Game Talk: SimCity BuildIt and Urban Management Lessons

So, SimCity BuildIt has been around since 2014, but I just recently started playing it (because my Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes crashed for a week due to an update), and I’ve been wanting to post some thoughts about the gameplay, because there are just so many urban planning lessons one can learn in playing the game.


When you play the game, you become the mayor of your own city. Mayors are, in essence, the urban managers of localities, so it’s up to you to decide on major urban issues: Your city framework (street patterns), locating buildings (this reflects zoning), and prioritizing investments (implementation using available budgets). Your Simoleons (citizens)  look up to you as a mayor.

People before buildings and cars — a very basic lesson in urban management.

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Understanding resilient cities


This writeup has been in my mind for a long time–many people casually use the phrase “resilient cities,” and just use it for marketing projects, creating events, and so on, without really understanding the many aspects that comprise how a city really becomes resilient. There are two main things that we have to consider: Citizens as a people, and systems in a city, and both are complex in growing urban settings, with a number of layers and perspectives to know about. Read the full article here.

I included some learnings in my writeup, which I also recommend readers to look up and study:

Happy reading!

Neighborhood matters

Neighborhood Matters

What we go through everyday affects us. If it’s the daily routine into a chaotic urban jungle, complete with the recipe of traffic, road rage, pollution, and the works, we pile on the stress. If it’s a five-minute walk to where we need to go, green parks, and familiar people (the sense of a community), and safe spaces for our loved ones, then it’s a good, pleasant neighbourhood and life that we have.

Here’s a late post of something I wrote a few weeks back: Click here to read the full article. As always, thank you, Inquirer.

Value of parks, plazas, public open spaces

inq value of public parks

Here’s a late post of something I wrote on public, open spaces a few weeks back.

These spaces are very important in achieving sustainable cities because of how they improve (or otherwise degrade) the quality of life for citizens. Cities in developing countries, like cities here in Metro Manila, need to revisit the revitalization of these spaces.

Read the full article here.

And for some good reads on how city leaders can feasibly improve cities and spaces, here are some write-ups on the very inspirational Enrique Peñalosa, who made a difference in transforming Bogota:

Cheers to the year past, and 2018 ahead! 🙂

Youngblood: Proving unity


This is my fifth Youngblood column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Thank you to the editors for letting me voice out what I believe is crucial in the recovery and rehabilitation of Marawi City. It’s not always about infrastructure, and the built-up environment. There are issues that require us to remove our biases and require fuller, sincere understanding of conflict to strategically address root problems.

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