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Articles | Volume 1
15 Jul 2019
 | 15 Jul 2019

Coupling a collaborative digital map and a dashboard: an optimal starting point for urban project learning in engineer training? The case of the serious game “Urb’Act”

Nathalie Molines and Carine Henriot

Keywords: urban project, serious game, Tatin Table, collaborative planning, innovative pedagogy

Abstract. As highlighted by Bacquet and Gauthier (2011), the shift from government of cities to urban governance “results in much greater variety of project scales, stakeholders and forms of public-private partnership. For the last two decades, it has contributed to fundamentally transforming the work of urban planners.” The foundations of this multi-stakeholder construction of urban projects must be addressed in the training of future city planners. But this training is difficult as part of a traditional education as it has to lead students to become aware of the multitude of direct, indirect and induced effects of involving multiple stakeholders with sometimes contradictory needs.

Games, be they or not serious, digital or cooperative, have often been used in urban planning projects (Poplin, 2011) and their learning benefits are widely recognized (Cohard P. 2015; GEE JP 2003). Fun, more or less complex learning materials have been developed to address the complexity of the decision-making process in urban planning (Cools 2014; Vilmin 2018; etc.)

As part of the “Urb’Act” project, selected in Sorbonne Université’s FORMINNOV call for projects, we have sought to draw on the potential offered by digital tools and touchscreen technologies to develop innovative teaching materials. To begin with, the game seeks to raise generalist urban engineers’ awareness of the complexity of urban projects.

Urb’Act thus aims to help non-specialists to understand the interactions between the various stakeholders of an urban project. As a key aspect of an inverted pedagogy, Urb’Act also introduces notions of the construction of an overall plan, balancing of a budget and the sustainability of projects (Molines N. et al., 2018).

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