Video Games

Video Games

City-Building Video Games for Planners

Hopefully you got one of these games as a gift today. If not, don’t worry. There are a lot of other occasions to celebrate—maybe try the day after Christmas?

December 25, 2022 - Bloomberg CityLab

Screenshot of gameplay window with popup: "Error. Can't build in NIMBYville!"

A NIMBY Simulator Pokes Fun at All-Too-Real Issues

A classic game gets a sardonic update for the modern world.

September 25, 2022 - Bloomberg Culture

Pandemic Board Game

Friday Fun: CityLab Picks the Best Games of 2020

In the year of stay-at-home orders, people turned to old and new games to stay sane and stay connected.

January 1, 2021 - Bloomberg CityLab

Video Games

Town Building Game Offers Moments of Pandemic Zen

Townscraper, a new "casual town building" game earned good reviews among early adopters this summer.

November 30, 2020 - Bloomberg CityLab

Cities: Skylines

Cities: Skylines as an Urban Planning Tool

Computer simulations continue to play a novel and important role in urban planning, especially in finding new ways to engage the public and add some fun to the process of planning for the future of cities.

August 10, 2020 - parCitypatory

Cities: Skylines

Top Urban City Building Games in 2019

A middle schooler reviews the top three city building games on the market in 2019.

May 19, 2019 - Grant Reviews Blog

Cherry Blossom Washington, D.C.

Friday Fun: A Video Game Destroys Washington, D.C.

It's a video game, or a master course in eschatology.

March 15, 2019 - WTOP

SimCity 2013

SimCity’s Impact and Evolution

The video game has inspired many people to pursue careers in planning. But, the newest version is also trying to better align the simulations with what planners face in the real world.

March 7, 2019 - Los Angeles Times


Sunday Fun: New Video Game Explains Land Use Politics

We're not sure if planners will find this game, since it's so close to real life, but maybe it will make a good recommendation for friends and family members?

November 11, 2018 - Greater Greater Washington

Minecraft Model

Real World Lessons From the Virtual World of Minecraft

The popular game Minecraft offers deep lessons what building in the virtual world means in the real world.

August 9, 2018 - Places Journal

SimCity BuildIt

How a City Planner Plays SimCity

A gaming video on the popular City Beautiful YouTube channel shows of the Sim City skills of a professional city planner.

August 7, 2018 - City Beautiful

Mero Los Angeles

Friday Fun: Bus Simulator 18 Keeps it Real

A new video game puts you behind the wheel of a busy city bus with places to go, people to serve, and headways to keep.

June 29, 2018 - CityLab

Subway Sign

Sunday Fun: 'MTA Country' Video Game Recreates the New York Subway Commute

Spend your free time dealing with the frustrations of your commute, but in video game form.

June 3, 2018 - The Architect's Newspaper

Kids on bikes

Building a Child Friendly City

Around the world cities struggle to build a safe, fun, kid-friendly environments.

March 6, 2018 - The Guardian

Great Mall of America

Friday Fun: Can You Save the American Mall? (The Video Game)

It's a free online video game, in retro 8-bit style. What could go wrong?

March 2, 2018 - Bloomberg

Robert Moses

8 Video Games Based on 'The Power Broker'

A game design competition based on the most famous biography of Robert Moses's life attracted more than 100 submissions from around the world.

September 15, 2016 - DNAInfo

When Architects Design Video Games

Not long ago, Deanna Van Buren was offered the position of lead architect on an unusual project—a video game called "The Witness."

August 25, 2016 - Archinect

SimCity BuildIt

Simulating the City

Computer simulations show signs of a coming revolution with wide ranging impacts on many human endeavors, particularly cities and city planning.

August 8, 2016 - Casey Brazeal

Empire State Building Base

A Mobile Game that Brings Skyscrapers to Kid Level

CityLab reviews the "Skyscraper" mobile app game, from Tinybop, Inc.

July 30, 2016 - CityLab

Pokémon Go

Time to Try Pokémon Go: Augmented Reality Connecting People to Places

Planners across the globe have been exploring opportunities to use augmented reality to enhance the way the public engages with the city. Over the last few days Pokémon Go took off, and now people are wandering across cities to catch Pokémon.

July 13, 2016 - Jennifer Evans-Cowley

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

HUD’s 2023 Innovative Housing Showcase

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Top Books

An annual review of books related to planning.

Top Websites

The best of the Internet—since 2002.

Top Apps

Planning apps for a brave new world.

Top Schools

The definitive ranking of graduate planning programs.

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.