Dream City

A visioning activity that asks pupils to imagine how they would like to live together in their ‘dream city’.

KS3 | 60 Mins | Group

KEY QUESTION:How would we choose to live together in our ideal world?


This activity encourages imagination and visioning about how we would like to live together. As we have recently become a mostly urban planet (more urban than rural residents) we have found resources for the idea of a Dream City as a stimulus for this, but it could easily be adapted to Dream Village, Town or School depending on your purpose and the ability of your learners. For example, one link between several secondary schools involved an activity where they created a vision for a city park.

Visions of how we all live together are a very common element of public life, and particularly in cities. Many of these focus on the idea of greater unity in how we all live together. The photograph to the right is one such vision for London.
The visions can be useful tools to unpack in themselves, but more useful in many cases is engaging in the process of how the vision is reached. In coming up with a vision, you have to think about questions such as:

• How do we want to live together?
• What will this living together look like?
• Why doesn’t it look like that now?
• Are there particular groups of people who are more marginalised than others?

For generations city planning has been a challenge. City planners design buildings, transport, facilities, open spaces and many other elements to try and create better places for us to live together. This challenge is global and is repeated by cities around the world. What would we do if we were in that role? That is what this activity is about.


1. Share with learners the idea of city visions and make the connection to what these might say about how we all live together. We have prepared a sheet of some city visions to support this (click image right to download), but you may wish to find your own through a simple Internet search.

2. Explain to learners that they are going to be coming up with their own city vision working in small teams of 4-6. Their task is to come up with a vision for a city in 2040. How do they want it to look? How will it meet the challenge of improving how we all live together?

They may want to choose a city they know, but they could equally imagine their own city (a city from scratch – like Dubai!). As a fun warm up to this Tate museum has developed an interactive imaginary city activity that you can access using the web link right. You may need to help learners into this activity with statements such as:
• ‘In my city, I want people to…’
• ‘In my city, everyone will have the right to…’
• ‘In my city, everyone will enjoy…’

3. There are various ways to complete this activity. Here are some ideas:

• A physical activity with model making (like an architects model);
• A city plan – aerial view/map showing zones/features/elements;
• A “welcome to ……” brochure that highlights of the city for potential new residents;
• A drama/role play that acts out a short city vision TV advert using props, slogans, interviews etc;
• Dragon’s Den/Apprentice style pitch to showcase vision. Could introduce judges and element of competition if appropriate.

4. Whatever method is used, it is important for learners to share and reflect on the process of creating their vision. It is the discussions and choices they have made, and the reasons for those that are at the heart of the learning in this activity.


If you can access YouTube there is a very good 15 min video that shows how the Mayor of Curitiba in Brazil built a city based on three key principles – mobility, sustainability and identity.
This could be used to give learners ideas for their own city vision.
Youtube : City of Dreams video


Linked schools have built models together showing the area where they live.


Create your own dream city.

Based on original material created by The Linking Network and Lifeworlds Learning

Resources to download