A New Way of Seeing

We’re a hub for urban science, training the next generation of urban scholars.

At the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation, we study the fundamental processes that drive, shape and sustain cities. 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.

The University of Chicago is proud to present the first-ever Certificate in Urban Science and Sustainable Development, recognizing graduate student work addressing one of the most challenging and important issues of our time—Sustainable Urban Development. The Certificate, which is awarded in conjunction with existing UChicago graduate degree programs, establishes the scientific and intellectual underpinnings for a career in this emerging field.

Learn more about this new opportunity for Master’s and PhD students who have completed the first year of their degree program and who are interested in the future of cities.

Environmental Frontiers

Environmental Frontiers brings together University of Chicago faculty, students, and staff to collaborate on finding innovative ways to build a more sustainable future on campus and beyond.


It Turns Out Big City Life Isn’t Making You Depressed

A new article from Bloomberg’s CityLab explores the recent study by Andrew Stier, Marc Berman and Luis Bettencourt of our Urban Cognition Initiative revealing that the heightened socioeconomic interactions inherent to big cities might be giving you a mental health boost. Their new model, Stier explains, can help urban planners in smaller cities and suburbs raise mental health rates by decreasing isolation. Creating new solutions to improve access for those cut off from the city and help everyone increase their social networks could be critical in improving mental health.

July News: Lower Depression in Cities, Solar Potential in the Galapagos

Read our latest newsletter with new journal publications exploring lower depression rates in large cities, the relationship between metro-processes and neighborhood change, new low-cost solar power modeling, and growing COVID-19 rates in urban environments. Additionally, check out Mansueto’s Dr. Sabina Shaikh’s conversation with WTTW about the future of climate migration and a new pilot from Array of Things in partnership with Microsoft Urban Research addressing Chicago air quality.

Estimating Rooftop Solar Potential in Urban Environments

Many small island communities depend on fossil fuel resources for energy, neglecting the rich abundance of renewable energy resources. Most solar energy potential models require high-resolution data at a level impossible to achieve in developing and remote areas. In this study, researchers Amy Tian, Daniel Zünd, and Luís Bettencourt explore rooftop solar potential on the Galapagos islands, making calculations using low-cost and readily available data. This offers a new framework that local communities can use to explore the potential of the solar power system without having to invest in high-resolution data.

Array of Things Partners with Microsoft and JCDecaux on New Air Quality Pilot in Chicago

Array of Things and Microsoft Research’s Urban Innovation Group recently announced a partnership with JCDecaux, a leading outdoor advertising company, to launch a pilot program to track air quality in Chicago. The team created a set of air quality sensors on 100 Chicago bus shelters, which will precisely monitor air quality throughout the city. This data will be used to adapt environmental measures to improve air quality and will be available to the public through a website, designed by Microsoft, accessible through QR codes at each bus shelter. Read more here.

Apply Now for the Kreisman Graduate Fellowship

UChicago Master’s or PhD students interested in careers in housing research or practice: apply by October 10, 2021 to join an multidisciplinary cohort of students exploring interrelated social, economic, and policy influences on housing. The program runs for one academic year and includes intimate lunch-and-learn meetings with housing experts and skill-building sessions facilitated by UChicago GRAD. Fellows also receive a stipend ($4000) to support their professional development in the form of an internship or research project of their own design. Learn more.


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