Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Using Facebook to Illustrate Land Use Issues?

I admit that I'm a bit of a gamer.  I will even admit that I spend time playing Zynga games on Facebook.  (You know... FarmVille, Mafia Wars, etc.)  And perhaps this just me trying to justify wasting my time harvesting virtual crops, but I'm thinking that the newest Zynga game, CityVille, might actually be a useful tool for Property students to conceptualize some land use issues.  There is an article about CityVille here.  If you've ever played SimCity, its very similar, but free. 

Everyone starts with the same blank slate and resources, but then you can design your city in any way you choose.  Some designs and allocations of resources work better than others.  The aesthetic employed by the game is interesting because players get a bonus if they use green space elements like flowers and shade trees next to housing and businesses.  

I'm thinking about having my Property students sign up for CityVille when we get to Land Use, play it for a week and then compare their creations with each other and use that experience as a springboard for a discussion of zoning, restrictive covenants, etc.


Tanya Marsh

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Tanya, I think this is a really clever idea. It shows the students, in a very concrete way, that in a world of limited resources you cannot get everything you want out of land use regulations.

Posted by: Steve Clowney | Dec 16, 2010 7:04:30 AM

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