community design 101

Each activity falls under one of the three topics: Neighborhood History and Identity, Neighborhood Design, and Youth Voice. Each topic aligns with an essential question that supports the core question: "How does the shape we give our community, in turn, shape us?"  

Many of the activities require large maps of your school's neighborhood. For assistance with creating and printing these maps, please contact Melody Gibson at melody@civicdesigncenter.org.



 

Lessons

neighborhood history and identity

What are the current struggles and successes of my community?

   Neighborhood Identity :  This activity has students explore the impact that a neighborhood has on the identity of an individual and group of people. They will create a representation of their own neighborhood that portrays how they view its identity, and reflect on how their neighborhood has impacted their own identity.

Neighborhood Identity: This activity has students explore the impact that a neighborhood has on the identity of an individual and group of people. They will create a representation of their own neighborhood that portrays how they view its identity, and reflect on how their neighborhood has impacted their own identity.

NEIGHBORHOOD IDENTITY

   Timeline :  This activity has students use context clues to chronologically order a series of historic images of that will tellthe story of how historic events shaped their city.

Timeline: This activity has students use context clues to chronologically order a series of historic images of that will tellthe story of how historic events shaped their city.

TIMELINE

   Neighborhood History :  This activity has students represent different periods of time in their neighborhood’s history by having them draw on overlays of their neighborhood map.

Neighborhood History: This activity has students represent different periods of time in their neighborhood’s history by having them draw on overlays of their neighborhood map.

NEIGHBORHOOD HISTORY
 

neighborhood design

What makes a community functional, healthy, and beautiful?
What are the current struggles and successes of my community?

   Map Your Neighborhood  : This short exercise transitions student’s thinking about their neighborhood to map view. In groups, they will draw a map of their neighborhood solely from memory of experience.

Map Your Neighborhood: This short exercise transitions student’s thinking about their neighborhood to map view. In groups, they will draw a map of their neighborhood solely from memory of experience.

MAP YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD

   What is Community Design?  : This is a presentation that teaches students some basic knowledge of community design.

What is Community Design?: This is a presentation that teaches students some basic knowledge of community design.

WHAT IS COMMUNITY DESIGN?

   Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt  : This scavenger hunt has students search for and experience different neighborhood elements in their community. As it requires students to be out independently exploring their community, it is intended to be an ongoing activity for students outside of class time.

Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt: This scavenger hunt has students search for and experience different neighborhood elements in their community. As it requires students to be out independently exploring their community, it is intended to be an ongoing activity for students outside of class time.

NEIGHBORHOOD SCAVENGER HUNT

   Transect Story Map  : This activity has students explore the different types of neighborhoods (transect zones) by creating a map that tells the story of a day in the life of a community member in a transect zone.

Transect Story Map: This activity has students explore the different types of neighborhoods (transect zones) by creating a map that tells the story of a day in the life of a community member in a transect zone.

TRANSECT STORY MAP
 

   Neighborhood Analysis  : This activity has students do a neighborhood field study where they annotate a map as they walk through their neighborhood. Through the annotation process, students will learn about the neighborhood form and characteristics.

Neighborhood Analysis: This activity has students do a neighborhood field study where they annotate a map as they walk through their neighborhood. Through the annotation process, students will learn about the neighborhood form and characteristics.

NEIGHBORHOOD ANALYSIS

   Street Design  : This activity has students compare and contrast before and after images of streets in order to learn about street design that creates a strong community. The activity culminates in an opportunity for students to design their own street improvements.

Street Design: This activity has students compare and contrast before and after images of streets in order to learn about street design that creates a strong community. The activity culminates in an opportunity for students to design their own street improvements.

STREET DESIGN

   Housing Search  : This activity has students explore housing availability in their community as they role play as a diverse range of citizens looking for housing.

Housing Search: This activity has students explore housing availability in their community as they role play as a diverse range of citizens looking for housing.

HOUSING SEARCH
 

 

youth voice

How can I be an active citizen?

   Community Advocate Scavenger Hunt  : This scavenger hunt has students search for and experience different ways that citizens can stay informed and be involved in their community. As it requires students to be out independently exploring their community, it is intended to be an ongoing activity for students outside of class time.

Community Advocate Scavenger Hunt: This scavenger hunt has students search for and experience different ways that citizens can stay informed and be involved in their community. As it requires students to be out independently exploring their community, it is intended to be an ongoing activity for students outside of class time.

COMMUNITY ADVOCATE SCAVENGER HUNT

   Youth Voice Project  : This project gives students the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the previous activities to an improvement project for their own community. The process will be modeled after a Participatory Budgeting process that was introduced in Youth Voice Project Introduction.

Youth Voice Project: This project gives students the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the previous activities to an improvement project for their own community. The process will be modeled after a Participatory Budgeting process that was introduced in Youth Voice Project Introduction.

YOUTH VOICE PROJECT

   Career Paths  : This is a presentation that highlights some careers in planning and design.

Career Paths: This is a presentation that highlights some careers in planning and design.

CAREER PATHS

 
 
 
 

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health focus

Many of the activities have connections to how neighborhoods can influence the physical health of its citizens. The blue heart symbol points out these connections in the activity guides.