The challenge

Brisbane City Council approached JSAcreative to address the challenge of educating and engaging with Brisbane residents about the obstacles that must be faced when planning the development of Brisbane’s inner city which was growing by approximately 1,300 people per week.

Going beyond simply telling residents about these challenges, Brisbane City Council wanted them to experience the pros and cons of planning for residential growth first hand, and moreover, have the opportunity to be a part of a community wide conversation about the development of the inner city.

Plan Your Brisbane Adshel Designs by JSAcreative

Our solution

We created ‘Plan Your Brisbane’ an educational, multi-platform gamification experience that allowed residents to plan their own Brisbane, realising the trade-offs and impacts their actions make in the process.

Working with Brisbane City Council, we developed initial design concepts that would form the foundation of the game. What was originally a flat Tetris style game rapidly evolved, taking on an isometric line art style that lent itself to a ‘blueprint’ of Brisbane, with bespoke illustrations designed.

Developing the game, the mechanics see users trying to house 1000 residents, adding high, medium, and low density dwellings to a reactive map. The results of their actions were measured via a scoreboard showing the number of residents housed alongside gauges displaying impacts to lifestyle, travel time, greenspace and affordability.

From a UX and UI perspective, the existing properties on the map appeared in blue when the game began, with any properties added by the user appearing in full colour, drawing immediate attention to the changes that they made.

Users also had the ability to share their results via social media, creating more awareness for the game. Furthermore, a dedicated link at the bottom of the game map gave users the ability to ‘have their say’ about the planning of Brisbane. This feedback was used by Council for the second phase of the campaign.

To ensure audience participation for the game, we delivered an integrated, creative campaign that drove awareness for the game. This included the production of a 30” cinema ad as well as a digital creative campaign driven by two 15” social videos as well as Snapchat and Instagram videos. Furthermore, a city-wide campaign comprised of display media, TVC, press, outdoor and adshels was delivered.

Phase two saw the creation of ‘8 guiding principles’ campaign that outlined a clear and actionable roadmap for Brisbane’s future including a set of 40 actions to guide the future of Brisbane. Our involvement in phase two included a creative campaign that highlighted the positive outcomes of these actions across a range of print, TVC and digital media.

The outcome

The objective was to engage with over 100,000 residents and we exceeded this with the game receiving engagement with 100,869 playing the game, 15,881 reaching the target of housing 1000 residents, and 5,267 filling in the post-game surveys.

The social videos reached 148,336 people with a total of 246,981 impressions, the addition of Snapchat as a channel saw engagement with youth soar. Additionally, the cinema advertisement achieved an audience reach of 48,206 people.

Positive sentiment was expressed on social media and via a number of news sources, and the momentum that both the game and campaign experienced in market has flowed across to a number of dedicated plan your Brisbane events, with these seeing strong participation as well.

Plan your Brisbane has gone on to win several Australian awards including The Queensland Community Engagement Award and National Urban Development Award by the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) as well as the Award for Project Innovation at the Property Council Awards. It also received industry recognition by the Brisbane Advertising and Design Club with awards across digital motion graphics, UX design, microsites, animation and motion graphics. Finally, it gained international praise, being awarded the 2019 International Project of the Year by the International Association for Public Participation.

Results that make an impact


Residents had their say

1 in 5

Brisbane households played the game


Ideas generated

Read the plan