and Partners

Center for Urban Pedagogy


The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) uses the power of design and art to increase meaningful civic engagement for New Yorkers, particularly among historically underrepresented communities. CUP projects are collaborations of art and design professionals, community-based advocates, and CUP staff to address the needs of communities struggling to understand the complex public policies and decision-making processes that impact their lives, from affordable housing to labor rights.


Purpose: To support their primary activities: Community Education –print and media publications and workshop tools produced with and for community partners, and Youth Educations–intensive, experiential learning programs for public high school students.

CUP creates tools for Community Education and social change that put design and advocacy into a productive dialogue with each other. These projects are developed using participatory and collaborative methods. As project collaborators become the main recipients of the tools, they determine how they are used, and ensure that they take on a life of their own as they are disseminated to a broad community.

Partners have included Urban Justice Center, Legal Aid Society, and New York Immigration Coalition. Through its Youth Education programs, CUP works with 500 Title 1 high school students — in-class and after school — to help them explore fundamental social justice questions about how New York City works, using collaborative research and design. Students have explored questions such as: Who decides where homeless people are sheltered? Where does our garbage go? Who decides where supermarkets go?