Schools Reinventing Cities: Building sustainable cities block by block

09 Oct 2023 City skyline constructed in Minecraft

What are the building blocks of a sustainable city?

Inclusive transportation? Locally sourced food? Low-emission neighborhoods? The possibilities are limitless!

Minecraft Education and C40 Cities have teamed up to invite students to tackle this important question while flexing their creative muscles. Welcome to Schools Reinventing Cities.

Schools Reinventing Cities challenges students around the world to design climate-responsive urban planning solutions in Minecraft Education, envisioning a more sustainable and inclusive future for the places and spaces they call home. It's a chance to address pressing global climate issues that directly impact their local environments — and have fun doing it!

Global cities. Real-world challenges. Virtual creations.

Since January 2023, students across seven cities all over the world dedicated nearly 100,000 hours to urban innovation—that's the equivalent of more than 11 years! We’ve partnered with schools in New York, Los Angeles, Winnipeg, Calgary, Quezon City, Buenos Aires, and London to help their students envision greener cities, smarter transit, and more resilient food systems.

Mayors are taking notice of students' ingenious solutions and considering ways to transform their visionary ideas into real-life initiatives. Meanwhile, programs are ramping up in more than five new cities across North America, Latin America, and Africa over the next few months!

And we aren't stopping there…

Now, we're giving every school and classroom on the planet the opportunity to join Schools Reinventing Cities.

Activate your classroom, school, district, or even your whole city! This is a chance to harness the boundless energy and creativity of learners, educators, and leaders, complete with a dedicated Minecraft Education world and extensive resources for teachers and students developed with the climate experts at C40.

To make the program as globally inclusive as possible, the ReinventingCities World contains seven different city biomes. Each one represents a unique global region, so students can build solutions that suit their local neighborhoods.

Your roadmap for reinvention

It starts with the Schools Reinventing Cities toolkit. This resource takes you through everything you need to know to make the program fun, effective, and impactful. You’ll find step-by-step instructions, a sample timeline, and a master checklist to ensure your project goes off without a hitch.

From there, craft your build challenge to suit your city, school, and students. A good challenge has three components:

  • A design question: Design a prompt that ignites your students' passion. Our toolkit will help you create a challenge that aligns with your city's objectives and global initiatives like the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Start and end dates: We recommend an 8–12-week timeframe for most build challenges. That will help you facilitate the project effectively and give students ample time to research, plan, build, present, and submit their solutions.
  • A celebration: What's creation without celebration? Whether you showcase your students' work through a simple highlight reel on Flip or an in-person Schools Reinventing Cities fair or exhibition, they deserve recognition. Our toolkit shares ways to celebrate your students while thoughtfully engaging your community.

We’ve provided everything you need to get started with students. There's a customizable lesson PowerPoint to lead your learners through the challenge, an interactive guide for students featuring worksheets, a certificate for your intrepid urban designers, and more.

Schools Reinventing Cities is more than just a program. It's a movement that empowers youth to become active citizens and participants in climate action. The future isn't a distant destination in a far-off land. It starts now, in students' own neighborhoods.

Take the first step on this transformative journey! Download the Schools Reinventing Cities toolkit today.