During the fall semester 2017 (September – December) Marco Ranzato will conduct part of his Metrolab research at Parsons The New School under the supervision of Miodrag Mitrasinovic and Brian McGrath. In New York, Marco will investigate recent local urban design projects engaging social and environmental ecologies at once. The Brussels ERDF programme 2014-2020 has assumed urban metabolism and circular economy as privileged means to combat social polarization. The marked environmental and economic emphasis taken by the Region in order to face the social question challenges the traditional socio-natural divide and asks for experimenting design strategies that engage the local public. For this reason, the study at Parsons will focus on participatory design projects from New York that at different scales have something to do with environmental issues. This work will operate as a critical reference and, hopefully, a source of inspiration for the future participatory activities carried forward in Brussels by Metrolab.