“Urban Corners” enters its final round

The evaluation of the third round of the “Urban Corners” game took place in Astana. The game comes in the form of an app for mobile devices that focuses on the sustainable locations within the capital city of Astana. To date, the app has been downloaded by more than 2,000 people, predominantly youths and young adults. The most active participants took part in the third great guardian party of the magic energy stream. Here they were able to find out who was in the lead whilst enjoying a fun and enjoyable time together.

Anuar Nurpeissow, participant in the “Urban Corners” game:

I play this game because it contributes to the sustainable development of our city. Lots of young adults and youths are involved in this. It is a very gripping and interesting game, one which I’ve been involved in for nearly a year now. What motivated me to join in is the fact that young people can use this game to actively educate themselves. For example, they learn how to preserve our capital city and create green spaces.

Entertainment was provided by members of the “Diamond” youth club of the Astana-based German “Rebirth” society. The fun competitions were carried out in the guardian costumes sewn by Tatyana Ilchenko from Almaty during a workshop. These costumes represent the energy of water, fire, earth, wind, time and the future. The guardians danced, posed tricky questions, and tested the bravery and creativity of the game’s participants. In short: everyone had a great time – in keeping with the principle of “business before pleasure”.

Irina Hetsch, project director:

I noticed that the players were extremely dedicated during the third round. A certain group of participants began to stand out. I got the impression that all the participants had another big burst of activity in the last week before the end of the next round, giving it one final push. It probably has to do with the fact that the weather in Astana became warmer, creating additional opportunities to visit locations that were inaccessible during the cold winter, and there solve the outstanding tasks and thus come one step closer to the finish line. In the process, a dynamic group of players developed who seriously competed for the top spot. The prizes were awarded based on the points scored and creativity shown. During the game, the participants came up with very interesting ideas for Astana’s sustainable development.

Regarding the prizes: the main prize in each round is a bicycle, as this is a recognised symbol of environmentally friendly transport. This year, our friend on two wheels went to school student Klara Kairatova. By the way, even the organisers do not know until the very last moment who the lucky winner is, as they only have the nicknames and electronic addresses of the participants at their disposal. Second place went to Damilya Katrenova, an employee of an architecture firm in the capital city. Third and fourth places went to school students Sveta Li and Dascha Zagarovskaya. They received various gadgets. Alongside the main prizes, small souvenirs for the best photo comments and the most active and creative game participants were also awarded.

On 30 March, the game entered its fourth and therefore final round. The winner of this round will receive a one-week study trip to Germany. The organisers suspect that there will be serious competition for this prize.
The main aim of the “Urban Corners” game is to raise awareness among the city’s inhabitants of ecological problems, which can thereby hopefully be solved successfully and as quickly as possible. Dr Irina Hetsch, who has directed the project for the past three years, is also convinced of this.

Irina Hetsch, project director:

My experience has been incredible. I have seen how a project can motivate many people to dedicate themselves to an interesting and productive task. I hope that the game’s participants found it to be an equally memorable experience. They were able to see for themselves how useful ideas can be made a reality in a collaborative, playful way and without any pressure. Because the task is so interesting, it is much easier to do. I wish everyone lots of success!

The fourth round of the “Urban Corners” game will run for five months, therefore ending on 30 August. Every inhabitant of Astana can download the app for free by entering “Urban Corners” in English in the search system. The game is available in four languages: German, English, Russian and Kazakh.

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