Students use Minecraft to design future of London borough

Students use Minecraft to design future of London borough


Partnership between Mayor of London, Microsoft and C40 Cities invites young people to make sustainable changes to the town of Croydon

Elly Yates-Roberts |

School-age and university students have been invited to use Microsoft’s sandbox video game Minecraft to create virtual designs of the town centre of Croydon to make it safer, more sustainable and more prosperous.  

The 2023 Design Future London Schools Challenge is part of a new collaboration between the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Minecraft and C40 Cities – a group that aims to tackle the climate crisis with science-backed targets.  

Khan appears in the game as a non-player character to introduce the challenge to participating teams. Each team will produce a two-minute video of their creations that outlines their vision for the future of Croydon. 

“Creating a greener, fairer and more prosperous London for generations to come is a key priority of mine,” said Khan. “Achieving my missions of tackling air pollution and reaching net-zero carbon by 2030 are a huge part of this, so I’m thrilled to be getting help from the voices of tomorrow. 

“The London Minecraft World is a fun and engaging way for young Londoners to think critically about the built environment, collaborate with friends and peers, and be creative in showcasing their vision for the capital’s future. I can’t wait to see the brilliant ideas that come out of this challenge and wish all young Londoners taking part the very best of luck with their entries.” 

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan challenges students to improve a virtual Croydon town centre in Minecraft

To support the initiative, the Greater London Authority is providing free access to Minecraft Education to all schools across London. It aims to encourage students to use science-based thinking in their designs and consider how real-world issues are affecting their communities.  

“I’m delighted to be partnering with the Mayor of London and C40 to bring free Minecraft Education licenses to schools across London,” said Clare Barclay, CEO of Microsoft UK. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to support the mayor’s agenda for sustainability and education, and to encourage young people to reimagine the places they live. I can’t wait to see what the students create.” 

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