Student Work


The students engage in a variety of tasks, activities and assignments, with a range of assessments attached to their urban  research, academic investigations and experiences. To see fuller descriptions their fieldwork and assignments in greater detail, please see the Big Apple and Project Calendar or the full course syllabi under Academic Program

Here are a few projects from students who agreed to publish there work:




Unit 1- Introduction to the Bronx and the City

Warriors Vision Quest

Our first experience in the field was the Warriors Vision Quest. Here is a map tracing some of the experiences that the students, in five groups, had over two days following the clues left by their historical "spirit guides:"


Big Apple Project: Spirit Guide Time Traveler

Each student chose a Spirit Guide from the Vision Quest and wrote a letter or journal entry in the Guide's voice, comparing the Guide's time to ours. 

Spirit Guide Time Traveler Letters



Unit 2- Sustainable City


Hunts Point- From Land To Mouth

The assessment for this fieldwork was designed by the students to address important questions and issues raised by our visit to the Hunts Point Markets and neighborhood. 

Hunts Point Projects


Big Apple Project: My New York

Using the art discipline the student has chosen for this semester (film, theater, photography), each created an art piece that effectively communicates their New York, their identity within the city,  considering how culture and history, familial and civic, intermingle to create their ‘place’,  accompanied by a write-up, an artistic statement.

My New York Projects



Unit 3- Immigrant Metropolis


Immigrant Culture: Constraint or Empowerment
Students formed groups focusing on different expressions of immigrant culture: visual art, music, theater, literature, architecture and religion. Each group presented at two locations in the the Five Points, Jewish Lower East Side, Chinatown, Little Italy and Loisaida.


Big Apple Project: Immigrant Journey Narrative and Map- "StoryCorps" Interview
Students interviewed their family members and friends to study how and why their families came to America, to New York City and how and why they moved around neighborhoods in the NY region. Then they prepared a condensed narrative of the story and paired up with a partner to develop questions each would ask the other, producing a "StoryCorps" style audio clip and an accompanying map of their family's immigrant journey.

Unit 4- Contested City: Power And Conflict in the People’s City

Who Killed the South Bronx: Robert Moses and the Cross Bronx Expressway on Trial
Students assumed the roles of major political players, journalists, historians and community activists to put Robert Moses and his most infamous highway on trial for the decline of the South Bronx.
See a short video of one of the witnesses for the prosecution

Resiliency Project
How do we design a more resilient city, one that can not only withstand/respond to the weather events, such as Superstorm Sandy, that climate change may bring, but can help us to reduce our carbon footprint, use resources sustainably and address the causes of global climate change? Students choose a proposed plan in the city (Atlantic Yards, Hudson Yards, etc.) and redesign it to be more resilient.
                                                      Resiliency Project: The Hudson Yards


Big Apple Project: What Could NY Be? A Plan for NYC
After studying several plans and policies for NYC (Hudson Yards, HighLine, NYCDoT Bike Lanes, BRT and Pedestrian Plazas, PlaNYC, etc.), the students chose one challenge or opportunity and designed a plan or policy to address it
What Could NY Be? Big Plans


Unit 5, A River Runs Through It: Community, Borough, Neighborhood and Landscape

Hunts Point MS424- SSBx Community Day/ Arbor Day
Students planned a community event at MS 424 with activities for children, including face-painting, crafts, drawing, food, parachute games, etc. while other students built tree guards to protect the new trees being planted in Hunts Point as part of the Million Trees initiative.

Big Apple Project: Bronx River Trek Exhibition
We traveled down the Bronx River over two days with Damian Griffin and his team from the Bronx River Alliance, studying the inter-relationship between the human and non-human communities along the Bronx River.
Photos of the Exhibition for Students
Photos of the Exhibitions and reception for Families and Guests
(Jake's video on Boston Post Road/West Farms/Williamsbridge- since he was sick)


Unit 6, Conclusion

Final Arts Projects
Students worked in Theater, Film and Photography on projects for all or much of the semester. 

In Theater in the City they began with the prompt "The moment I knew I was a New Yorker (or wasn't a New Yorker) was when..." and wrote individual monologues that they later combined into a group performance. The script is here:

In Film in the City the students worked on a few projects, growing out of their fieldwork in the core program and their My New York assignment in Literature in the City:

In Photography the students worked a series of slideshows, including a group project recording their Warriors Vision Quest and small group slideshows on the Hunts Point Market: