with the Minecraft community (>140 million users per month!), offers tremendous potential for impact.