Design a virtual ecological urban block with Block’hood

Architecture Design International Landscape Architecture Media Sustainability Urbanism
(Courtesy The Plethora-Project)

(Courtesy The Plethora-Project)

No, Block’hood isn’t an edgy underground LEGO gang, it’s actually a neighborhood-building simulator that encourages experimental cityscapes and sustainable and resourceful architecture. Developed and designed by Gentaro Makinoda and Jose Sanchez, players must prioritize their focus on the environment and their creation’s impact.

(Courtesy The Plethora-Project)

(Courtesy The Plethora-Project)

Creations must be able to work interdependently alongside surrounding neighborhoods, for if they fail, when a design begins to fall behind in resources available, environments, buildings, and the neighborhood become susceptible to decay and ultimately failure.

Some of the blocks available (Courtesy The Plethora-Project)

Some of the blocks available (Courtesy The Plethora-Project)

Users have access to more than eighty building blocks which they can use to develop structures that harvest the sun and wind to create a sustainable environment. Once built, the buildings come to life and the architect’s buildings are put to the test to see if they can withstand the pressures of what the simulator’s engine throws at it. Players need to avoid the decay of their city block by making sure each unit doesn’t run out of “Resources.”

(Courtesy The Plethora-Project)

(Courtesy The Plethora-Project)

Each block therefore has “inputs” and “outputs” and these needn’t be learned, as the user is hopefully already aware that a tree needs water to output oxygen and shops need customers to make money. From this a productive network can blossom provided users harness the environment, maximize outputs, generate resources, and avoid decay.

(Courtesy The Plethora-Project)

(Courtesy The Plethora-Project)

A player’s little city block quickly and rather peculiarly becomes something that one can easily become attached too. As life manifests within and users add and take away elements, the block and its habitat become synonymous. Together they must work as one, making clever use of resources in a bid to fight the decline which will plunge your creation that you probably (definitely) spent too much time on, into doom.

The small victories, however, for when you do implement an innovative combo are highly rewarding: a user’s planning intellect triumphs and one is lulled into dreams of doing a Le Corbusier and starting Paris all over again…

(Courtesy The Plethora-Project)

(Courtesy The Plethora-Project)

Throughout the game, (or “simulation” as some  may prefer to call it) players future planners are asked to “envision their neighborhood,” being reminded that “there are no boundaries of what you can create.”

Dreams of being a planner don’t appear too far-fetched either, as Block’hood was featured in the ‘My Urban Playground’ documentary by Luckyday, showcasing how “Block’hood can be used to design the cities of tomorrow.”

(Courtesy The Plethora-Project)

(Courtesy The Plethora-Project)

Block’hood is now available to download on STEAM.

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