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CityLAB EduX Summer

CityLAB EduX Summer


JULY 25 TO AUGUST 21 2021

SUMMER 2021 (4 Weeks)

An experiential summer program for high school students from China to engage with the city as classroom, laboratory, studio and community

Come to New York City for the summer to do relevant, field-based work, with a small cohort of peers, pursuing both a collective and personalized course of study, guided by expert practitioners.


CityLAB students explore critical topics and urgent questions in New York City through project-based work, discovering new passions, exploring the city, visiting universities & museums, producing a robust portfolio of creative work, and mastering academic and non-academic skills


  • Design thinking

  • Project development

  • Critical thinking, research & writing

  • English language skills

  • Public speaking & exhibitions

  • Data analysis & research

  • Mapping & geography

  • Interviewing skills

  • Visual analysis

  • Leadership & collaboration

  • Personal independence

Personal & Group Projects

  • Podcasts

  • Websites

  • Walking tours

  • Digital media

  • Documentaries

  • Performance

  • Creative Writing

  • Research Essays

  • Opinion Writing

  • Urban Planning

  • Public Policy Proposals

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CityLAB Summary

WHO: Whom We Serve

A high school summer program for students from China seeking a place-based, active fieldwork experience, in NYC


  • mastering academic, creative and life skills

  • 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

CityLAB Mini-Projects
WHO: Whom We Serve

HOW: Project Cycles and Themes

  • We work in a 4-week Project Cycle

  • We look at the city through our 5 Living City Lenses

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


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? 

HOW: Project Cycles

WHAT: Project Cycle Topics

WHAT: Project Topics
Our summer project cycle 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.
We then draw 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:


"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?

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?

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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?

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?

"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?

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?

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?

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?

“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?​

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