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Co-taught creative problem-solving for urban challenges

During May 2020, Yuan Lai, PhD, from Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning and I taught a workshop series of four sessions about creative problem-solving in urban planning and design to students in the NEET program, MIT School of Engineering.

Participants tackled an authentic challenge: the restrictions placed on dog walkers around Cambridge, MA, as a result of social distancing in the time of COVID-19. Participants trained in defining their problem using the 5W technique, and in generating original ideas by conducting SNAP exercises.

Participants expressed high levels of satisfaction from the workshop, including an email Dr. Lai and I received from one of the students who was doing an internship at the time, thanking us for the workshop and telling us that they had applied what we taught them in their work.