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Urban Design Compendium

Case Study 112 - Playing games to identify growth areas

112 - The Ashford Game

As part of the community engagement process in Ashford, a board game was developed to help the local community and key stakeholders test a range of scenarios against the vision. Using an aerial photograph of the town and development tiles, the game allows stakeholders to make strategic choices about the density and location of future development and to identify the consequences this would have for place-making and sustaining local services. Key considerations are where development should be, what form it should take and what the implications are. The main output of this process was to determine an agreed set of objectives for the sustainable growth of Ashford.

Players worked together to place tiles representing 25 ha of different development types: residential neighbourhood, living quarter, town centre, office precinct, industrial estate, regional parks, lakes and reservoirs.

The game requires good facilitation to ensure all issues are understood, weighed appropriately and considered when making key decisions. It also enables the game to be focused on specific issues such as infrastructure, facility as appropriate. The simplicity of the game has enabled it to also be used as a training tool on master planning with a variety of audiences, from central government economists, local government bodies and development staff.

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UDC2 Section - Sowing the Seedg the Seed  

Playing the Ashford Game assisted the local community and stakeholders to make strategic choices about the density and location of development.

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