The future’s not what it used to be: Urban wormholes, simulation, participation, and planning in the metaverse

Andrew Hudson-Smith*, M. Shakeri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialAcademicpeer-review

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In this editorial linked to the thematic issue on “Gaming, Simulations, and Planning: Physical and Digital Technologies for Public Participation in Urban Planning,” we explore how urban planning has been, arguably, slow on the uptake of modern technologies and the move towards the next media revolution: The Metaverse is now on the horizon. By artfully pushing technological, cultural, and social boundaries in creating virtual environments, games and gaming technologies have presented interesting opportunities and challenges for the planning profession, theory, and education over the years. This thematic issue documents a wide range of innovative practices in planning enabled by games and gaming technologies. It attempts to open discussions about the way we conceptualize and treat new media and technologies in planning. By providing a wide range of examples, from non-digital games to gamified systems, interactive simulations and digital games, the issue shows that the lack of adoption of these practices has less to do with their technical possibilities and more to do with the way we understand tools and their added value in the dominant narratives of planning. As we note at the end, planning should be at the forefront of these technologies, not embracing technologies for technologies sake but because it should, as a profession, be leading the way into these new environments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-217
Number of pages4
JournalUrban Planning
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2022


  • UT-Gold-D


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