Student information

MSc thesis topic: Gaming for active participation in (local) landscape planning

Participatory gaming is an upcoming method increasingly being used for supporting and exploring (collective) decision-making processes in complex multi-functional landscapes. The RESORTES board game (Speelman and Garcia-Barrios, 2010) is such a participatory game which was specifically developed as a generic land-use planning game to support such processes.

Rural landscapes often consist of mosaic of interlinked forested and cleared-fields that together provide a diversity of services to local and non-local stakeholders. Designing and adopting more sustainable management strategies for these complex landscapes involves communal decision-making and active participation of local stakeholders.

The RESORTES game is easily adjustable to different landscapes and contexts. So far, the game has been adapted and applied to explore spatial planning issues in mainly agricultural landscapes including: smallholder agricultural landscapes in Mexico, coffee-based systems in Nicaragua, agricultural drought resistant strategies in Sub-Saharan Africa.

However, adaptations and implementations in distinct contexts such as urban planning are also suitable.


  • To conceptualise the main spatial planning issues in a specific case
  • To adapt the RESORTES board game to a case study
  • To explore and analyse the process collaboration in participatory landscape planning through implementing the adapted RESORTES game
  • To assess the impact of communication, leadership and relatedness in processes of collaboration in landscape planning


  • Speelman, E.N., García-Barrios, L.E., Groot, J.C.J., Tittonell, P., 2014. Gaming for smallholder participation in the design of more sustainable agricultural landscapes. Agricultural Systems 126; 62-75.


  • Interest in participatory research
  • A link or connections to a relevant case study or project

Theme(s): Human – space interaction, Empowering & engaging communities