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DDC Participates in Innovative Design Your City Program

DDC Infrastructure Division Senior Traffic Engineer Asheque Rahman, a graduate of the CUNY Grove School of Engineering, participated in the innovative Design Your City Program, an eight-week program which started on January 12 and finished on March 4, 2021. The Design Your City challenge is a collaboration with The City University of New York (CUNY), Association for a Better New York (ABNY), and Coro New York Leadership Center. The program was created for CUNY undergraduate students with a strong interest in the built environment with an interest in learning about how cities are created. Students learned about neighborhood development, urban planning, urban design, economic development, urban data, and participatory planning.

Design Your City Banner

Design Your City Program Banner

Senior Traffic Engineer Asheque Rahman stated, “This is a great program which allows students to work on a location-specific project which they truly care about and come up with a real-life proposal to improve the quality of life and have a positive impact in their community. Through this program students are able to enhance their skillset in all facets of project management. They also learn to maximize resources utilizing professional resources made available to them during the program. Students walk away with newly acquired skills and increased confidence that make them better prepared for the professional work force and provide them with a step ahead in their career path.”

During the Design Your City Project, CUNY students worked on developing proposals for a place-based solution to a real, built environment problem in their community. Students learned valuable skills, tools, and best practices used in community-centered planning, including how to research the community’s history, analyze different data sources, understand the stakeholder landscape, and build support for their idea. At the conclusion of the Design Your City challenge, student teams pitched their proposal to a panel of professionals. The judges for Design Your City, Best Design: Jorge Luis Paniagua Valle, Co-Executive Director of the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, Michael Rudin, Senior Vice President, Rudin Management and Delma Parma, Community Design Architect, NYCHA.These are individuals who might be able to bring some of the student ideas to fruition.

Throughout the program, students gained skills to add to their resume as well as a portfolio link, exposure to a variety of civic focused career paths, introductions to a vast network of built environment professionals, and received a membership to the Association for a Better New York’s Young Professional Network.

The sessions were led by top NYC-based practitioners including various government agencies, consulting and government relations firms, and non-profits. Asheque Rahman, Senior Traffic Engineer at the Division of Infrastructure at NYC DDC was an advisor to one of the teams. Their project was to create a dynamic public space underneath the Metro-North Tracks in East Harlem on Park Avenue between 123rd and 125th Streets, to alleviate issues of public safety, community dignity, and unemployment.

Group photo on Zoom of program participates

Design Your City Program Participants


About the NYC Department of Design and Construction

The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $14 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit

About CUNY

The City University of New York is the public university system of New York City. It is the largest urban university system in the United States, comprising 25 campuses: eleven senior colleges, seven community colleges, one undergraduate honors college, and seven post-graduate institutions.

About the Coro Foundation

Coro is an American non-partisan, non-profit organization best known for its fellowship program dedicated to teaching skills useful in leadership in public affairs to young adults.

About the Association for a Better New York (ABNY)

ABNY is a non-profit organization dedicated to the constant growth and renewal of New York City’s people, businesses and communities. ABNY is a coalition of business, labor, non-profit and political leaders focused on exploring and implementing ideas that keep the city moving forward. ABNY incorporates a comprehensive and diverse view of the issues and challenges facing New York City. It’s members work as catalysts to contribute fresh ideas and innovative plans that set a clean course for managing solutions to the city’s challenges before they become overwhelming problems.