The game consists in forming 8 groups of young people which will assume one of the 7 departments in EcoCity, or the City Hall. Each department and the City Hall are faced with an ecological problem, toward which solutions must be sought. The purpose is to stimulate an ecological awareness and openness to creative solutions for ecological challenges. In this way, instead of giving a concept, one is asking the concept through an informal ecological education.
In EcoCity, the Department of Citizenship and Finance is responsible for the management of the city’s public property, and bring greater awareness of its inhabitants toward a more active and responsible citizenship.
The working team of EcoCity’s Department of Citizenship and Finance is discussing how to promote a more ecological awareness in its citizens. One of the ideas the group should analyze is the creation of an ecological tax for the citizens which demonstrate a weak interest for the sustainability of their city. On the other hand, a prize could be attributed to the citizens which demonstrate merit in their daily actions in favor of sustainability. The main issue requiring suggestions is how can individual daily actions toward the sustainability be “measured”, and how to assess their impact in the city. Besides this, the Department should indicate which solutions considers the best one: tax, prize or both?
In EcoCity, the Department of Buildings and Public Spaces is made of a team of professional which take care of the city’s project and planning, from buildings to roads, gardens, living spaces, etc. This team seeks to understand the way people use spaces, in order to balance resources, such as energy and water.
The total energy used in EcoCity has its origin in renewable sources. Electricity is produced by a large solar central, which possesses batteries for the storage of energy and feed the electric network during the nocturnal period. A week ago, the office for energy management as launched an alert to the Department of Buildings and Public Spaces because the electricity consumption has substantially increased, especially after dark when people return home from work, together with the turning on of public lighting. A study has been made for the expansion of the solar central and it has been concluded that it is unviable to increase its capacity. The department should study ways of increasing the sensibility of the public for a rational use of energy in the period between 7 and 8PM. Also, alternatives should be proposed for lighting in public spaces.
In EcoCity, the Department of Health and Environment six to evaluate people’s quality of life, environment - fauna, flora and landscape - and the direction between people with the surrounding environment.
When EcoCity was planned, rows of trees were planted in the city’s streets. Trees have several advantages from providing shadows during summer, to establishing the population's contact with the vegetation and the animals that inhabit the landscape. Lately, the increase of traffic in the city has lead to high levels of pollutants in the air, particularly inside streets. A team of specialists has demonstrated that such change is due to the trees, which difficult the circulation of air in the streets. The same team as propose that trees be cut, if it is not possible to reduce traffic, because the concentration of some pollutants reaches values with a high-risk for human health. The Department of Health and Environment should find alternatives to cutting the trees, as well as ways of increasing public sensibility to the problem.
In EcoCity, the Department of Migration and Tourism is responsible for welcoming the country’s inhabitants, as well as those coming from abroad. Under its responsibility is everything concerning the relation between visitors of EcoCity and the environment. It's motto is: “a greater and better knowledge of the natural world for a better relationship with it”.
EcoCity is annually visited by many tourists due to its example as an environmental-friendly city. One of the tourist attractions is a boat trip alongside the river with observation of its fauna and flora.
A group of researchers has been studying the impact of these trips, evermore numerous, over the species of river fish and birds. The alert has been launched when it was verified that some of the species were at risk, eventually causing an unbalance in the ecosystem.
The Department of Health and Environment asked the Department of Tourism to significantly reduce the number of daily boat trips. For the working group it is clear that a way of making tourism more sustainable should be studied, while maintaining the city’s openness to visitors.
In EcoCity, the Department of Patrimony Cultural Diversity is concerned with the relationship between citizens and the several cultural contexts existing in Ecocity, for example, different religious traditions, as well as the relationship between natural-cultural environments, i.e. environments where history and nature converge.
The Department of Tourism and Migration asked the Department of Patrimony and Cultural Diversity a proposal for helping tourists and locals knowing the city better from the point of view of the natural environment, landscape, historical patrimony, cultures, etc. Considering this, a recent study about the subject showed that people's interests are very different. Namely, some seek a greater contact with nature, while others are more interested in the city’s historical roots, and families, for instance, seek open-air places. The proposal to stimulate a better knowledge of EcoCity and its culture should be sufficiently wide in terms of diversity of options and time spent visiting the city.
In EcoCity, the Department of Education and Science deals with learning and long-life education, including all generations from children to elders. The scientific component of this education is very important in EcoCity, since it is through the development of knowledge that opportunities for innovation are created.
In EcoCity’s schools, an assessment has been made of the first campaign toward sustainability, which determined the success of measures for reorganizing public spaces, energetic efficiency and complete replacement of paper by electronic editions. However, some flaws were detected in the program for waste reduction, namely, in food products, bottles, cans, etc. A significant part of packaging couldbe recycled, but this is a process involving a high energy consumption, from transportation of waste material to its transformation. The Department decided to issue a study to increase people's awareness of the beneficial consequences derived from a more ecological lifestyle, and how can we effectively reduce the number of food pack deposited in school waste, while ensuring the conservation and hygiene of food and drinks.
In EcoCity, the Department of Media and Culture manages all the network and media, including television and press. In the cultural domain, it joins dissemination programs of the most diverse artistic expressions, such as painting and sculpture, cinema and theatre, music and dance, literature and poetry.
The Department of Media and Culture of EcoCity has launched, in the last months, a program to replace all paper supported media, including newspapers, books, magazines, and reorganize the public library network. I schools, the project was welcomed by students, especially when paper books and exams were replaced by their electronic version accessible through individual tablets (e.g. iPad). However, a research study on the impact of the measures taken by this program in readers, sellers of newspapers, magazines and books, revealed that this electronic format does not please the community in general. The Department decided to assess if the paper replacement program should be suspended or not. And, in case the program continues, what kind of awareness campaign should be pursuit, especially considering the less young.
Imagine for a moment that the streets you’re walking made you feel at home. Imagine that the squares where you rest are the ones welcoming you, even if you’re only a visitor. Imagine a city which is a home for everyone. Where buildings are adorned to give beauty to the place you live. A city made not only of concrete, but especially made of people, made of the breathing and thinking of each one.
The presidency of EcoCity has the responsibility of finding a Flag, which symbolism indicates a city where it's inhabitants seek to live more ecologically. What would be the motto of this city, which were also expression of a city oriented toward ecology?