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.


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Mansueto Director Joins 'Big Brains' Podcast to Discuss UN Goals

Given all of the major crises of today, it may surprise people that the world has made significant progress on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which the international body ratified in 2015. That includes reducing poverty and hunger and improving public health and life expectancy, Luis Bettencourt, director of the Mansueto Institute, said. Bettencourt joined University of Chicago’s “Big Brains” podcast to discuss the SDGs and cities’ role in advancing them.

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Mansueto Institute Participates in Urban October

The Mansueto Institute is hosting and participating in several events as part of the University of Chicago’s third annual Urban October, organized by the University of Chicago Urban Network in partnership with UN-Habitat, which originated the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for all cities. This includes two colloquium, on Oct. 13, about gentrification and urban schooling, and on Oct. 27, about access to resources among different populations. Luis Bettencourt and Sabina Shaikh also participated in WTTW’s Chicago Tonight, and Bettencourt will join the University of Chicago’s Big Brain podcast later in October.

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.

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Mansueto Scholars Discuss Future of Cities on WTTW

Luis Bettencourt and Sabina Shaikh joined WTTW’s Chicago Tonight to discuss the future of Chicago and other cities on Oct. 5. They spoke about how cities should plan for the future in the face of challenges like changing work patterns caused by the pandemic, climate change, economic inequality, and rising violence. “This is a tremendous opportunity to take stock, learn, and reinvent cities,” said Bettencourt. “The cities of the future will have to be sustainable in the sense that they have greater equity. We have a tremendous opportunity in the next few years ahead. It will require everyone’s knowledge and action, and Chicago should be an example for that.”

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.


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