Macaulay Honors College at CUNY

New York: City Designed aims to grow the pipeline of students with underrepresented backgrounds in the planning, design, and preservation fields.

Today, the Design Trust for Public Space and The Macaulay Honors College of the City University of New York (CUNY) announced a new program aimed at providing students with interest in the planning, design, and preservation fields, a hands-on understanding of the forces that have shaped their city and access to careers in those sectors. The year-long program will include a mixture of experiential learning, workshop-based problem-solving, lectures, site visits, and internship placements equipping young leaders to take power as NYC residents and jump-start their professional development.

New York: City Designed seeks to introduce a wide diversity of student groups to opportunities in the design sectors and have real-world experience to prepare them for these careers. Spearheaded by a steering committee of city agencies, non-profits, and private-sector design and architecture firms, including the New York City Mayor’s Office, New York City Department of Planning, NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, WXY Studio, Times Square Alliance, Grand Central Partnership, 3x3 Design, and more, the program pilot will begin this summer, with many of the organizations hosting students through funded on-site internship placements. The 8-10 week City Design Internship program will also include site visits, lectures, and networking events. 

Applications open for current Macaulay sophomore and junior students across CUNY campuses in March. Students can learn more about participating organizations here.

“Young people, people of color, and others with underrepresented backgrounds have been historically excluded from city-making conversations that impact their communities the most,” said Matthew Clarke, Design Trust for Public Space Executive Director. “Building on Design Trust’s experience in seeding agency to new forms of leadership, we are proud to partner with Macaulay’s exceptional student body and cultivate their unique perspectives, empowering a new generation’s ability to spearhead solutions to complex design challenges facing our global city.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Design Trust for Public Space to launch this innovative new program," said Macaulay Dean Dara N. Byrne, PhD. "Our students care deeply about the city's communities and often express that passion for social change in their academic work. New York: City Designed will provide avenues for smart, creative, Macaulay students to take that passion to new areas of professional development and add their voices to areas of planning, design, and preservation."

"In New York City, it is crucial to ensure those involved in the designing of our city's built environment are as diverse as the communities they represent," said New York City Mayor’s Office Chief Public Realm Officer Ya-Ting Liu. "I am excited to join Design Trust for Public Space and Macaulay Honors College in this important initiative inspiring the next generation of planners and designers of our city."

"City Planning is thrilled to participate in this important initiative supporting young New Yorkers from underrepresented backgrounds to pursue careers in planning and design,” said Chief Urban Designer and Director of the Urban Design Office at the Department of City Planning Erick Gregory. “Through programs like this, we can inspire a new generation of leaders to address long-standing urban design challenges and shape our built environment for the better.” 

“The Times Square Alliance is delighted to be part of the New York: City Designed program with long-time partner, Design Trust for Public Space. Times Square is not just an iconic destination, it is also a microcosm to learn about community development, public space management and innovation, and civic leadership,” said  Times Square Alliance Senior Vice President Regina Fojas. “As a Macaulay Honors College alumna, this opportunity is an intersection of my passion for urban studies and creating opportunities for underrepresented voices in this field.”

“The New York: City Designed program aims to grow the pipeline of students with underrepresented backgrounds in the planning, design, and preservation fields,” said TenBerke Senior Principal Noah Biklen, AIA, LEED AP.  "We believe that diversity is the wellspring of excellence. At TenBerke, we maintain a sustained ethic of inclusion: from the places we design to underpin more sustainable communities, to our own community of practice. Expanding on this core ethic, we are thrilled to support this program, to promote diversity in the creation of the built environment.”

“The New York: City Designed program that the Design Trust and The Macaulay Honors College have created fills an important gap in New York City, which is to support young New Yorkers in their goals to improve the built environment of New York City and to have careers in the architecture and urban planning sectors,” said WXY Studio Principal Adam Lubinsky.  “At WXY Studio, we recognize the importance of having young people who have grown up in NYC’s neighborhoods in the spaces to ask the questions and solve the challenges that will make NYC more socially and environmentally just.” 

“The Grand Central Partnership is excited to be a part of‘ New York: City Designed,“ said President and CEO of the Grand Central Partnership Fred Cerullo. “As an organization that is successfully developing innovative public realm projects in Midtown East with our private and public partners, we look forward to joining with the Design Trust for Public Space and the Macaulay Honors College of the City University of New York to work with our newest generation of visionaries- and to support their academic and creative experiences in our city.”

“As a company that believes that developing impactful solutions to the problems cities face requires elevating the voices of those who have not historically had a seat at the table, HR&A Advisors is excited to support New York: City Designed to build a stronger pipeline of diverse talent for our industry,” said Principal at HR&A Advisors Thomas Jansen. “I’m proud to support this important opportunity for students from underrepresented groups to launch what I hope will be long careers helping shape more inclusive, equitable futures for New York City and other urban centers.”

“In my role at the Historic House Trust of New York City, I have the great privilege of working with community partners citywide who are doing groundbreaking work to shed light on previously undertold stories and accurately reflect the history and culture of our diverse city,”  said Executive Director of Historic House Trust of NYC Meredith Horsford. “We are thrilled to collaborate with the Design Trust for Public Space and The Macaulay Honors College to encourage the next generation to take up this work, bringing new ideas and perspectives to the field of historic preservation."

The full ongoing program will  include three distinct parts, including an overview seminar in the fall, a place-based workshop in the spring, and cohort-based internships in the summer. Students can participate segmentally or in the entire sequence, depending on their interests and needs. The program can form as a core part of the curriculum for an aspiring architect or planner or it can augment an existing area of study. Students will finish the program with a greater understanding of the city as a designed space, and through their future work, in all fields, advocate for a more just and equitable New York.

This project is partially supported by the Classical American Homes Preservation Trust.

New York City: Designed spokespeople are available for further comment. Please contact Alexa Mauzy-Lewis ( to coordinate.