Recife explores how playful experiences can enhance the cultural tapestry of cities and increase tourism

From aquatic pathways, to fortune telling bus stops, to poetry reading sculptures, Recife was the first Playable City to be established outside of the UK.

Playable City Recife began with a Creative Lab and cultural exchange in 2014 that supported UK and Brazilian creatives to collaboratively explore ideas for Recife.

The impact of this lab continues to be felt today – participants have since launched Playtown. This brand new initiative led by H.D. Mabuse, explores how playful experiences can animate the oldest part of the city, making it a desirable destination for both citizens and tourists.  Playtowns has had a huge impact in the city. Led by the city’s creative and tech communities, it has brought people together, examined how layers of meaning can be added to existing city infrastructure, and opened up new ways of experiencing culture for all.

In addition to Playtowns, Brazilian Technology Park Porto Digital, key partners in very first exchange, have also continued to support and mentor creatives who are interested in developing Playable City ideas. They have recently established a tinkering space titled L.O.U.Co (which means Crazy in Portuguese), which they are planning to use as a base for the programme. We’re excited to see what will happen.

And finally in the UK, participant Rosie Poebright of Splash and Ripple is continuing to develop Empath, a project born out of the 2014 Recife exchange.