Call: Playable Cities: The Internet of Play in Urban Environments (at IoP 2019)

Call for Workshop Papers + Keynote

4th International Workshop

This workshop will be held as part of the 5th IEEE International Conference on the Internet of People (IoP 2019;, August 19-23, 2019, Leicester, UK.

Paper submission deadline: 26th April 2019


Following the success of the first (Utrecht, The Netherlands, 2016), the second (Funchal, Madeira, Portugal, 2017), and the third (Braga, Portugal, 2018) workshops on Playable Cities we are pleased to announce the 4th Playable Cities Workshop to be held on 19th August 2019 as part of the 5th IEEE International Conference on Internet of People (IoP 2019) in multicultural Leicester, England.


The notion of playable cities has recently been explored as a means of building on the ideas and infrastructure of the smart city to create novel interactions intended to inject fun and playfulness into urban environments both as a simple source of pleasure and as a means of facilitating and fostering urban and social interactions. The Playable City is a new term, introduced a number of years ago in Bristol, England and imagined as a counterpoint to ‘A Smart City’. From the Playable City website: “A Playable City is a city where people, hospitality and openness are key, enabling its residents and visitors to reconfigure and rewrite its services, places and stories.”

Cities by their very nature are utilitarian creations built to support the needs and/or represent the image of the communities that build them, however the nature of the urban environment is such that it invites play in both its construction (architecture) and the interactions that take place within its confines and as such the city is an ever changing living organism where the past and the present are intertwined in a myriad of physical and ephemeral facets of the landscape. On the face of it “the smart city” with its array of sensors and actuators designed to bring a higher level of efficiency to the management of urban services is equally utilitarian and banal. However, these sensors and the digital communication networks that unite them offer new opportunities for playful interaction by bringing to life inert objects such as park benches and garbage cans, preserving and visualizing previously lost bits of the urban experience and enabling a host of new interactions and experiences in addition to raising a number of new challenges and concerns.

In this workshop we wish to explore the ways in which the broad gamut of technologies that make up the smart city infrastructure can be harnessed to incorporate more playfulness into the daily life activities that take place within the city making the city not only more efficient but also more enjoyable to the people who live and work within its confines.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Embedding playfulness in outdoor daily life activities
  • Playfulness and smart city infrastructure
  • Robust sensor and actuator technology for playful urban environments
  • Digital art and entertainment in urban environments
  • Wearable computing in playful urban environments
  • IoP technology and outdoor play for children and adults
  • Enabling the disabled through playful interactions
  • Social computing, community building, maker cultures, and playfulness

All submitted papers will undergo a blind review process by members of the workshop program committee. Accepted papers will be included as part of the official IoP 2019 conference proceedings published by the IEEE Computer Society.


A keynote will be delivered by Professor Ernest Edmonds on interactive art in urban environments. Edmonds received the ACM SIGGRAPH 2017 Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement In Digital Art and the ACM SIGCHI 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award for the Practice of Computer Human Interaction. Website:


All submissions must be anonymised, written in English and follow the IEEE Computer Society Proceedings Format. The maximum length of a submission is 6 pages, however a submission can have at most 2 additional pages subject to a pages overlength charge if accepted. All submissions must be submitted as PDF files via the IoP 2019 EDAS conference management system.


  • Workshop paper submission deadline: 26th April 2019
  • Workshop paper submission acceptance notification: 10th May 2019
  • Camera-ready deadline for paper submissions: 19th May 2019
  • Workshop Date: (probably) 19th August, 2019


Anton Nijholt (University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands)

Ben Schouten (Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences & Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands)

Yoram Chisik (Independent Scholar, Haifa, Israel)


Viktor Bedö, Tacit Dimension, Berlin, Germany
Jaz Hee-jeong Choi, RMIT. Melbourne, Australia
Chamari Edirisinghe, Imagineering Institute, Johor, Malaysia
Gabriele Ferri, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands
Christian Geiger, University of Applied Sciences, Düsseldorf, Germany
Michiel de Lange, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Dale Leorke, Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies, Tampere University, Finland
Dennis Reidsma, University of Twente, The Netherlands
Valentina Vezzani, Universidade da Madeira, Funchal, Portugal
Annika Wolff, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland
Gavin Wood, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Others to be announced


For further information about the workshop contact Anton Nijholt:

For issues related to EDAS system, contact the IoP 2019 Submission Chairs (

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