Leuven, 21 April 2021 - Every city is an 'urban mine' and hides a wealth of chemical elements. One of the few advantages of this Corona pandemic is that walking is very popular again, and that is a good thing. With ResourCity, Flemish Research Centre VITO has developed an interactive app with which young - and old - people can not only go on a chemical treasure hunt while walking, but also allows them to look at their (familiar) surroundings in a different way. Now also in Leuven.

With the app, the participants - and there is no age limit on this game - can 'catch' chemical elements in the style of Pokémon Go. Whoever catches a chemical element, immediately receives a fun (historical) fact about the location on the spot. The collected elements can be puzzled together by the player during the hike. In this way, the player can unlock a 'badge' - such as a fart, a microchip or carbon dioxide. In this way, he also learns all about chemical compounds in a playful manner.

"Every city is a treasure and is chock-full of chemical elements! These chemical building blocks, from carbon to oxygen, gold, cobalt to platinum, are abundant in a city. Some chemical elements you just find in the air you breathe, others in all kinds of products and certainly in buildings. In short, every city is a ResourCity: a city full of 'resources' or materials, so much so that you can sometimes find more gold in a city than in a real gold mine.

With the app ResourCity, we make this 'city mine' or 'urban mine' visible by means of augmented reality technology. We not only develop the content of a ResourCity to suit the needs of interested cities and municipalities, but also align it as closely as possible with the curriculum of the various educational umbrella organisations, so that schools can also use ResourCity as a (coronaproof) learning tool."

Philip Marynissen

It seems obvious that a city like Leuven has a wealth of iron and aluminium (long live Jeroen Meus' kitchen!). But that, for example, gold is also hidden in the centre of Leuven and that you can also find platinum and tin is perhaps less well known. The players are stimulated to look for elements themselves and, if they find them, to discover what they can do with them. Together with the city of Leuven, ResourCity searched for 40 interesting places. ResourCity does not only lead players to touristy interesting places, but also to beautiful spots and urban projects that are connected to circular economy.

ResourCity can be played individually, but you can also track down and capture the elements in a group, in class or with your family. Because this app effortlessly sends you to very interesting, and often hidden, places and facts about Leuven.

And the one who perseveres... wins!

And what about the one who finishes ResourCity in Leuven? Take a screenshot of the game's final screen on your smartphone and send it to vito@vito.be. The first 20 players to complete the game will receive the book 'Leuven? A creative city in 8 stories' by Katrien Steyaert.  

Where can you find the app?

You can download the app via the AppStore, via Google Play or by scanning this QR code.

Where can you play ResourCity in Flanders?

Leuven is the sixth Flemish location where ResourCity can be played, alongside Antwerp, Herentals, Mechelen, Mol and Oud-Turnhout. The premiere of ResourCity in Leuven is for the and& festival, which this year takes place from Wednesday 21 to Sunday 25 April coronaproof.

ResourCity was nominated for the 2019 Science Communication Prize, awarded by the Royal Flemish Academy and the Young Academy.

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