Children to design new national park in Minecraft

Denmark in Minecraft Image copyright Denmark MInistry of the Environment
Image caption The Danish government recreated the whole country in Minecraft as an educational tool

Schoolchildren in Adelaide, Australia, have been invited to design a national park in Minecraft which could then be built in reality.

Students aged from nine to 12 have been asked to create their designs in the blocky 3D world.

The results could then be incorporated in upgrades to existing national parks around Adelaide.

The government has set aside nearly $10.4m Australian dollars (£5.4m) for the redesigns.

It was keen to find a new way to engage young people in its processes.

"This competition is part of a community engagement project asking people of all ages what sort of facilities would encourage them to spend more time in national parks," reads the Natural Resources, Adelaide website which announced the prize.

"The State government has set aside $10.4m for park projects, so some of the ideas your class create might end up being used."

The only rule is that "whatever you design needs to be able to be created in the real world", it added.

"The park features need to complement the natural environment, taking into account the animals and plants that live there."

Ideas could include trails for bushwalking, mountain biking or horse riding, barbecue and picnic areas - or something completely different," it suggested.

Redesigning slums

There is a growing trend towards creating ever more ambitious designs in Minecraft.

The Danish government has mapped the entire country in the game, as part of an educational project.

And in 2012 Mojang, the creators of Minecraft, teamed up with the UN to help them design city spaces in developing countries.

They recreated public spaces in the game and then shared it with community groups, where participants could redesign them.

The project has spawned new ideas for green space in Kiberia, the largest slum in Nairobi and the tool was also used to design a new waterfront in Les Cayes, Haiti's third largest city.

The Adelaide competition closes on 12 June and the winner will be announced a month later.

Winners will get a government-funded trip to the Belair National Park.

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