Sustainable Cities


    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.

    Note: Course availability may vary from semester to semester. Some courses may be in development and offered at a later time. Students seeking to pursue alternative coursework to fulfill the minor should consult with their advisors.


    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.


      Subject Area Course Options Requirements
      Studio-based Skills and Methods

      3 credits

      *Students needing introductory art/design skills are strongly encouraged to choose one of these course options.

      Urban Infrastructure 3 credits
      History and Theory 3 credits
      Studio / Fieldwork

      6 credits

      Sustainability and Environmental Issues
      • Course recommendations are being finalized for this subject area.
      3 credits


      Minors are available to undergraduate students across The New School except those students at Lang and the Bachelors Program for Adults and Transfer Students who are completing a self-designed BA or BS in Liberal Arts, who are not permitted to declare minors. For students at Lang or the Bachelors Program for Adults and Transfer Students interested in pursuing a deeper study of this subject area, opportunities are available through the self-designed major in Liberal Arts. To explore this, contact an academic advisor or read more information about self-designed options for Lang or the Bachelors Program for Adults and Transfer Students.

      Students majoring in BS Urban Design are also restricted from pursuing a minor in Sustainable Cities.
      For questions regarding this minor’s curriculum, including requests for course substitutions, please contact Emily Moss, Assistant Professor of Design, at