We cannot deny that the climate is changing. This means that we’ll have to learn to live with a different climate. How can we adapt to this climate change and limit its consequences? How can we, as citizens, make it easier for ourselves and others in a world with such a changing climate?

With this in mind, the Environmental Modellingteam at VITO has developed a game for the Antwerp Smart Zone that uses augmented reality (AR) to make citizens more aware of the impact of climate change, the measures they can take and their impact.

The Antwerp Smart Zone is located in the Sint-Andries district, a typical Antwerp neighbourhood with narrow streets, small squares, lots of people, shops and cafés. It’s a large city on a small scale and therefore suitable for experiments. This makes the Antwerp Smart Zone a gigantic testing ground, complete with smart cameras and sensors.

The 'Shape your City' game, which VITO developed together with Cegeka, was created at the request of the City of Antwerp, which launched a call for it via Digipolis, the company working for the IT of the city of Antwerp. Everything revolves around the question of how you can use serious gaming and augmented reality to make people aware of climate change. A great help in developing the game is the Groentool, a tool that RMA had previously developed for the whole of Antwerp and that gives a picture of the impact of measures.  The data from the Groentool were therefore processed in a game format.

‘Shape Your City' is an educational game in which a player is given the chance to save their city from future climate effects on a limited budget. Using realistic data, the player sees what impact green measures can have and how they contribute to a climate-proof city. The starting point for this is a climate scenario from 2020 to 2100. Every 10 years, a heavy storm is simulated with an increasing risk of flooding. It is up to the player to apply sufficient measures every 10 years within the available budget and to ensure that the streets of Sint-Andries are not flooded during a heavy rainstorm. These measures also address other biodiversity and heat challenges. At the end, the player is rewarded with an augmented reality visualization and can view their scenario in 3D.