New York City


New York City
Case Type
Program Stories
Focus Areas
Built Environment
Design, Economics, Geography, Law, Management, Technology


Websites |

Created in 2009-2010, Town+Gown:NYC (Town+Gown) is a city-wide university-community partnership program, resident at the New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC), that brings academics and practitioners together to create actionable knowledge in the built environment.

Town+Gown is also an open platform research program that uses service (experiential) learning and faculty-directed research to facilitate partnerships between academics and practitioners on applied built environment research projects through the collaborative inquiry model of systemic action research.

Town+Gown aims at increasing evidence-based analysis, information transfer, and understanding of the built environment, using, in many instances, New York City’s built environment as a laboratory for practitioners working in the city’s physical spaces, and academics in the built environment disciplines, with the ultimate objective of making changes in practices and policies based on research results.

Town+Gown’s unique mission and services facilitate partnerships across the academic-practitioner divide, which involves negotiating differing expectations, motivations, understanding and language to produce work of benefit to both sides. Town+Gown provides initial links between practitioners working on projects as equal partners in knowledge creation with academics and provides support to these projects until completion, bridging the academic/practitioner divide that can make such projects challenging.

Fun Facts about Town+Gown

Public or Private Institution | Public
Year Program Established | 2009
Country | US

Town+Gown is the second EPIC program established by a municipality. Although Ethekwini Municipality (Durban) established an EPIC partnership with the University of KwaZulu Natal in 2018, Town+Gown has Their programming facilitates developing and supporting experiential learning projects generated from academic programs and other academic partners and practitioner partners, which include public agency staff. Among the academic institutions Town+Gown works with on experiential learning projects are the 15 academic institutions that form the Academic Consortium under Town+Gown’s Master Academic Consortium Contract, which supports its faculty-directed component.

Highlight Articles/Videos

Town+Gown Building Ideas Volume 8+9

University Partners under Town+Gown’s Master Academic Consortium Contract

Brooklyn Law School
City University of New York
Columbia University
Cornell University
Drexel University
Fordham University
Manhattan College
New York Institute of Technology
New York University
Pace University
Pratt Institute
State University of New York
The Cooper Union
The New School
Tufts University

Contact Details

Terri Matthews
Office: (212) 313-3546
Cell: (917) 417-4637

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