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Exeter City Futures is pleased to announce the relaunch of Exeter 2025 Minecraft Challenge, a programme conducted in partnership with Minecraft Education, Exeter College and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (RAMM). The Exeter 2025 Minecraft Challenge draws a link between Exeter’s vibrant Roman history and city plan and its exciting, sustainable future.

On Monday 21st January, the Minecraft Education team traveled from Microsoft’s Headquarters in the US to Exeter and ran a workshop for students at Exeter College to demonstrate how Minecraft can be used as a tool to engage youth in civic issues and urban planning.

Exeter College students worked in teams to imagine a sustainable future for their city, using a Minecraft map of Exeter generated from open data to design concepts for a car-free city centre.

A new video produced by Minecraft Education puts Exeter in the global spotlight, showing how students are working on sustainable solutions through the Exeter 2025 Minecraft Challenge, and features interviews with Exeter City Futures, Exeter City Council, Exeter College and curators at RAMM.

John Laramy, Exeter College Principal and Chief Executive, said: “Our students increasingly operate in a global environment, so we were delighted to get involved with Minecraft Education, which provided our students with an opportunity to look at and plan the future.”

The Exeter 2025 Minecraft Challenge

The video marks the relaunch of the Exeter 2025 Minecraft Challenge. Exeter City Futures is now inviting students and teachers to download the map for Minecraft: Education Edition and craft what they want Exeter to look like in the future. Five challenges have been identified to inspire their vision of future Exeter – Car-free City Centre, Sustainable High Street, Alternative Transportation, Alternative Energy Sources, and Super Cycle Paths.

Exeter City Futures will showcase the best responses to the challenges through social media and their website. Students and teachers are encouraged to share their screenshots with us or send us their map, showing us their vision for a sustainable future Exeter. The solutions crafted could even help achieve Exeter City Futures 12 Goals for a more sustainable Exeter.

“We were excited to see the innovative public spaces and urban solutions that students designed with Minecraft: Education Edition to kick off the Exeter 2025 Minecraft Challenge. Hopefully this will inspire many more young people to get involved in the program, and contribute creative ideas for improving their city” said Sara Cornish, Marketing Manager at Minecraft Education.

“RAMM has innovatively used Minecraft to experience and understand Exeter through the ages. Minecraft maps of Roman, Tudor and 18th-century Exeter have proved a fun and popular way for people to engage with our history. It’s wonderful that Exeter City Futures is building on this solid foundation to plan the city’s future. It’s also great to have international recognition for our work together” said Rick Lawrence, Digital Media Officer at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery.

Anthony Martin, Innovations Officer at Exeter College said: “Hosting the Exeter 2025 Minecraft Challenge was a great opportunity for Exeter College. It’s very easy to look upon something like Minecraft simply as a game, but look at it as a learning tool and a whole wealth of possibilities can be realised.

“Everything from coding to visualising historic buildings and settlements, to soft skills like communications, problem solving and teamwork. Of course let’s not forget city planning – which is the focus of the challenge. Hopefully what our students started will inspire others to take part and help redesign a sustainable Exeter for the future.”

Get Involved

To find out more about how to get involved visit exetercityfutures.com/minecraft. Students and teachers can mail Exeter City Futures a link to their map using a file transfer service such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or WeTransfer, to submit it for inclusion on the Exeter 2025 Minecraft Challenge page.

Teachers and students can enquire about how their school can get involved with this project by emailing the project lead at Exeter City Futures, Mark Jones: mark.jones@globalcityfutures.com

Citizens can share screenshots or videos of their Exeter creations on social media and tag posts with #Exeter2025.