CIMIC, Rutgers University Computer Summer Camp for Middle School Students


Smart Growth in Our Cities


Middle and high school students from seven different school districts of northern New Jersey will be participating in this year’s computer summer camp.  Students will play the role of urban city planners and look at the problem of urban sprawl and smart growth in northern New Jersey.  Students will become familiar with the ten principles of smart growth through an Urban Photo Safari field trip, where they will use digital cameras to collect examples about urban growth from selected communities in Newark, Montclair and Secaucus.  Afterwards, they will choose one urban neighborhood, where they will investigate and determine the degree of smart growth characteristics it possesses. This analysis will be based on observation of neighborhood housing types, road density, cement covered surfaces, presence and absence of mixed-use development, mass transit accessibility, water use and green spaces. Towards the final days of the camp, students will propose smart growth ideas for the community of their choice, which they believe is necessary in order to have a healthier urban environment (e.g. creation of open space, extra transportation, multifamily areas, etc.)  On the last day of camp, July 24th, students will have an opportunity to present their proposed plans for smart growth through a multimedia presentation, which is open to the public.

During their time at camp, students will learn and use computer applications and products to conduct their study. Each student will have access to his/her own computer workstation. Graduates students in urban planning and computer science students and instructors will help students learn the necessary concepts and computer tools and help guide them through the process of discovering the advantages of smart growth and the disadvantages of uncontrolled sprawl in our cities.  Students will learn how to extract information from advanced digital products and applications such as satellite images, geographical information systems and Internet based interactive mapping applications. Students will also experience hands on training in basic computer utilities such as word processing, spreadsheets and a presentation application such as power point.

By the end of the camp, students will have learned how to use computers and information technology tools to effectively identify and extract smart growth principals from their case study communities. They will acquire the basic problem solving skills to measure and present smart growth ideas extracted for satellite images and digital maps. They will also learn how to interact with their colleagues through a problem-centered approach to learning. The camp will run at Rutgers University Newark campus from July 14th to July 25th from 9:00am to 12:30pm.

For more information on the camp, please contact:

Dr. Francisco Artigas

(973) 353-1069

(201) 460-2801



Carla Capizzi

Office of Campus Communications-Newark

(973) 353- 5262