Cooper Hewitt museumKent Wang/Flickr

A new exhibition opening September 30 at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum aims to highlight design projects that use art, architecture, urban planning and design to address issues of poverty and sustainability. The show, called “By the People: Designing a Better America,” is the third in a series the museum has curated about socially responsible design.

Curator Cynthia Smith spent two years conducting field work to find the designs that will be included in the show.

“I traveled, for two three weeks at a time, around the US trying to meet designers and community members, and a whole range of people, to see what was going on and who was working on these issues,” she says. Smith chose 60 projects to feature, each of which aim to solve a local problem or address a challenge facing a particular community.

Here are 11 of the most notable projects.

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