Our Work

Project Selection

Each year, we receive hundreds of applications for Block by Block projects around the world. The Block by Block Project Committee, which includes renowned experts in public space, urban planning, and architecture as well an urban-poor activist, meets several times a year to approve the most promising ones for funding to support Block by Block Workshops, construction, policy work, or a combination.

The committee members evaluate proposed projects based on a range of detailed criteria addressing financial sustainability, partner capacity, and suitability for Minecraft as well as project design, accessibility, economic impact, and links to local and global policy. They seek to support a variety of projects incorporating diverse themes including accessibility, job creation, cultural heritage, social inclusion and human rights, health, security, gender equality, youth empowerment, refugee and migrant rights, and climate change.

Upcoming projects seek to expand impact by activating findings from citywide public assessments, building on existing momentum, supporting normative and policy efforts, and consolidating public space efforts at the country level in Bangladesh, Nepal, Vietnam, Indonesia, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Mexico, and Mozambique. The committee has also prioritized projects focusing on poverty, gender inclusivity, cultural heritage, and refugees and migrants.

Block by Block Workshop in Kalobeyei, Kenya Credit: Block by Block team

Block by Block Workshop in Kalobeyei, Kenya
Credit: Block by Block team

Block by Block Workshop in Wuhan, China Credit: Block by Block team

Block by Block Workshop in Wuhan, China
Credit: Block by Block team

Block by Block Workshop in the Gaza Strip Credit: Block by Block team

Block by Block Workshop in the Gaza Strip
Credit: Block by Block team

We also make our Block by Block Methodology freely available to help projects that are not selected for funding.


Events

Each year we run dozens of collaborative Block by Block Workshops and participate in a number of conferences and events worldwide. To request a speaker or panelist at your event, please get in touch.

September 2018: The Block by Block team tuned in to MINECON Earth. Rewatch the live stream here.

October 2018: The Block by Block team presented a panel at the American Association of Landscape Architects annual meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Read the recap here.

December 2018: The Block by Block team visited multiple sites in Nairobi to evaluate long-term impact, in partnership with UN-Habitat.

January 2019: Members of the Block by Block and UN-Habitat teams will attend a special Microsoft Executive Briefing session.


Transforming Lives, Block by Block

We go far beyond just considering the needs of local residents. During each project, a wide range of residents—from women and kids to elders, disabled residents, and refugees—are given the tools, training, and platform to contribute their ideas. This collaborative and hands-on approach helps instill a sense of pride and ownership in the project, which increases the likelihood of long-term success. The individual projects add up and build momentum and enthusiasm for more engagement and continued transformation, not just in the community but also in urban planning policies at a local, national, and global level.

To date, Block by Block has activated dozens of projects in more than 30 countries worldwide. Here are just a few examples.