• Views 182
  • Favorites
Photo by Peerapon Chantharainthron via Unsplash


MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative, TILclimate Podcast


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Civics, Engineering

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plan
  • Podcast, 11 minutes, 8 seconds
  • Project
  • Worksheet

Regional Focus




City of the Future Climate Project Educator Guide

Ask a Question

  • In this lesson, students design, evaluate, construct, and present their vision for a city of the future with people and the environment in mind.
  • Students apply what they have learned about climate change solutions like renewable energy, public transportation, and community initiatives in a series of group activities and a final project.
Teaching Tips


  • This is an engaging and multi-disciplinary approach to assessing students' knowledge of climate solutions.
  • In this project, students are challenged to apply their research, critical thinking, and collaborative skills.
  • The podcast discusses energy generation for urban areas, energy management for climate mitigation, and the electric grid.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This lesson is designed to be used as a culminating project for a unit on climate change and not as a standalone. Students should therefore have a strong understanding of various climate solutions.
  • The educator guide includes guidelines for each activity, a timeline, additional resources, and ideas for extension activities.
  • Students should listen to the podcast before starting the project.
  • The entire project should take 7 to 11 class periods to complete.


  • As an additional element for more advanced classes, have students also include cost and financing as a consideration in their designs.
  • The optional construction phase of the project can be completed in a 3-D or 2-D format, depending on your class's needs and access to resources.
  • One copy of each worksheet can be printed per group or committee.
  • Following the project, ask the class, "What does our city lack that the future city has? How can we move our city toward becoming this future city?"
  • Use this table of solutions for an extensive list of various climate solutions.
Scientist Notes
This lesson provides a ~12 minute podcast along with learning objectives, core ideas, standards, and teacher and student guides. The podcast and subsequent student activities encourage students to think critically about the construction of future cities, and how choices in energy, electricity, design, planning, zoning reduce a city's CO2 and other emissions. The activities allow students to work together to plan, design, evaluate, construct, and present their visions for a City of the Future. This resource is well-researched and provides all the necessary material for a teacher to incorporate into their own lesson plans about reducing CO2.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-1 Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
      • HS-ETS1-2 Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-7 Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
    • LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
      • HS-LS4-6 Create or revise a simulation to test a solution to mitigate adverse impacts of human activity on biodiversity.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
      • D4.6.9-12 Use disciplinary and interdisciplinary lenses to understand the characteristics and causes of local, regional, and global problems; instances of such problems in multiple contexts; and challenges and opportunities faced by those trying to address these problems over time and place.
      • D4.7.9-12 Assess options for individual and collective action to address local, regional, and global problems by engaging in self-reflection, strategy identification, and complex causal reasoning.
  • Related Resources


    Login to leave a review