Paradox Interactive, a publisher and developer of deep, complex strategy games, is preparing to assist city planners from Stockholm to design and build a new city district using their best-selling city-building game, Cities: Skylines. Norra Djurgårdstaden, one of Europe’s largest urban development projects focusing on long-term sustainability, will be a new city district within Stockholm which will add 12,000 new residences and 35,000 workspaces, providing much-needed growth to a city that has suffered a shortage of accommodations for its increasing population. During a workshop on September 3rd and 4th, the game Cities: Skylines will be used by real-world city planners to explore possible methods for this district to become sustainable, and versatile enough to support the needs of its residents.
The project has been organized by Swedish Building Services, Svensk Byggtjänst, alongside officials from the city of Stockholm and support from Paradox Interactive, publishers of Cities: Skylines. The game, created by Finnish developer Colossal Order, allows players to create and manage a city of their own design, facing the challenges of maintaining civic policies, infrastructure, and traffic congestion as their population grows and their citizens’ needs become increasingly complex.
“More and more people are realizing the potential that games have – they’re already a medium that engages people all of all ages and countries, to develop and influence all aspects of our society. We truly commend the City of Stockholm and The Swedish Building Services in their ambition to find new and forward-thinking ways of solving real societal challenges,” said Susana Meza Graham, COO of Paradox Interactive. “We are thrilled that Cities: Skylines was chosen to help contribute to this change right in our own backyard, and are excited to work with all involved parties to bring this project forward, not in the least our very dedicated community of players and fans.”
In addition to professional city builders from the government and private sector, players of Cities: Skylines in Sweden and abroad have become involved with the project, contributing ideas, plans, and modifications to the game that will allow it to adapt to the needs of the workshop. One of the most active modders in this project, Alexander Oberroither, will fly from Austria to Stockholm to personally take part during the workshop.
“A citizen dialogue that functions well is key for urban city planning, now and in the future,” said Erik Kalmaru, head of communications at the Swedish Building Services. “Computer games have shown to be a very effective tool to build engagement and generate ideas, but also to visualize the process. We undertook a previous project with Minecraft and Mojang which developed into a project spanning the world, and we look forward to seeing what using Cities: Skylines as a tool will generate.”