Engaging civic conversation in playable cities

Dr. Troy Innocent (RMIT)
2019 Conference

Urban play has changed our relationship with the city. Playable Cities Now have the opportunity to make the city itself a platform for play through radical interventions into the democratic use of data, and the creation of social frameworks that connect people, place, technology and code.

Playable cities can lead to civic conversations that are democratic and inclusive – and that connect people in that conversation across different layers of the city, reimagining what it was, what it is now, and what it could be. Melbourne is already a playful city, what would happen if it became playable? The Playable City Melbourne conversation talks to its multi-layered identity – as a creative city, technological city, a diverse and multicultural city, a liveable city that is growing fast. It looks at what playable cities are now in response to our particular social, cultural and environmental context.

How does this connect to broader discussion on the impact and engagement of the cultural value of games and play? What are the opportunities for artist gamemakers situating play in public space? What topics are relevant now in civic conversations?

Playable City Melbourne proposes a framework for a critical reimagination of the city that seeks to address three themes: expanding our ways of being in urban environments; First Peoples connection to place, and more than human infrastructure. These themes will be explored through their expression in urban play, impact and engagement on the lived experience of cities.

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About the author


Dr Troy Innocent is an artist, academic, designer, coder and educator. His public art practice combines street art, game development, augmented reality, and urban design. As a recent Melbourne Knowledge Fellow, Innocent developed the framework for Playable City Melbourne, a three-year project in which Melbourne is transformed into a playable city through an inventive blend of live art, game design and public art. Innocent is Senior Research Fellow at RMIT University, where he continues his research into ‘urban codemaking’, a design process for situating play in cities, he has developed urban games in Melbourne, Bristol, Barcelona, Istanbul, Ogaki, Sydney and Hong Kong.