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Dudley neighborhood planning game launched

Emerson’s Engagement Game Lab (EGL) has partnered with the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) for the launch of a new online engagement game called, The Promise of Dudley Village Campus.

The game is available to any Bostonian who lives, works, or plays in the Dudley neighborhood, which straddles the Dorchester and Roxbury sections of Boston, now through April 14.

Players will contribute to the official municipal planning process of the neighborhood.

The online game is just the latest to come from the Engagement Game Lab’s innovative Community PlanIt platform, which allows local residents to use online games to help shape community planning decisions in their neighborhoods. Ideas from residents using Community PlanIt have helped form municipal planning decisions during previous initiatives in Detroit; Philadelphia; Boston’s Chinatown neighborhood; and Salem, Massachusetts.

Engagement Dudley

From left, Christina Wilson, project manager of the Engagement Game Lab, with Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative youth workers Sandira Lopes, Azura Fernandes, Oryanna Ferguson, Jaimorry Carter, Manuel Goncalves, Claudino Centeio and Jasmanie Colon. (Courtesy Photo)

Several youth employees at DSNI, some of whom are also high school students at Dearborn STEM Academy, have begun to promote The Promise of Dudley Village Campus by canvassing the Roxbury and Dorchester sections of Boston, which the Dudley neighborhood straddles.

Community PlanIt is one of several pieces of technology set up around Dudley Village Campus to encourage its residents, workers, students and visitors to participate in Habit@, an ecosystem of playful civic tools used to facilitate communication between the public and city officials.

These include touchscreens at DSNI’s office at 504 Dudley Street that have Internet access and EGL-designed applications, such as arrival times for local buses and an app to find out about construction site jobs around the city.


Manuel Goncalves, a youth employee at DSNI, speaks about the importance of the project in a video on DSNI's website. 

Watch a video with DSNI youth employees.

There are also mobile screens, including flatscreen televisions and iPads, which will be set up at several local businesses to report findings back to the community. The devices will change locations and rotate through different businesses throughout the next few weeks, collecting input from residents about how they envision better uses of public space.

Weather permitting, Emerson and DSNI will also to set up a Visioning Cart, which is a free-standing, mobile, clear plexiglass board that would be placed at various vacant and under utilized lots around the neighborhood. The cart allows people to literally draw on the board to show how they envision the space being used.

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