In this talk, Pontus Westerberg will explain how Minecraft has been used to engage communities — particularly young people, women and slum dwellers — in urban-design processes in more than 25 countries, including Kenya, Peru, Haiti and Nepal.
Minecraft is one of the world’s most popular computer games, with over 100 million users, best imagined as a “digital Lego”. UN-Habitat, the United Nations programme for sustainable cities, and Mojang, the company behind Minecraft, is collaborating on an innovative private-public partnership which uses Minecraft as a community participation tool in the design of urban public spaces.
Pontus manages projects related to digital technology, open data and smart cities at UN-Habitat. Since 2012, he has coordinated Block by Block, an innovative programme that uses Minecraft as a citizen participation tool in urban-design projects. He has recently worked on the Rwanda Smart Cities Masterplan and implemented a variety of digital technology projects in Nairobi’s informal settlements. Before joining the UN, he worked with digital media projects in the NGO sector for 10 years. He has a BSc in Economics and International Development and an MA in Global Media.