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Priestley Centre – #2 Knowledge Exchange Session with Makertopia

Tuesday 5 November 2019, 14:00 -16:00
Priestley Building room 11.10 (Katharine Hayhoe)

Open to Leeds University staff and students to add data to Makertopia’s “Model Futures” game which explores liveable, sustainable cities.

This event is only open to Leeds University faculty and students. If you have a guest outside the university that wishes to attend, please contact to check this is ok.


This session will focus on Transport and will run in Room 11.10, Priestley Building, from 2-4pm. We will demonstrate the Model Futures game and explain what kind of data we are interested in and the process of how we add it to the game. We expect to meet several times with each interested group/individual to trial, play-test and refine the data/gameplay. We will ask, does this convey the issue or data accurately? Are there other causes and effects that we can link with particular model tiles? For example, placing more bus stops might reduce emissions but also have the “co-benefits” of reducing levels of isolation and making it more affordable for people to get to work.

Please bring your own laptop if possible as there will be opportunities to make your own tiles for the game. Please also bring some example data that you feel the public should be more aware of. This is a collaborative, creative process, and can be a bit confusing initially in terms of us asking you to help with the “game design”, but once you realise that the game can model ANYTHING it becomes very exciting.


Makertopia are a community interest company that uses “maker culture” and creative technology to support young people and their communities to address climate change and inequality.

During our 9 month LSSI Knowledge Exchange Fellowship at Leeds University we are inviting staff and students from all faculties to contribute robust data and ideas to our #ModelFutures game, which aims to help people explore realistic, achievable visions of a sustainable, liveable city in 2030. We will be working closely with Paul Chatterton, Urban Geographer ( As part of the Fellowship, Makertopia will be supporting students to learn how to apply their knowledge and skills to effectively influence climate policy and engage the public.

We will be creating:

a) An interactive version of the Leeds Low Carbon Roadmap, led by Andy Goulson. Showcasing the alternative economies, transport systems and innovations that will get us to zero in 2030.

b) An energy challenge game that explores how to decarbonise our energy system quickly and fairly.

c) A Sustainable Schools game that also looks at the mental health impacts of climate change on young people.

d) Other versions of #ModelFutures that arise from these sessions!

Register here




Model Futures uses interactive, electronic and physical models to visualise positive routes toward a just, sustainable 2030. Each game consists of a board with niches for twenty-eight model tiles, which allows participants to build their ideal school, school, city, country or custom place. Each tile has a model representation of a particular place or policy, with robust data attached to it. The board reads the tiles placed on it and sends data to a display screen, providing feedback. LED lights below each model tile will then glow from red to green to indicate how positive a particular tile is. Central to our approach is the tactile nature of the models, which nurtures participants’ emotional investment in making their visions real. Please view to see how it works!

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