Big Questions. Transformative Methods.

We study the fundamental processes that drive, shape, and sustain cities.

At the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation, our researchers come from the social, natural, and computational sciences, along with the humanities. Together, we pursue innovative, interdisciplinary scholarship, develop new educational programs, and provide leadership and evidence to support global, sustainable urban development.

In the next 20-30 years, Earth will reach peak population, with the net population growth of 4 to 5 billion happening in cities. The Mansueto Institute creates the research, evidence, and knowledge that empowers citizens from the realms of policy, activism, and practice, to realize the potential of our increasingly urban world.

 

Our Approach

We are seizing this opportunity to create a fundamental science of cities, based on an interdisciplinary approach that makes the most of the data and knowledge that cities embody.

NEWS & EVENTS

Norman Foster Foundation: On Cities Debates

Luis Bettencourt was appointed this year’s mentor for the On Cities Workshop organized by the Norman Foster Foundation in Madrid, Spain, held May 27 – 31, 2019. The Foundation hosted the On Cities Public Debates, chaired by Luis Bettencourt, where speakers from architecture and urban planning discussed issues surrounding informal settlements in urban contexts and the possibilities for transformation offered by technological innovation. Watch the video recap of the debate.

How the principles of topology can help improve the world's slums

Around the world, informal settlements stem from all sorts of social and economic ills that don’t have easy solutions. But, these communities share a common trait: a lack of connectivity. Luis Bettencourt and a group of research partners have been exploring that lack of connectivity, in essence, as a math problem, and developing new tools that use topology to improve conditions in these urban areas. In this article by PNAS, Bettencourt discusses how using big data blended with community-based knowledge can impact our understanding of slums as well as inform interventions that seek to better connect them. 

Apply Now: Kreisman Graduate Fellows 2019-2020

The Kreisman Graduate Fellows Program creates a cohort of University of Chicago graduate students from across fields of study who are committed to pursuing careers in housing research or practice. The program runs for one academic year and is open to all Masters and PhD students at the University of Chicago, such as those studying law, policy, social services, social sciences, data science, and business. Applications are due September 4. Read more and apply today.

Bettencourt and Sahasranaman attempt the first detailed analysis of Indian cities as complex systems

In a world of rapid urbanization and expansion, India stands at the forefront of urban and population growth. In this paper, “Urban geography and scaling of contemporary Indian cities”, Luis Bettencourt and Anand Sahasranaman set forth the first detailed analysis of Indian cities as complex systems, bringing together under a common framework a quantitative and comprehensive assessment of urban attributes.

Wired Magazine: The Excruciating, Impossible Science of Airport Delays

Do flight delays pose an economic burden alone on airlines, or is there a larger social and urban cost involved?
Luis Bettencourt discusses how flight delays have unforeseen effects on the influence, logistics, and economies of large cities in this article by Wired Magazine.

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