By Metropolitan Area Planning Council
Quincy – The City of Quincy, the Asian Community Development Corporation and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) are excited to announce the launch of Community PlanIt, an online game that involves citizens in planning and visioning for the North Quincy and Wollaston neighborhoods.
There will be a launch party for the game, called “NoQuWo: Quincy Neighborhoods on the Move,” this Saturday, May 5 at 4 p.m., at the B Café in Quincy. All residents of the North Quincy and Wollaston neighborhoods are encouraged to sign up to play the game at boston.communityplanit.org.
“I believe firmly that local government should be an open and responsive forum for the residents of the city. The NoQuWo Community PlanIt Game is another step in that direction,” said Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch. “As we work to strengthen the quality of life in North Quincy and Wollaston, we want to make sure we are engaging everyone in discussions about the future of these vibrant neighborhoods.”
“NoQuWo: Quincy Neighborhoods on the Move” is an online game that engages the public to express their vision for the community’s future. The game was designed by the Engagement Game Lab, http://engagementgamelab.org, a research and development lab at Emerson College.
To play the game, players log in and complete a series of timed “missions” which focus on different aspects of neighborhood life: living, playing, doing business and getting around. Participants earn points for each activity they complete, and can also add their own ideas for online or real “on the ground” activities, such as challenging other players to pick up trash or beautify a spot in the neighborhood.
The game focuses on the North Quincy and Wollaston neighborhoods of Quincy, which have experienced significant growth in diversity and population. Participants can play the game in either English or Chinese.
“Quincy has the highest proportion of Asian population in all of Massachusetts,” said Janelle Chan, Executive Director of Asian Community Development Corporation. “These families are growing deep roots in the Quincy community. We look forward to this opportunity to bring their voices into planning for the neighborhood’s future.”
Taking advantage of social media and smart phone/tablet technology, this project will bring longtime residents and newer communities together in planning for the future of NoQuWo. The game features role playing with different characters, helping to engage participants in thoughtful, creative thinking about the challenges and opportunities for the future of their neighborhood.
“We need forums where residents, whether young or old, newcomer or lifelong resident, English-speaking or Chinese-speaking, can discuss their collective vision for the neighborhood’s future,” said Marc Draisen, Executive Director of MAPC.
Residents, community leaders from the City of Quincy’s Asian American Civic Engagement Task Force, and local planners developed the content for the game, starting with a Walkshop tour of the commercial strip of Hancock Street. Along the way, tour leaders used iPads to show historical photos and infographs about the area, and participants snapped photos of anything of interest (good or bad) and discussed their observations. Images and conversations from the Walkshop were used to shape the characters and scenarios in the NoQuWo game.
“Community PlanIt is a fun way to participate in city planning,” said Eric Gordon, Director of the Engagement Game Lab and lead designer of the game. “It opens up the opportunity to learn about local planning issues while competing for points and earning badges. But, perhaps most importantly, it is a place where youth and adults can work together to find meaningful solutions to problems and work towards real world solutions.”
The game will be officially launched on Saturday, May 5 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Community PlanIt Launch Party at the B Café (Beni’s), 405 Hancock St, Quincy MA 02171. The event is free and open to the public. To RSVP, visit quincycommunityplanit.eventbrite.com.
This project is collaborative effort between the City of Quincy, Asian Community Development Corporation, Engagement Games Lab, Emerson College and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council with support provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Sustainable Communities Program.