The Building Futures Game is the outcome of 3 years research and development work carried out by the Building Futures team, CABE and architectural practice AOC. The toolkit emerged through a shared desire as to how one might enable communities to think about the future of their neighbourhood, while providing stakeholders with an interactive and alternative way of consulting with a wide variety of groups on their concerns and aspirations.
The Building Futures Game is a participation tool for visioning and exploring different possible futures for a local area. It is a form of scenario planning, helping groups ‘play out’ a range of possible futures with participants – a mix of policy-makers, service-providers and ‘community members’ – drawing out a set of concerns and aspirations and considering the impacts and implications of their choices.
The process is a creative, collaborative and non-confrontational one, which requires people to consider different values or agendas, to make difficult choices and to consider the reality of delivering change on ground. The Game gives the participant realistic expectations of how different issues can trade off against each other by giving them a meaningful framework by which to think constructively about the future of their area and emerging changes.