Cities are now responsible for 70% of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide - so it is high time to develop and implement concepts for climate-neutral cities. This is exactly where the simulation game "The Climate Neutral City" comes in, which we developed on behalf of the Goethe-Institute headquarters in Munich.
What is exciting about it is that the simulation will not (or at least not primarily) be used in Germany, but at schools abroad that have entered into cooperation with the Goethe-Institute there. In addition, it is the first simulation game from planpolitik that is integrated into a competition concept in which the participating school classes compete against each other and vie for the best concept for "their" city. For this reason, we have developed a creative task in addition to the simulation game: the application of the climate plan developed in the simulation game to the imaginary city parliament. Both together - the implementation of the simulation game and the application of the result - will then be evaluated by a jury. The simulation runs via our platform Senaryon and is carried out independently by the participating teachers and the local staff of the Goethe-Institute.
The special challenge in the development was that we did not want to develop a classic text-based business game. Rather, the participants were to have the effects of their decisions on the future of "their" city reflected directly through the simulation game. How does the expansion of cycle paths affect CO2 emissions? What is the benefit of building a new underground railway or shutting down the coal-fired power plant? What social effects does the path to climate neutrality have? These and many other questions are measured using important indicators that are constantly updated in the game - depending on the decisions the game groups make. The whole thing is visualised by an interactive map that illustrates the decisions made and shows at the end of the game what the climate-neutral city could look like.
In a first pilot phase, the simulation game and the competition were carried out at 16 schools in the Baltic States, Russia and the Czech Republic at the end of 2021. The feedback was extremely positive, so nothing stands in the way of continuing and expanding the project to other regions of the world.