BlockBuilders is a Brighton-based start-up that has been using FME to model the city of Brighton and Hove in the popular video game, Minecraft.
Through combining different sets of open source data, they have been able to generate a 1:1 scale map which features the terrain, road networks, surface water area, buildings, rail networks and the wooded areas. On top of this, they have incorporated the key landmarks of the Pavilion, the Palace Pier, West Pier, BA I360 and the American Express football stadium. This process was developed as part of an Innovate UK-funded project, Innovation in Urban Spaces.
The reason BlockBuilders has made this model is to engage a wide range of demographics in the planning process. Due to using Minecraft, their approach is youth-centred which means that they can engage multiple generations at once whilst consulting communities in developments across the private and public sectors.
Minecraft is at the centre of their process as it allows a collaborative conversation about places. Through utilising 3D printing and virtual reality, they can bring these conversations to life.
The combination of youth engagement, digital technology and BlockBuilders’ process enables citizens’ views to be represented and clear actionable data to be fed back to the decision makers.