Following the Creative Lab which began Recife Playable City in 2014, 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. Funded in the main part by Brazil’s Ministry for Tourism and Recife’s City Council, the scheme kicked off with a talks day attended by 300 citizens, followed by an invitation to participate:

– the programme invited talk attendees to apply to participate in a Hackathon – 200 applications were received and 50 citizens from varied disciplines were selected to take part;
– 42 ideas were generated and presented to the City Council. Council workers were then invited to vote on which ideas they would like to see taken forward;
– 7 ideas were selected and the creators entered an Immersion Lab, where they were supported to develop and prototype the ideas;
– The ideas were installed in public space, and the city and it’s visitors were invited to play.

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 infrasture, and opened up new ways of experiencing culture for all.