Play the city

The Global Ecocity Game

For cities transitioning to their ecological futures

During the Symposium, an interactive session, Global Ecocity Game challenges its participants to make choices for cities that are preparing their ecological futures. Should we grow green or rather implement a degrowth agenda? Should we produce everything locally or seek a balance between local-grown and sustainably imported produce? How will we secure clean water, while fighting drought and flood?

These questions appear as technical challenges cities face today, meanwhile geographical, political, social and cultural realities greatly influence the climate measures cities take. Sharm el-Sheikh Climate Change Conference, made the world realize how positions of cities vary in climate transition. The conference achieved an agreement: a global fund for poorer nations suffering the most from climate impacts, while having contributed the least to the problem. The Global Ecocity Game concerns all cities globally, in the south and in the north, poor and rich.


The Global Ecocity Game is created by the collaboration partners Ayuntamiento de Málaga, Promalaga and Amsterdam and Istanbul based serious gaming studio Play the City. City of Malaga is a candidate for the Expo 2027 with the theme 'sustainability and life in the Ecocity’

Play the City

Play the City leads the way in applying games to complex challenges in multi-player city environments. We are a global practice that supports public and private parties in the processes of spatial development through urban play.  As a multidisciplinary team of technologists, designers and social scientists with an international perspective, we focus on the intersection between the practical element and research. This allows us to carry out a wide range of projects, from theoretical research to pragmatic applications.  Cities are witnessing a high pace of social change and technical advancement, and we are still looking for a truly collaborative planning process.  Serious games provide a systemic approach to city creation that helps with the collaborative, comprehensive and iterative approach that cities are looking for.  'City gaming' is the method that refers to the specific implementation of ‘serious games’ to the issues of city development. The method is derived from the doctoral research of Ekim Tan, the founder of Play the City, conducted at Delft University of Technology.

Ekim Tan

Ekim Tan
Ekin Tam

Ekim Tan is an architect, urban planner and PhD game designer from Istanbul who is based in Amsterdam.  In her role at Play the City, Ekim keeps herself well-informed on the latest developments in societies and technologies around the world. This helps her to provide the appropriate leadership to a young and expanding company. Meanwhile, Ekim travels regularly to give lectures and training on cities and games. She has spoken at Delft University of Technology, ETH Zurich, Aleppo University for Arts and Sciences, Rotterdam Academy of Architecture, Amsterdam Academy of Architecture, Copenhagen Business School and Middle East Technical University.

Txell Blanco

Txell Blanco
Txell Blanco

Txell Blanco Diaz is an architect and artist driven by the social aspect of design. She is co-founder of The Outsiders artist collective and works as game designer for Play the City almost a decade. Her latest game at Play the City focuses on alternative food systems. Txell regularly teaches at different Academies of Architecture and Art, supports game game at "Play the City", develops a new housing cooperative "Stroom housing cooperative" and continues to run "The Outsiders”.