In It Together board game. Image: Urban Works Agency/Janette Kim

In It Together board game. Image: Urban Works Agency/Janette Kim


Faculty Research and Curriculum: Researching Research Seminar
Date: Spring 2018-current
Principal Investigator and Professor: Janette Kim

In It Together is a sea level rise board game that explores how diverse communities can work together to build greater resilience to climate change.

The game brings stakeholders together around a map of the San Leandro Bay (the Estuary) to cooperatively explore adaptation strategies, weigh their tradeoffs, and achieve greater local resilience. Players represent diverse communities and agencies within the Estuary, each with unique goals to build long-term resilience and meet immediate-term needs. In each round, they take turns placing adaptation pieces (e.g., living levees, tidal ponds, greenways, high-density housing) on the map, paying for these actions with In It Together tokens. As the rounds advance, so too does flooding, taxing players if flood waters reach unprotected buildings or infrastructure. Players can compete or collaborate to realize a win-lose outcome if they individually accomplish their goals or achieve a win-win solution if they collectively score all available ‘Collective Resilience Points.’

Decision-makers, non-profits, city residents, and students have used this game to educate and spark dialog. The game illustrates how climate change will impact our neighborhoods. It explores how adaptation strategies can make communities resilient to challenges both immediate and long-term. As a decision-making tool, as well, it can help community members, advocates, and agencies understand each others’ goals and find creative ways to work together.

Authors. In It Together was created by California College of the Arts Urban Works Agency/Janette Kim and All Bay Collective for the Resilient by Design Bay Area Challenge. The All Bay Collective team includes AECOM, CMG Landscape Architecture, UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design, and CCA (led by Janette Kim and Neeraj Bhatia), in association with Silverstrum Climate Associates, Skeo, Moll de Monchaux, and David Baker Architects. CCA student authors of the game are Shahad Alamoudi, Marwan Barmasood, Georgia Came, Denisse Correa Guerra, Ally Foronda, Eric Fura, Francisco Garcia, Jessica Grinaker, Fathmath Isha, Lori Martinez, Jennifer Pandian and Sabrina Schrader.

Distribution. This game is currently under development for commercial distribution with Room and Board Games.  If you are interested in using the game or acquiring a copy of the game once it’s published, please email us at janettekim at

Play and Get Information. The published version of In It Together will relate to a fictional city so it relates to a broad audience. For now, if you are interested in playing In It Together, it can be played on any 1:400 map of your city. You can download materials and see how the game has been used by community members in East Oakland at the RBD website. You can also see the way this game was created and used in relationship to other engagement tools on our RBD Engagement Toolkit page. In It Together is part of a series of board games called Win Win.