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This year we are welcoming applications from two categories:

Cities: Local governments and municipalities through city decision-makers, mayors, public servants, local authorities, and public city-wide organisations.


Urban Practitioners: Organizations and individuals working in the urban arena such as urban planners, designers, architects, developers, public space activists, social innovators, schools, sociologists, artists, cultural managers, community organisations, and any citizens that have implemented a playful placemaking initiative. 


The submitted initiatives will be evaluated by a jury panel who will take into account a balanced selection of proposals with a diverse range of impact, stakeholders, location, scale and contexts. 


The Real Play City Challenge will award two winners for each theme.

One winning initiative will be initiated by cities and one initiated by urban practitioners.

This will give us 6 winners in total.

Special mentions will be granted to projects that can still be an inspiration to others.


The shortlist of nominated initiatives will be made public at the Placemaking Week Europe in Pontevedra.


Winning initiatives will be those that have successfully used playful placemaking to help local communities address global challenges.  The jury will be paying close attention to those initiatives, which


  • show new and innovative ways of combining these global challenges with play in the public realm, 

  • have succeeded in creating sustainable ownership in the local community

  • are also mindful and have impact on the other two topics

  • have high impact and are easily replicable in other cities around the world

  • can help to extend the evidence of play


The organising team selecting the finalists is:

Real Play Coalition:

Sara Candiracci, PhD 

Associate Director At Arup - Inclusive and Resilient Cities Lead 

Mikael Sjögren

Global Communication Business Partner for Strategy, Development & Innovation | IKEA (Ingka Group)

Christina Witcomb 

Initiatives Lead (Director) at The LEGO Foundation

Anne Kohli

Corporate Partnerships Manager at UNICEF

Kobus van der Heever

Project Director at National Geographic

Phil Walsh

Real Play Coalition Secretariat  |  Global Sustainable Development Programme Manager at Arup

Akshaya Kannan

Real Play Coalition Secretariat  |  International Development | Cities and Infrastructure Resilience at Arup


Minouche Besters

Partner at STIPO

Viviana Cordero 

Partner at Huasipichanga, Thought leader at PlacemakingX

Marta Popiolek

Project Manager and Network Development, Placemaking Europe

Amelia Tapia 

Program Manager at Huasipichanga

Giulia Sicignano



In order to apply, your initiative needs to meet all of the following conditions: 

  • It is initiated by a city or an urban practitioner

  • It uses placemaking to create environments in a public space that give people time, space and opportunities to play. 

  • It is embedded in at least one of the three themes of the Real Play City Challenge 2022 Edition.


29 JUNE 2022


08 AUGUST 2022

25 AUGUST 2022

04 SEPT 2022

29 SEPT 2022

NOV 2022

DEC 2022

Launch of the Challenge  at the World Urban Forum 2022

Informative webinars - Check our website

Q&A - Deadline to submit questions 

Q&A - Responses to questions published

Deadline for submissions 

Finalists’ shortlist - Placemaking Week Europe

Winners public announcement 

Online sessions for winning Cities and Urban Practitioners 

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