Metropolis: A Green City of Your Own

Metropolis coverMetropolis is a curriculum developed by John Martoni, a third grade teacher — and planner — in the Bay Area. It was designed as a standards-based, interdisciplinary unit of study for grades 3-6 (though it could be adapted for any grade level).

Packed with illustrations and exercises, it is intended for use by elementary classroom teachers and other adults who seek to expose children to a variety of urban forms from around the world. The city elements presented in the lessons are edges, districts, public spaces, landmarks, and transportation — taken from Kevin Lynch's book Image of the City. These elements provide an organizing mechanism for children to design their own ideal cities.

The lessons increase students' awareness of planning issues such as sustainability and sprawl, while giving them an opportunity to express their heritage, interests, and ideas using a creative design process.

In addition, Metropolis is a multidisciplinary curriculum that embeds language arts, mathematics, health, art, science, and social studies throughout the unit. It can be a stand-alone unit or used for teaching a neighborhood improvement curriculum.

Metropolis was originally published by APA Education as a CD-ROM. APA and John Martoni are now pleased to make the curriculum available free to all in downloadable file format.

Copyright John Martoni. All rights reserved. Contact him at

Download the Full Curriculum

Metropolis: A Green City of Your Own (pdf)