Sustainable Cities Minor

The New School

Date Posted: May 13, 2019
Submitted by: Claire Pope
Sustainability Topic: Curriculum
Content Type: Academic Programs
Program Type: Minor


This minor looks at the social sustainability of urban life, community-based design practices and processes, and the multiple scales of the modern city. In the minor, the environmental resilience of cities is regarded as an essential element of urbanism. Students learn design process and methodologies, including sketching, drawing, and making, along with diverse ways of learning about and engaging in the urban space. The minor anticipates collaborative community-based initiatives and activity, as well as creative explorations at multiple physical and phenomenal scales.

The Sustainable Cities minor is offered through Parsons' School of Design Strategies and requires successful completion of 18 credits across five subject areas, as outlined in the chart below.

Learning Outcomes

A student who has completed this minor should be able to demonstrate:

  • Competence in describing and responding to design problems in urban settings and ecosystems
  • Competence in creating and developing visual form in response to design problems, including an understanding of principles of visual organization/composition and application
  • An understanding of the physical, cognitive, cultural, and social human factors that shape design decisions
  • An understanding of tools, technologies, and materials, including their roles in the creation, production, and use of visual forms, including both traditional and digital media
  • An understanding of design history, theory, and criticism
  • An understanding of basic professional practices, including the ability to organize design projects and to work productively in teams
  • An understanding of ecological literacy and innovative uses of environmental resources

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