Planning NEXT’s Sarah Bongiorno and Kyle May were invited to the Hubbard Mastery School to spend an afternoon sharing the world of planning with an enthusiastic group of fifth graders. The students were given a brief introduction to the field of City Planning and then broke into groups to play the City Game, an interactive game that Kyle developed, where kids work together to develop a city.
Each group began with a specific landscape condition (beachfront, river edge or mountain base). They were then asked to elect one student in the group as mayor and make up a name for their new city. As the game progresses the groups are able to choose from game pieces such apartment buildings, neighborhoods, parks, office towers and schools. During certain rounds in the game, groups are given special pieces to work with such as a factory, sports stadium, airport or landfill. They are also given the opportunity to build a super highway or subway line. The game ends with each city competing for a bid to host the next Olympic Games.
Not only did the kids have a great time playing the game, they were exposed to the field of City Planning and were able to learn about how all parts of a city work together to create a unique place for people to live, work and play. At the conclusion of the afternoon together, the students wrote thank you notes to Sarah and Kyle and one young man expressed how this opportunity had inspired him: “I really liked playing the City Game. I will always remember this moment of getting to be my city’s mayor and be the boss. I will do so when I get older.”