The Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) is a nonprofit organization that uses design and art to improve civic engagement. CUP projects demystify the urban policy and planning issues that impact our communities, so that more individuals can better participate in shaping them.
Zoning law regulates land use across the city, and shapes buildings, blocks, and whole neighborhoods. It can be a tool for preservation or for rapid physical and economic development. But how does it work? And why is it so controversial? CUP created What is Zoning? to help communities answer these questions. The toolkit includes a set of activities that break down density, land use, and how proposed rezonings could affect neighborhoods. Inside the toolbox are infrastructure elements, a two-sided gameboard, and hundreds of colorful plastic blocks that stack up to break down the basics of zoning.
CUP designed the toolkit in collaboration with designers Jeff Lai and Andrew Sloat and an advisory group of dozens of community organizations, advocacy groups, and policy experts to meet the specific needs they faced in educating their constituents on neighborhood development issues.