Urban innovation

Urban Innovation regards relevant transformations in cities/urban areas characterized by a complex, problematic, decision-making process.


Examples of interventions: mobility policy (e.g. cycle networks, bike/car sharing, public transport, etc.), cultural policies,  migration management, environment protection and urban parks, network services (waste, energy, optical fiber and phone/internet connections, etc.) suburbs and ex-industrial sites regeneration, development of business districts, circular economy projects, etc. It would be also interesting to have some cases related to the use of ICTs, organizational/institutional transformations, building public/private partnerships, controversial cooperation with ONGs, successful campaigns by civil society organizations – CSOs, etc. 

The term “innovation” refers to policy changes, i.e. urban transformations that regard non-incremental changes; in other terms, following Lindblom, sufficient to overcome a decisional content not-so-different from the status quo (but this innovation do not require radical, ‘paradigmatic’ changes, using the Peter Hall’s model).

The terms: complex or problematic, are connected with:

  • the involvement of different actors (not only in number, but even in terms of: a) type: politicians, bureaucracy, experts, social actors, economic actors; and b) level: local, regional, national, international);
  • a difficult problem to solve, due the technical/social characteristics of the problem itself and the conflicts that it raises;
  • different levels of complexity/puzzling situations.

This complexity is at the base of the activity of a policy innovator (an actor or a group of actors), that should use a specific strategy to overcome barriers and collect the sufficient amount of resources to arrive to a desired/acceptable decision.


The game sets design and the real cases

The game sets will be designed on basis of fictional cases: every game should exemplify the use of one (or more) strategy, through operational dimensions; and this is not simple to find in real cases. But, in any case, the opportunity to start the design of the game sets from real cases is of value, because they stimulate our individual and collective creativity, and improve the development of new ideas.


The operationalization of the strategies: different dimensions

The model proposed considers different strategies:

●      Altering the distribution of resources

●      Altering the content of the decision

●      Altering the patterns of interaction

●      Altering the characteristics of the network

●      Altering the moment of the decision




This short document aims to introduce the game sets of the educational Game P-Cube dedicated to the Urban Innovation field:



Urban Innovation cases:

Case 1.              Building a Mosque

Case 2.              Competing for European Capital of Culture

Case 3.              Building a Waste Disposal Plant

Case 4.              A New Highway to the Airport

Case 5.              New life for the Ring Road

Case 6.              Build an accessible city

Case 7.              Reuse industrial archeology

Case 8.              Building a Mosque 

Case 9.              One-Stop-Shop for cultural events

Case 10.           Creating an Urban Natural Reserve

Case 11.           Managing a Refugee Centers

Case 12.           The Third Metro Line

Case 13.           Governing Metropolitan Mobility

Case 14.           A New Concert Hall

Case 15.           TBD