Block by Block

UN-Habitat and Mojang using Minecraft to involve citizens in public space design

Hundreds of kids taking part in the Block by Block competition at Aldea Digital

The response at Aldea Digital has been overwhelming. So far over 200 people have redesigned Plaza Tlaxcoaque in Minecraft and we have seen lots of great entries. The three winners will be presented on Sunday 27 April. 

You can follow the building in real time on this server map

Here are photos from the first weekend. 





Follow the Aldea Digital competition in real time

For the Aldea Digital competition we have created 500 versions of Plaza Tlaxcoaque on a server. In the first few days of the Aldea about 200 kids have redesigned the square. 

Below is a map showing all the plots on the server. You can also follow the competition in real time. 

Block by Block at Aldea Digital!

Block by Block is taking part in the Aldea Digital digital inclusion festival, held 11-27 April in Mexico City. As part of the festival, we are holding a competition in which young people are asked to redesign Plaza Tlaxcoaque, a square in central Mexico City, to make it more social, safe and playful.

We are expecting between 500 and 1,000 entries and we’ll keep you posted on the progress here and on the Twitter hashtag #blockbyblock. Three winners will be presented on the final day of the festival.

Our friends over at FyreUK have once again built a fantastic model which we’re using for the competition. Here are some pictures.

Help out Block by Block!

1 April 2013

Are you in Mexico City? If so, can you help Block by Block out with a cool project?

After using Minecraft as a community consultation tool in Kenya, Nepal and Haiti, we now have an opportunity to test it at scale as part of Aldea Digital in Mexico City.

Aldea Digital is a massive digital festival held in the Zocalo square in the centre of Mexico City between 11-27 April. The organisers are expecting 200,000 people to attend during the course of the two weeks.

Every day of the festival we’ll will be holding a competition, inviting young people to use Minecraft to redesign a public space not far from the Zocalo. 

But to make the competition a success, we need your help! We are looking for facilitators, both with and and without Minecraft knowledge, to help us organise the events. 

Are you interested? If so, please fill out this Google form and we’ll contact you. 

Aldea Digital 2013

Work begins in Kirtipur, Nepal!

11 March 2014

Kirtipur is an old town in Nepal which has kept its traditional lifestyle and culture. Like other towns and cities in the Kathmandu Valley, Kirtipur built excellent systems for water and urban space management. Public water bodies like ponds, stone spouts and wells are surrounded by public spaces used for relaxation, recreation and rituals.

However, recently, may of these spaces are have fallen into disrepair or been taken over due to pressures from rapid urbanization. According to the official 2011 census, the city is growing at a rate of 4.8 % per year. There is a strong need to revitalize public spaces and water bodies, to make Kirtipur a vibrant city again. 

UN‐Habitat and its local implementing partner, the Centre for Integrated Urban Development (CIUD), are working to conserve and enhance Dey
Pukhu (“State Pond”) and surrounding areas through community participation and community public space management and Minecraft has been used as a tool for participatory project planning. 


Women’s community meeting


Minecraft workshop with young people


Work clearing up the pond has started 

Work continues in Mumbai, India

4 March 2014

Here are more photos from the improvement works that are currently underway at the Gautam Nagar public space in Mumbai and funded by Mojang and the Minecraft community. 

The local children are already starting to use the space!


In the old district Barrio del Carmen of Valencia (Spain) children, associations and inhabitants have set up their own community space in a former vacant lot. It’s Solar Corona

Nice example of community-designed public space. 

Massive Minecraft model of Les Cayes, Haiti

3 March 2014

FyreUK have just completed a massive new Minecraft model of the Les Cayes waterfront. The model will be used in a series of community meetings over the coming weeks to identify how the citizens of Les Cayes want to develop the waterfront. 







Launch of Nairobi Jeevanjee Gardens project

27 February 2014

This week the Governor of Nairobi County, Dr. Evans Kidero and UN-Habitat’s Executive Director, Dr. Joan Clos, officially launched the construction works at the Jeevanjee Gardens site in central Nairobi.

The redevelopment of the park, funded by Mojang and the Minecraft community, is expected to be completed during 2014. 

Dr. Joan Clos and Dr. Evans Kidero officialy launch the project

Architectural drawings showing the planned redevelopment works

The Minecraft model used in the community consultation process

Work completed in Haiti

24 February 2014

Working with the local community, UN-Habitat refurbished Place de la Paix, a park in the northern part of Les Cayes, Haiti’s third largest city. Here are some photos showing before and after the works.

The pavilion - before


The pavilion - after


The swings - before


The swings - after


Beach - before


Basketball court - after


No drainage - before


New drainage - after


Minecraft timelapse video from Kiritpur, Nepal

Minecraft experts FyreUK built this model of a public space in Kiritpur, Nepal. The model will be used to engage young people in the planning and design of public space in Kiritpur.

Work begins in Mumbai, India

17 February 2014

UN-Habitat, together with the Mumbai Environmental and Social Network (MESN), is rehabilitating Lotus Gardens, a park in ‘M ward’, one of the  poorest areas in the city of Mumbai. 

Here are a few pictures from the building works that began recently. 




Work begins in Haiti!

2 January 2014

Work to upgrade Place de la Paix in Les Cayes, Haiti, begun recently. Here are a few pictures. 

Community participation meeting

A new wall will prevent balls from flying into the sea

Stairs will connect the existing Place with the new area on the beach

Minecraft training in Nepal

20 December 2013

Earlier this week, UN-Habitat together with our partner, the Centre for Integrated Urban Development, organized a Minecraft training event in Nepal. In the workshop, Minecraft modellers FyreUK showed a group of young people from Kiritpur how to build models with Minecraft.

These young people will play an important role in using Minecraft to engage communities in Kiritpur in UN-Habitat’s public space project Dey Pukhu (literally meaning “state pond”) which will be upgraded with money contributed by the Minecraft community.


New Minecraft model for Kiritpur, Nepal

18 December 2013

Kirtipur is one of the oldest towns in the Kathmandu Valley. In Nepal, public space is closely connected to water. Ponds, stone spouts and wells are traditionally surrounded by public spaces used for relaxation, recreation and rituals. UN-Habitat is working with Kirtipur Municipality, the Center for Integrated Urban Development (a local NGO) and local people to improve the water system management, conserve and upgrade existing public spaces for a better community use. 

This model of the first public space, Dey Pukhu, was produced by FyreUK and will be used as a community participation tool in Kiritpur.