Big Questions. Transformative Methods.

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.

Urban scientists at the Mansueto Institute launched the Million Neighborhoods Map—a groundbreaking visual tool that provides the first comprehensive look at informal settlements across Africa, helping to identify communities most in need of roads, power, water, sanitation and other infrastructure. Watch this video below and learn more.

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.


Countdown to 2020

The year 2019 marks the end of our second annual cycle: It was a busy year, characterized by fast growth and development. In the spirit of a new decade of progress and possibilities, here’s a countdown of memorable moments at the Mansueto Institute this past year.

The Digital Transformation of Metropolitan Spaces

Read the latest issue paper of Metropolis Observatory authored by Luis Bettencourt on digitalization of metropolitan spaces, including moving beyond smart cities, the challenges of data security and privacy, and opportunities to close the gender digital gap.

Fear of Math Can Outweigh Promise of Higher Rewards

New research in Science Advances from Mansueto Institute Postdoctoral Fellow Kyoung Whan Choe and the University of Chicago’s Jalisha Jenifer and Psychology Professor Marc Berman produces the first experimental evidence linking math anxiety and math avoidance, and insights on how to break this relationship in order to increase interest and success in STEM fields.

UChicago and UN Host Global Symposium on Sustainable Cities and Neighborhoods

UN-Habitat and the University of Chicago’s Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation hosted a symposium Oct. 23-25 focused on how neighborhoods around the world can tackle imminent challenges—including climate change, population growth, housing shortages and a lack of key infrastructure—to advance a more equitable and sustainable future for all. Find out more.

Big Brains Podcast with Luis Bettencourt

In the last decade, there has been a mass migration of people into urban areas across the globe. This rapid urbanization has been increasingly unsustainable for our cities and it’s projected to get worse in the next decade. University of Chicago scholar Luis Bettencourt is tackling this global crisis by researching the underlying processes that dictate our cities. Listen to UChicago’s podcast.



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