Starting to Playtest the Walkability Game

I finished printing out a set of pieces, wrote some rules, and we finally began playtesting. The goal of playtesting is to figure out what adjustments you need to make to make the game work better. See where the sticking points are. Figure out if the game is unbalanced for certain players or strategies. At […]

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More Building Models and Maps

I’ve gone through a couple more iterations of building types and now the maps. I’ve also started working on the next version of the mechanics and rules. One of the central challenges of the game is to integrate community well-being with economic development. That’s essentially internalizing an externality. In other words, recognizing a systemic value […]

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Prototyping Game Building Types with 3D Printing

For the game I’m developing, I’m prototyping a selection of the different building types available from the Missing Middle housing types. There is also Missing Middle retail building types: I’m trying to capture the essence of these dynamics in the game. I’m partial toward fourplexes for a number of reasons I wrote about earlier. Accessory […]

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Fourplexes and Flexibility

Fourplexes have many advantages for communities and their residents. Some of the advantages, when compared generally to single-family on the same parcel size, are: Higher property values and tax income Promote the density needed for retail investment and therefore walkability Great first-time investor owner-occupied opportunities (aka house hacking) Consolidated maintenance Can be financed through single-family […]

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Prototyping a City Game

If you’ve ever been part of a public participation process you know how deeply unsatisfying it can be. Too often, your voice is reduced to a sticky note or a vote with little discussion or nuance emerging from the process. While learning is one of my greatest pleasures in life, how we learn and grow […]

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Gerrymandering in Richardson

In my previous article, I discussed gerrymandering in general and how to resolve it. In this article, we’ll take a look at how gerrymandering sometimes works in cities. We’ll take Richardson, Texas as an example because that’s where our organization is located. At some point in the past, Richardson switched from the worst possible voting […]

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Resolving Gerrymandering

After years of working on trying to resolve gerrymandering, the Supreme Court recently decided it would not hear the main case. They stated that it was a political question and too complicated to come up with a standard. I won’t cover the history here, there are plenty of other good references on that if you […]

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How to Improve Walkability

Walkability usually refers to how urban and how likely people are to walk in an area. There are many definitions and metrics for walkability. Urban scientists often measure block size or distance between intersections. One of the more highly rated mainstream sources on walkability is Jeff Speck with his book Walkable City and more recently, […]

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