CityWorks

Exploring Your Community: A workbook

An innovative way for young people to understand their communities

CityWorks is an award-winning high school curriculum created at The Rindge School of Technical Arts in Cambridge, Massachusetts, one of the oldest public vocational high schools in the United States. CityWorks has attracted international attention from educators seeking to adapt it for their own communities around the world. The New Press publication of CityWorks makes the project accessible for the first time to teachers and students everywhere in the form of a workbook on understanding a community through its economic base, its industries, and its demographics.

CityWorks addresses the disjunction between school and “the real world,” challenging students to use their heads and hands to investigate the neighborhoods in which they live. Through interviews, research in local archives, and creating “artifacts”—maps, photographs, tapes, oral histories, and three-dimensional models young people document their city as it is, and develop new visions of what their city could be. CityWorks is a valuable resource for teachers, parents, community activists, youth agencies—anyone interested in helping teens tap into the resources of their community and their own potential as citizens and change agents.

Activities from CityWorks include:

  • New tool design 
  • Designing and building a landmark 
  • Mapping and presenting your neighborhood 
  • Creating new businesses and services for your community 
  • Working with community partners on development projects