Business and Commercial Role-Play:

Heat Islands Helping Cities Adapt to Climate Change Risks (III)


Tyler Corson-Rickert and Mónica Oliver under the direction of Professor Lawrence Susskind

This is a seven-party, integrative negotiation between stakeholders in a city over how to implement housing retrofits to enhance resilience to extreme heat in the aftermath of deadly heat waves attributed to climate change.


Please note: you must order a copy (a.k.a. license/usage fee) for every person participating in the simulation in your course. This simulation has multiple roles, so you will be unable to complete your purchase without meeting the minimum quantity requirement of copies per role.

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PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center

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Soft copy vs. hard copy

You may order this role simulation in either soft copy (electronic) or hard copy (paper) format. If you select the soft copy option, you will receive an e-mail with a URL (website address) from which you may download an electronic file in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. You will have one week to download your materials from when you receive the email. You are then only authorized to use, print, or share the materials as many times as the number of copies you purchase. The TNRC charges for use of this simulation on a per-participant basis. Therefore, you must purchase a separate copy of this simulation for each person who will be participating, regardless of the number of roles in the simulation. You will only receive a link to one electronic file, which includes all general instructions, confidential instructions, and any teaching notes for the simulation. You should separate out the instructions before distributing to participants.

If you select the hard copy option, you will receive paper copies of this role simulation via the shipping method you select.

For additional information about the soft copy option, please visit our FAQ section, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at or 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.) or 301-528-2676 (outside the U.S.).

Please note: At the present time, Teaching Negotiation Resource Center soft copies are compatible with the following versions of the Adobe Acrobat Reader: English, German, French, Spanish, Swedish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Korean. If you have a different version of the Acrobat Reader, you may wish to download one of these at, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at, 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.), or 301-528-2676 (outside the U.S.) for further assistance. This restriction does not apply to the freely available Teacher’s Package Review Copies.

Ordering a single copy for review

If you wish to review the materials for a particular role simulation to decide whether you’d like to use it, a PDF, or soft copy, version of the Teacher’s Package for the simulation is available as a free download from the description page of most role simulations and case studies. All Teacher’s Packages include copies of all participant materials. In addition, some Teacher’s Packages (but not all) include additional teaching materials such as teaching notes or overhead masters.

Ordering copies for multiple participants

To order multiple copies of a role simulation for use in a course or workshop, simply enter the total number of participants in the box next to “Quantity.” There is no need to calculate how many of each role is required.

If you are ordering hard copies, the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center will calculate the appropriate numbers of each role to provide, based on the total number of participants. For example, if you wish to order a 2-party role simulation for use with a class of 30 students, you would enter “30” in the box next to “Quantity.” You then would receive 15 copies of one role and 15 copies of the other role, for use with your 30 participants. As another example, if you ordered 30 participant copies of a 6-party role simulation, you would receive 5 copies of each role.

In the event that the number of participant copies you order is not evenly divisible by the number of roles in the simulation, you will receive extra copies of one or more roles. Participants receiving the extra roles may partner with other participants playing the same role, thus negotiating as a team. So, for instance, if you ordered 31 copies of a 2-party role simulation, you would receive 15 copies of the first role and 16 copies of the second role. One of the participants playing the second role would partner with another participant playing that same role, and the two would negotiate as a team.

Bulk Pricing Discount

For bulk orders, we offer the following pricing discounts. Please note that these only apply to bulk orders of the same simulation.

  • Between 100-250 copies – 10% discount
  • Between 251-500 copies – 25% discount
  • More than 500 copies – 50% discount
Log In or Register to download the free Teacher's Package Sample.


The city of Evantown experienced two deadly heat waves last summer that revealed the extent of climate change in the region and the poor condition of the city’s low-income housing stock. The greatest casualties during the heat wave were among the elderly and the children of low-income families living in aging public and rental housing. Now the new mayor, who won election decrying the previous mayor’s stumbling response to the crisis, has called together a group of stakeholders to decide how the city should undertake a program of housing retrofits to reduce vulnerability to extreme heat. Should the retrofits focus on public housing or low-income rental housing? Should the city government bear all the cost, or should private homeowners and landlords contribute? What scale and pace of response is appropriate given the uncertainty of climate change and the high costs involved in achieving resilience?



  • Public policy decisions related to climate change must take into account political, economic, and historical realities. Social and environmental justice issues will certainly arise.
  • Effective debate on climate adaptation will require a reliance on shared data and forecasts, which may be interpreted differently, but which can provide a believable basis for discussion.
  • Agreement depends on finding ways to package multiple issues together so that different groups can secure their highest priorities while relaxing their demands in other areas. Tackling issues separately almost always leads to deadlock.
  • The most feasible adaptation measures are those that meet multiple goals, including objectives that are independent of climate change (and all the uncertainties that come with it). We call these no-regrets actions. They can form the core of a more far-reaching response.



This game is one of an initial set of three games that the MIT Science Impact Collaborative has developed to illustrate the need to consider climate change in existing policy debates such as how to improve the condition of a city’s housing stock, rather than only tackling climate change as a separate and comprehensive issue. The other two games written for this series are Water Use and Flooding.



For all parties:

  • General Instructions


Role Specific:

Confidential instructions to the player negotiating for:

  • Mayor J. Gray
  • Director of City Planning Department
  • Director of Public Housing Authority
  • Evantown Homeowners Association
  • Senior Citizens Organization
  • Evantown Environmental and Social Action
  • Construction Industry


Teacher's package:

  • All of the above
  • Teaching note



Climate change; adaptation; housing; multiparty negotiating; public dispute resolution;





Water Use

Heat Islands Attributes

Time required: 1-2 hours
Number of participants: 7
Teams involved: No
Agent present: None
Neutral third party present: Facilitator
Scoreable: No
Teaching notes available: Yes