Urban design is about balancing different interests and ideas about a good city. An urban plan reflects these ideas and defines them through maps and texts. The Mestometer project is an interactive installation set in the context of the city of Košice. Its aim is to explain in an engaging way what an urban plan is and why we need it. The project also includes a publication that summarizes the research carried out during the development of this project and also brings the installation closer to those who could not see it in person. It spreads the knowledge on which the installation is based, for the widest possible circle, not only the local public.

Mestometer (City meter) is an interdisciplinary work at the intersection of computer and board games, product design and urban research. It educates interactively and playfully about complex topics and relationships in urban planning that affect everyone in Košice or in any other city. Unlike many other planning games, the player plays Mestometer from the perspective of an inhabitant, not a planner. Urban planning is a complex matter involving many experts. One game cannot replace the complex processes of city planning, otherwise, it would have been done long ago. Rather, the installation is intended to enable the player to better understand the complex relationships between various aspects of the city, which are represented in the zoning plan by a colourful abstract map. It is intended to encourage the public to make more informed and critical comments on the zoning. It also contributes to the cultivation of the urban environment in terms of education in the formulation of people’s requirements for a future zoning plan. Mestometer also creates a space for meetings with representatives of the municipality and municipal authorities, for whom it can also be a tool for sharing experiences and a platform for a multidisciplinary discussion on the direction of policy-making in the field of the built environment. The final presentation of the project - a long-term public exhibition and publication summarizing the accompanying research, serves to present the topic of spatial planning and the responsibilities associated with it for the general public and professionals. Mestometer clarifies the entry into the basic thematic areas of urban planning, urban economy and spatial planning policy. The application also serves to collect data on hypothetical models of the city, which individual visitors will build, and thus evaluates the specific attitudes of citizens to the future of the city.

The bilingual publication Playing Mestometer: why do cities need a zoning plan? supports the dissemination of the knowledge acquired during the production of the installation. It aims to share the knowledge and principles on which Mestometer is based to the widest audience possible of not only local professionals but also the general public. That is why it is published in both Slovak and English and is available in both print and digital (online) formats. You will find here texts by the authors of the installation as well as two texts by external experts. The texts are accompanied by illustrations, which are at the core of Mestometer.

More about Mestometer can be found at separate project website, more photos and videos from the project development are available at Spolka's instagram and at Mestometer's own insta page.

Team and support

The following team participated in the creation of the content and application of the Mestometer 2.0 installation:
Lýdia Grešáková: sociologist, researcher and consultant of participatory processes
Katarína Onderková: architect and civil engineer
Sámuel Setényi: visual artist and programmer
Zuzana Tabačková: urban designer, researcher, urban design lecturer
Samuel Velebný: visual artist, designer and author of the project idea

Consultants during and outside the focus groups:
Peter Beňo, Pavol Fábry, Martin Jerguš, Terezie Lokšová, Alexandra Mareková, Jakub Marek, Pavol Mészáros, Viktória Mravčáková, Zuzana Révészová, Michal Šindelář

The project is supported by the Slovak Arts Council.
„MESTOMETER“ je podporený z programu ACF - Slovakia, ktorý je financovaný z Finančného mechanizmu EHP 2014-2021. Správcom programu je Nadácia Ekopolis v partnerstve s Nadáciou otvorenej spoločnosti Bratislava a Karpatskou nadáciou.