CityLAB

CityLAB

SPRING 2021 (7 to 14 Weeks)

An experiential "expanded classroom" enrichment program for high school students that supplements their regular curriculum

Get out of the classroom and your home to do relevant, field-based work, with a small, diverse cohort of peers, pursuing both a collective and personalized course of study, guided by expert practitioners.

 

CityLAB is a high school enrichment program for students seeking an active, collaborative, place-based experience, supplementing their regular school. It takes place outside of regular school hours: afterschool and on weekends.

 

CityLAB students will explore critical topics and urgent questions in New York City through project-based work, discovering new passions, exploring the city, producing a robust portfolio of creative work, and mastering academic and non-academic skills (creative writing, digital media, filmmaking, podcasting, performance, architectural design, planning, policy debate, walking tours, etc.).

 

WHO: Whom We Serve

A high school enrichment program for students seeking a place-based, active fieldwork experience, supplementing their regular school. 

 

  • mastering academic, creative and life skills

  • after school 3-6pm, 2 times a week plus Saturday(adapted to your school schedule)

  • 4-week project modules

  • project-based experiential learning

  • design projects, podcasts, walking tours, creative writing, digital media, architectural design, documentaries, model-making, public speaking, performance, etc.

  • exploring critical topics and urgent questions in New York City 

  • primarily field-based with some indoor and virtual activities

  • a COVID-safe social experience

  • begins October 2020

CityLAB Mini-Projects
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Sample schedule of a 4 week project on Curbside Cuisine design and policy. Please click to enlarge

 

HOW: Project Cycles and Themes

  • We work in  4-6 week Project Cycles

  • Each project cycle looks at the city through our 5 Living City Lenses

  • We will choose from 12 pre-established project cycles, based on the passions and goals of our participants

OUR 5 LIVING CITY LENSES:


The Form of the City: How are cities designed and how do urban form and architecture shape our destinies?


Resilient City: How can cities build back better in response to both acute crises and chronic challenges? 


The Just City: What are the ingredients of a just, diverse and equitable society and how do we achieve it?


City of Memory: How do cities build and rebuild their civic imagination and establish their identity? 


The City of Creativity: How does NYC inspire art and culture; and how do art and culture define NYC? 

 

 

WHAT: Project Cycle Topics

 
Each project cycle module begins with a short orientation, in which participants establish community norms and culture (including Coronavirus protocols), learn how to safely navigate the city, study the geography of the city, and set their individual goals for the program.
Each semester includes 2-3 project cycles of 4-6 weeks each. We choose from the 12 project cycle topics below, depending on the interests and passions of our participants.
Students choose the media in which they will work, including analytical writing, creative writing, visual art, performing art, documentary, digital media, model-making, policy memos, research essays, historical fiction, etc...
Of course, current events and student interest may transform a project cycle or produce a completely new one, as circumstances warrant. We have a deep bench of expert partners to make such flexibility possible.
We will be drawing from the following topics, modifying them for City GAP, CityLAB and CityTERM, based on participants’ interests, skills desired and age group:

 

12 PROJECT CYCLES 

A River Runs Through It- The Life and Lives of the Bronx River

• How are the histories of the Bronx River and its communities intertwined?

• How does the reclamation of the Bronx river impact the life of the South Bronx?

"Immigrants, We Get the Job Done”- Migration, Immigration, Opportunity and Diversity

• How do people come to, settle in and migrate through the city?

• How have migration and diversity transformed NYC into a city of distinct neighborhoods and cultures?

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"Graffiti is a Poem the City Writes to Itself"- Street Art, Graffiti, Muraling and the Art of Social Change

• How has graffiti brought hip-hop culture to the world?

• What is the relationship between street art, mainstream art and social change?

 

"Another Opening, Another Show"- Re-imagining Theater, Art and Entertainment in a New Cultural Plan

• How will NYC’s entertainment sector- live theater, music and dance-  re-open in response to the COVID-19 shutdown? 

• What does Broadway, and popular culture more broadly, look like after the crisis?

"Turning Wilderness into a Mart"-  Hunts Point Market from Farm to Table

• How should science, economics, culture and environmental justice shape our food delivery system and make it more equitable and sustainable?

• How does food get from farm to table in NYC? Who benefits and who pays?

"Here Is New York"-  City of Fiction; Fiction of the City

• How does NYC drive the literary, visual and cinematic imagination?

• How do fiction, art and storytelling determine NYC’s identity, now and in the past?

"The Kind of Problem a City Is"- Moses v. Jacobs and the Fall and Rise of the South Bronx

 

• How do city governance and civic leadership transform a city?

• How should and do communities drive city planning?

Resilient NYC- Equitable Waterfront Alternatives to the Big U

• How can we make our city resilient in the face of climate change?

• How do we make a more equitable plan for our waterfront communities?

Whose History?- Monuments, Statues and Remaking our Civic Imagination

• How do cities establish their origins and identity through commemoration?

• Who decides what we remember and celebrate in the public realm and how?

Rethinking Rezoning- Affordability, Gentrification and Displacement

• What are the actual impacts of the current inclusionary zoning plans (MIZ and ZQA)?

• How can we provide more affordable housing while controlling gentrification?

Restaurants Re-Imagined - How Does Dining Return Post-Pandemic? 

• What do restaurants and consumers need to do to adapt to COVID-19?

• How can our restaurants and diverse cuisines survive and thrive post-pandemic?

Trains, Lanes & Automobiles  - An Equitable & Sustainable NYC Transportation System

• What would an integrated inter-modal transportation system look like?

• How can our transit system serve the city’s diverse communities and neighborhoods?

“I Hear America Singing”- NYC as the Cradle of American Popular Music

• How do migration and mobility converge in NYC to produce new popular music?

• How does NYC drive the evolution of popular music, from Jazz to Rock to Rap and beyond?​