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

Why a 1925 book is still relevant to urban sociology

Nearly a century ago, Robert E. Park and Ernest Burgess co-authored what was to become a seminal text for the Chicago school of sociology. The City cemented both scholars as pioneers in the field and formalized a methodological, data-driven approach that has shaped the study of cities across space and time. Learn more about its impact on contemporary scholars and continuing relevance in a rapidly urbanizing world.

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.

Apply Now: Urban Doctoral Fellows 2019-2020

The Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation invites doctoral students to apply to the Urban Doctoral Fellows program for 2019-2020. The Fellowship provides support to doctoral students whose research seeks to increase our understanding of urban settings and issues. The program offers a yearlong writing and professionalization experience for up to ten University of Chicago doctoral students from any department or School and in any year of their PhD. Applications are due April 26.

 

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.

Math Helps Sprawling Cities Grow Sustainably And Reduce Slum Conditions

Check out the Forbes coverage of Luis Bettencourt’s participation in research analyzing community maps, satellite imagery and municipal data from a dozen cities to create a general new tool for urban planning. The study identifies key properties of street networks in order to develop the most efficient ways to build roads and water, gas and sanitation infrastructure in existing slums to quickly improve the quality of life for underserved residents.

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