Educating consumers about urban development issues helps housing leaders manage public perception. This game, along with a host of other recently developed games, may help developers gain public support in real estate battles.

With real estate development battles raging from Los Angeles to Boston, a new interactive game aims to help players understand one lesser-known aspect of zoning that’s shaping many neighborhoods.

The tool comes from the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) — the same nonprofit that urged designers working in cities to consider social impact and “not be a Dick.” CUP also broke down the “big picture” of NYC welfare, and created a game to help Harlem residents understand zoning and their rights.

This latest effort, “What is FAR?,” builds on the organization’s zoning toolkit and helps the public understand FAR, or floor area ratio: the total floor area divided by the lot area. The calculation is used by builders to determine the height and bulk of buildings, and most local governments set a maximum FAR (pronounced “F-A-R,” not “far”) for each parcel to limit the size of a building in relation to the size of the lot it’s on. It often goes hand-in-hand with things like height limits.

Read More