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Urban Planning Takes Snarky Spin

Friday, October 3, 2014

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What are S&M clowns, Brad Pitt, man caves, Asian boys on bicycles, and all-nude rooftop decks all doing in an urban planning exercise?

Livening it up, for one thing.

Pitt et al. are among the community design options served up in "Cards Against Urbanity: The Card Game for Horrible Places."


When GreaterPlaces: The Community for Urban Design isn't playing cards, its planners and architects are focusing on urban and community design.

"Urbanity" is a less-raunchy-but-still-politically-incorrect takeoff on the super-snarky Cards Against Humanity, the popular "adult" spin on the family game Apples to Apples.

Like Apples and Humanity, Urbanity has question cards and answer cards—but these involve cities and neighborhoods.

Each player has a hand full of cards containing random phrases (enter Pitt and the clowns). One player (the mayor) reads a question, and players choose a response from their hand that they think will win the mayor's favor.

Or, as the game's Kickstarter campaign says, "It's just like how real city planning happens!"

Urbanity hails from the tech startup GreaterPlaces.com and DoTankDC, a group of "professional planners and architects who believe everyone can positive shape the places they live—and have fun at the same time," the site says.

Cards Against Urbanity
Cards Against Urbanity / Kickstarter

In fact, the game reflects GreaterPlaces' philosophy of community design: that "everyone should come inspired and equipped with great ideas and solutions for the shared spaces in our communities."

In other words, nude rooftop decks? Why not?

Urbanity's Kickstarter campaign started Sept. 14 and, by early Thursday (Oct. 2), had raised about $15,000—double its goal.

Ready to play? Here are a few demo hands.

My city's latest economic plan includes:

  • Brad Pitt pretending to be an architect
  • Hot hipsters
  • The word "vibrant"
  • All-nude rooftop deck

The city council recently banned:

  • The word "vibrant"
  • Man caves
  • The semi-creative class

The High School is making ______ into a musical:

  • Asian boys on bicycles
  • Peak beard
  • Blue-haired amateur historian

More Millennials would come to public workshops if we offered ______:

  • S&M Clowns
  • Air Jeff Speck walking shoes
  • All-nude rooftop deck

The children's playground could use ______:

  • A statue of Andrés Duany
  • Urban spelunking
  • Little people dressed as traffic cones.

Don't know who Speck and Duany are? You might want to go back to Apples to Apples.


Tagged categories: Architects; Building design; Design; Government; Urban Planning

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