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.


Mapping Tech Could Formalize Settlements for One Billion People

The UN estimates that one billion people worldwide live in informal settlements, which lack adequate access to street networks. Streets mean buildings have addresses, piped access to water and sanitation, legal land titles, access to fire trucks and ambulances, and other vital services. The Million Neighborhoods map analyzes city blocks in these informal neighborhoods to estimate where streets are needed to catch up with their formal counterparts.

Environmental Frontiers: Summer RA Positions and Online Q&A

Environmental Frontiers (EF) brings together UChicago faculty, students, and staff to find innovative ways to build a more sustainable future. We are piloting undergraduate Research Assistant positions in Summer 2020, using campus data to explore and enhance environmental sustainability. Join our online session on Weds, 3/25, to learn more about the positions for UChicago undergraduates. RSVP for the virtual session and view the RA application.

Uber and Lyft Are Convenient, Competitive and Highly Carbon Intensive

Ride sharing cuts emissions, but not everyone wants to share. Mansueto Institute director Luis Bettencourt weighs in on the climate impact of ride-hailing companies in InsideClimate News.

Luis Bettencourt and the Million Neighborhoods Map in El País

El físico que se propuso estudiar un millón de barrios para mejorar las ciudades. Read about the Million Neighborhoods Map and Luis Bettencourt’s research in El País. 

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.


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