Community Land Use Game

The Community Land Use Game is a teaching tool designed around a team (development company) activity focused on the challenges of business strategy, city management and community building. Originally developed in the 1960s by University of Michigan professor of urban planning Allan Feldt, the Community Land Use Game has since been played by thousands of students, public officials and civic groups.

Our intention of playing the game is to provide a participatory framework to teach the core principles of land use theories, especially central place theory. The game consists of multiple companies/teams operating across several development activities including housing, retail and industrial, that culminates with a “winner” who did the best job maximizing their company’s wealth. No one team can afford to operate in all development sectors and must negotiate with other firms to mutually progress, resulting in high team interdependency.

Current fundraising efforts are underway to modernize this game. The Bergstrom Center seeks to translate the original, 2-dimensional board game still in use today into an adaptive electronic game format that will speed the game’s information flow and give players (students) a clearer view of the action. Ultimately, the purpose for this project is to make the already well-established Community Land Use Game an even more relevant and powerful professional learning tool.

Seth Mahl

I thought Community Land Use Game was one of the best experiences in the MSRE program. Our team was successful because we quickly understood the power of cash flow. Our team would leverage our cash flows every round to purchase investments that increased our bottom line cash flow. I never before fully understood the power of cash flow. By playing the game I also learned about the importance of long term thinking. Our team made some key land investments early on that lead to high returns in late game. The biggest surprise while playing was the different political dynamics that evolved. We were all working to gain the most wealth but we did have to work together to insure he success of our town. Overall it was an amazing experience and I really enjoyed playing.

Seth Mahl