City Scripts

is a discussion on politics and design

confronts challenges facing cities

is an archive of voices

reaches beyond ivy walls

influences policy and design

seeks beauty

is not just for wonks


City Scripts

City Scripts is committed to the exploration of the intersection of politics and the design of the built environment. Its mission is to advance discussion and debate on issues that affect the quality of life in all built environments. City Scripts promotes discourse that shifts boundaries, the consequence of narrowly defined disciplinary thought, in order to expand understanding and initiate transformation. The objective of City Scripts is to create an ongoing, interdisciplinary and applied dialogue that extends beyond the university to influence both policy and design.

City Scripts was founded in 2017 by faculty at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the School of Architecture, Syracuse University. It is supported by the Kresge Foundation, American Cities Program; the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the School of Architecture at Syracuse University; and the Syracuse University, Collaboration for Unprecedented Success and Excel­lence.


The short video documentaries in this collection were produced by students in the 2020 fall seminar, “Building Block Street,” at the School of Architecture, Syracuse University. Instead of the usual work associated with architecture seminars (drawn projects or research papers) the goal of “Housing Shorts” is to tell a story using images and sound as if by an opinion columnist. The history is accurate and the voice of the researcher/producer/editor may be clearly heard. These are histories with a point of view.

Documentaries by housing seminar students, School of Architecture, Syracuse University