Urban Policy Lab in NYC | The New School Milano School

Public Engagement

  • Admission Events

    More Admission Events

Urban Policy Lab

  • The Urban Policy Lab anchors the Urban Policy program's singular client-centered curriculum. In this intensive six-credit practicum, groups of four or five students work as a consulting team to address real-world policy and management problems for government officials or nonprofit executives. Each team of students works on two projects over the course of the spring semester, supervised by a member of the Milano School's faculty. Each project culminates in a live briefing for the client, at which the team presents their findings and recommendations, followed by a written report incorporating client feedback.

    Urban Policy Lab (NURP 6010) is offered in the spring semester only. The prerequisite is Policy Analysis (NURP 6002), a course in which students build critical decision-making skills through case-based analytical exercises.

    Beginning in spring 2015, the Urban Policy Analysis and Management program will offer a three-credit Urban Policy Lab for Non-Majors. The course is open to all graduate students outside the Urban Policy program who have taken the prerequisite course Policy Analysis (NURP 6002). The Urban Policy Lab for Non-Majors meets twice a week for the first half of the spring semester. Students join the student consulting team and work on one client project.

    Lab clients include a wide array of public agencies and nonprofit organizations.

    • Recent public sector clients include the New York City departments of Corrections, Design and Construction, Housing Preservation and Development, Parks and Recreation, and Probation; the Mayor's Office for Environmental Coordination, the Mayor's Office for Food Policy, and the Mayor's Office for Operations; the New York City Housing Authority; and several members of the New York City Council.
    • Recent nonprofit clients include the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Citizens Committee for New York City, Community Environmental Center and its affiliate Build it Green, Human Service Council, Services and Advocacy for LGBT Elders, Southwest Leadership Academy (a charter school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), and WEACT for Environmental Justice.

    See lists of recent Lab projects by year:

    Links to Articles About the Urban Policy Lab

    The Lab has been featured recently in several external and internal publications, including a recent article in Nonprofit Press; a description of a collaboration with Parsons School of Design; an article about a Lab project that inspired a law promoting locally grown food; and an article by Professor Rachel Meltzer about the Urban Policy program's client-based curriculum.

    What Some of Our Clients Are Saying

  • Community Environmental Center

    "CEC has worked closely with Milano's Urban Policy Lab over the last decade, and we have been consistently impressed with the quality of the students' research, analysis, and formal presentations. From a project to mitigate the presence of reusable building materials in NYC's waste stream to our most recent project, which involves sustainable reconstruction in Hurricane Sandy's wake, CEC has consistently received incisive analysis and actionable recommendations from Milano students. CEC currently employs two graduates from Milano's Urban Policy program, and it is gratifying how often we get to work with other graduates we know who are employed by organizations in the sustainability sector. I recommend participating in the Lab to any non-profit or governmental agency that might appreciate a fresh perspective on any challenges or opportunities they face."

    Richard M. Cherry
    President and CEO

    NYC Department of Parks and Recreation

    "MillionTreesNYC was impressed by the New School team’s high level of professionalism, dedication, and enthusiasm for the project. The team offered insightful analysis of the issue and new opportunities to explore, while always being thoughtful about our needs and concerns. They helped us see things in a new light and helped us to improve our messaging. It was a pleasure to work with the New School team, and we look forward to implementing their proposal to engage more schools in the MillionTreesNYC initiative."

    Morgan Monaco
    Director, MillionTrees NYC

    NYC Department of Probation

    "The Department of Probation was very impressed with the high quality work done by the Milano students, who helped us think through options for developing and implementing staff and client feedback surveys. Not only did they do a thorough review of current practices in the field; we also used their recommendations as the foundation for our own planning process."

    Vincent N. Schiraldi