Mersin CityLab
a collaborative planning space
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Mersin CityLab

Inclusive Urban Visions through City Gaming

Mersin CityLab aims to become an informal and collaborative planning space of diverse organizations and individuals. The project addresses two urgent aspects within current urban planning agenda: firstly, it aims to create long-term cultural change towards collaborative decision making in city planning. An open dialogue among stakeholders will be facilitated for constant exchange of information, learning and negotiation. Secondly, the Citylab proposes to focus on circular systems thinking as an alternative to the current short-term approach in urban transformation.

Initiating Partners

The Faculty of Architecture at the University of Mersin and Amsterdam-based City Gaming practice Play the City are joining forces to work on capacity building for the collaborative land use planning of a prehistoric site currently inhabited by a largely migrant population. Mersin CityLab will be founded as an infrastructure to facilitate stakeholder collaboration in collaboration with Greater Mersin Municipality, Toroslar and other sub-municipalities.

To do so, Play the City is busy developing a city gaming as a backbone of the Mersin Citylab up that will bring local and international professionals, social scientists, citizen groups and the local governments together. Game sessions focusing on circular economy, energy transition, climate adaptation and social cohesion will bring knowledge, ideas and plans of those interested together to draw circular  future development visions. This process will be orchestrated in relation to the legal planning processes taking place in Mersin.

Parallel to this process, Mersin University has launched a design studio offered to 30 final grade students who will contribute with new knowledge to the process. This project set-up is meant to exercise a public debate and knowledge-sharing process that involves a full range of parties - from academics to private developers, and from local politicians and NGO's to cultural organizations and the professional planning office of the local governments.

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