Supported by

The GM Signature logo (Feb 2015)
NOMALogo_color (1)


The Issue:

World populations are increasingly moving from rural to urban centers, making large cities more dense than ever, and Americans are increasingly moving to downtown areas, increasing urban sprawl.

The technology components of cities range from smart grids and driverless cars to automated buildings and advanced sensors. Each city is an ecosystem that also includes education, jobs and economic opportunity.

How cities are designed affect how we work, live and play as we navigate throughout the day to access schools, hospitals, playgrounds, retail stores, restaurants, parks and workplaces.

Think about how you can reimagine aspects your everyday life –is there a playground or baseball field near your home? Can your parents walk to a grocery store or do they need to drive or catch a bus? Is the temperature at your school comfortable all year round? What would you redesign in your city to make it more inviting using technology?


The Prompt:

Make a game that identifies issues in your community that you want to change with technology and utilize design thinking to re-imagine the space or place in your city to create solutions. Determine your solution by using and exploring a variety of techniques including research, interviews with people in your community, site visits, drawing prototypes, and creating models.


8.55 Million
New York is the largest city in the United States. It saw a population increase of 375,300 people from 2000 – 2016.


NYC Transit
MTA is one of the largest and most extensive transportation systems in the world with 24 hour service and more than 6 million daily riders.

A Diverse City
with over 200 languages spoken, more the 40% of the population born outside the United States and a thriving entertainment and media center.


Dazzling Skyline
NYC is home to many historical structures such as the Empire State Building and Statue of liberty. The Skyline continues to evolve with iconic structures by prominent architects.

Theme Resources


The Dutch first settled along the Hudson River in1624; two years later they established the colony of New Amsterdam on Manhattan Island. In 1664, the English took control of the area and renamed it New York. New York City comprises 5 boroughs sitting where the Hudson River meets the Atlantic Ocean. At its core is Manhattan, a densely populated borough that’s among the world’s major commercial, financial and cultural centers New York City continues to have major influence and impact on the world’s economy, entertainment, media, education, art, technology, and scientific research. New York City, is the single largest regional urban economy in the country. New York City isthe leading job hubfor banking, finance and communication in the U.S. New York is also a major manufacturing center and shipping port, and it has a thriving technological sector. There are more books, magazines and newspapers published in New York than in any other state in the country. Its iconic sites include skyscrapers such as the Empire State Building and sprawling Central Park. Broadway theater is stagedinneon-lit Times Square.

Known as the Big Apple New York City’s nickname first gained popularity in connection with horseracing. Around 1920, New York City newspaper reporter John Fitz Gerald, whose beat was the track, heard African-American stable hands in New Orleans say they were going to “the big apple,” a reference to New York City, whose race tracks were considered big-time venues. Fitz Gerald soon began making mention of the Big Apple in his newspaper columns. In the 1930s, jazz musicians adopted the term to indicate New York City was home to big-league music clubs.

New York City is by far the largest city in theUnited States, with an estimated 2016 population of8.55 million.This reflects growth of 375,300 people, a 4.6% increase, since the 2010 census. The city featuresfive separate boroughs:) Staten Island, The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan.As many as 200 languagesare spoken throughout New York City, making it the most diverse city in the world when it comes to linguistic multiplicity. Forty percent of the NYC population was born outside of the United States. Combine the cultural and ethnic diversity of the residents with the hundreds of consulates, embassies and permanent U.N. missions and you have a cosmopolitan city unlike any other.

MTA New York City Transit is one of the most extensive and complex public transportation systems in the world. With 24-hour-a-day bus and subway service throughout the five boroughs, the MTA system moves more than six million people a day. More than 375,000 cars zip along on the city’s roads every day. Even though traffic is heavy, the thoroughfares in the city lie along a straightforward grid that makes navigating the Big Apple easier.

Click on the image to open a high resolution version: