CAMP lets you try urban planning

The somewhat hidden center for urban planning has an interactive exhibit

Urban planning is more difficult than it sounds. People can try their hand at building a future Prague at a new interactive exhibit at Prague’s Center for Architecture and Metropolitan Planning (CAMP), which just launched its second season.

Imagine Prague, which runs until Dec. 20, lets visitors make changes to the city by moving objects on a table and seeing animated results of their actions.

People can use levers, wooden blocks and other items to direct what happens in an imaginary city projected on CAMP’s 25-meter-long projection wall. The goal is to show the new Strategic Plan of Prague, which a roadmap for Prague of the future, in a new and fun way.

“It is up to the visitor to choose the number of cars and trams in Prague, build apartments and watch

how their decisions influence city development. Afterwards, you can compare your results with real data from the city,” Ondřej Boháč, head of the Prague Institute of Planning and Development (IPR), a municipal organization in charge of Prague’s urban development.

The plan was years in the making and is difficult for lay people to understand. Imagine Prague simplifies that. “This is a key document for Prague’s strategic development, but at a thousand pages, it is way to complicated for most people to make any sense of it,” Štěpán Bärtl, program director of CAMP, said. “This is why we made it into a game.”

CAMP is a relatively new space, and a lot of people still don’t know about it. CAMP also holds film screenings, discussions, workshops and other public events.

The place has a fairly straightforward goal.“We want to show people the future of Prague and present projects that will change the face of the city,” Adam Gebrian an architecture fan and one of the authors behind CAMP, said.

The 25-metre-long projection wall divides the space into two. On the other side of the projection screen there is a bookshop focusing on publications about the city, architecture and urban planning. There is also a usually quiet cafe.

CAMP is located in the Emmaus Monastery Complex (Klášter na Slovanech), just off of Karlovo náměstí in one of three modern glass structures designed by architect Karel Prager in the early 1970s.

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