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.


Applications for Postdoctoral Fellows 2022-2023 Cohort Now Open

Applications are now open for postdoctoral fellowships with the Mansueto Institute for the 2022-23 academic year. The fellowships provide exceptional emergent scholars with a nurturing environment that includes advanced technical training and provides a platform for interdisciplinary research. We are particularly interested in individuals committed to building a deep scientific understanding of cities and processes of urbanization, and researchers developing transformative methods and practices in urban contexts across disciplines. Read more and apply.

Newly Released Introduction to Urban Science by Dr. Luis Bettencourt Offers an Exciting Approach for the Science behind Cities

Human beings around the world increasingly live in urban environments. In Introduction to Urban Science, Luis Bettencourt explores the many reasons that cities are becoming diverse engines of socioeconomic change through a scientific lens.  Bettencourt explores the processes facilitated by and, in many cases, unleashed for the first time by urban life through the lenses of social heterogeneity, complex networks, scaling, circular causality, and information.

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.

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.

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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