The United Nations isn't just turning to urban planners and architects to help makeover developing cities. It's turning to anyone who can pick up a mouse and use Minecraft.

The UN's Block by Block program is asking members of developing communities to use their imaginations and come up with plans.

"In Haiti, we had a group of fishermen who couldn't read, couldn't write and had never used a computer, design a plan for Place de la Paix [in Haiti]," digital project manager for UN Habitat Pontus Westerberg said to Mashable. "They built a sea wall to prevent the area from flooding, and added public toilets. These models really let them visualize the changes they want to see in that space."

Comparison views of Kirtipur, Nepal in real life and its plans in Minecraft. (Via Block by Block/UN Habitat)

Westerberg's team has been working with businesses, community groups, and members of all ages (it ends up that Minecraft  was significantly easier to pick up than they expected).

For the full story, go check out the report on Mashable.  

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[via Mashable]