Sustain at ISDC2019

Click here to download the abstract at the ISDC2019.

An Innovative Game-Based Approach for Teaching Urban Sustainability

Societatea pentru Consum Responsabil, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Link Campus University, Rome, Italy
Alessandro POMPEI
Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

University of Trento

Federico BARNABE
University of Siena, Italy


The difficulty with sustainability arises from its abstract nature and the fact that these problems have long term horizons. The objective of the SUSTAIN course is to promote sustainability literacy among students of higher education through an innovative and student-centered education that makes use of system dynamics (SD) models embedded in game-based learning. In this project, as part of the SUSTAIN course, we try to develop small illustrative SD simulation models that will allow for experimentation in a consequence-free environment. These simulation models will then be translated to game elements, mechanics and potential playing scenarios for a table top / board game that deal with sustainability issues.

The purpose of this project under development is to help students of higher education achieve competences such as the ability of constantly assessing the environment, operating and adapting to it through continuous and iterative individual process of revision from their frames of reference, and to provide the material to comprehend systemic complexity. We expect these competences to allow them to deal with complex decisions and decision making processes in their future careers in private and public organizations, and provide insights into the complexity and the effort required to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Keywords: urban transportation, sustainability, serious game, decision making, system dynamics

Natalia Ciobanu, Stefano Armenia, Alessandro Pompei, Rocco Scolozzi and Federico Barnabe (2019) “Use of System Dynamics Models as Part of a Game-based, Urban Sustainability Course for Students in Higher Education (SUSTAIN Project)” In: Proceedings of the 37th International Conference of the System Dynamics Society, Albuquerque, New Mexico USA, July 22-24, 2019.