A New Way of Seeing

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

With over half the global population now living in cities, urban areas will be at the forefront of addressing modern challenges of climate change, inequity, and pioneering sustainable development. At the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation, we believe we need new ways of thinking and acting that embrace the complexity of urban societies, integrate diverse disciplines and methods, take advantage of the natural dynamism and transformative power of cities, and make use of the enormous amounts of data generated in our urban spaces.

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.

For Students

The Mansueto Institute offers or co-sponsors a variety of programs for students who are interested in cities and sustainable urban development. This includes the undergraduate major and minor in Environmental and Urban Studies, the undergraduate minor in Architectural Studies, and the graduate certificate in Urban Science and Sustainable Development. We offer several fellowship opportunities: the Institute Postdoctoral Fellowship, the Kreisman Initiative for Housing Law and Policy Fellowship, the Urban Doctoral Fellows program, and the Community Research on Climate and Urban Science Postdoctoral Fellowship. Additionally, research assistant positions are available in our Environmental Frontiers Campus program and Urban Research Corps. Check our Opportunities page, subscribe to our monthly newsletter, and follow us on social media to get notified of opportunities as they become available.


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Symposium to Focus on 'Missing Middle Housing'

Join the Kreisman Housing Law and Policy Initiative’s annual symposium on May 1, “Missing Middle Housing: The Key to Scaling Affordability.” The symposium will focus on whether building and preserving “middle housing” can create more affordable housing options. The event will feature keynotes by Erika Poethig, who sits on the White House Domestic Policy Council, and Dan Parolek, author of Missing Middle Housing, as well as several panels. Continuing education credit is available through APA and AIA.

Apply for the Urban Doctoral Fellowship

Applications are now open to UChicago PhD students for the Urban Doctoral Fellows Program, a yearlong, supervised cohort experience for up to ten students whose research focuses on urban issues. Students get training and meet regularly to discuss strengthening scientific writing, effective presentations, and multimedia communications, with the goal of generating a paper and talk to be presented at a leading conference in their field. Conference travel and accommodation are supported by the Mansueto Institute.

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Director Transition

Luís Bettencourt will step down as director of the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation, effective June 30, after six years. Bettencourt, the inaugural director since 2017, will return return to his research program full time and remain Professor of Ecology and Evolution in the Biological Sciences Division and Associate Faculty in Sociology at the University of Chicago. Information about the search for the next Director of the Mansueto Institute will be forthcoming.


Urban Innovation Grants

Be part of an ecosystem of urban innovation, and apply for a grant from the Mansueto Institute. We support work focused on how cities work, grow, and develop, with the aim of advancing more sustainable and equitable urban futures. Funding is available for University of Chicago faculty, full-time research appointees, and lecturers across the social sciences, environmental and health sciences, the arts and humanities, and public policy.

Report on First 5 Years

The Mansueto Institute has published report on the institute’s first five years. The report describes initiatives the institute has seeded across the university campus that address city life; the research, education, training programs, and events developed by the institute; the institute’s research scholarship; and partnerships developed between the institute and organizations around campus, as well as in government, non-profits, and the private sector.

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.


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