A New Way of Seeing

We’re a hub for urban scholarship, bringing together researchers from many disciplines to develop bold new thinking about cities. Our work advances scholarship and shapes policy and practice.

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. 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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Program Provides Relevant High School Lessons on Cities

Julia Koschinsky, executive director of the Center for Spatial Data Science; Nicholas Marchio, research data scientist at the Mansueto Institute; and Nikhil Patel, a University of Chicago undergraduate and summer lab research assistant at the Data Science Institute, developed an AP Statistics lesson with the education non-profit Skew the Script, which provides engaging math lessons to more than 20,000 educators nationally. They produced lesson plans customized to 100 different U.S. cities on concepts related to spatial random sampling with data and maps teachers can use for their own cities.


Applications for Postdoc Open

Applications are now open until Dec. 15 for postdoctoral fellowships with the Mansueto Institute for the 2024-25 academic year, for researchers interested in interested in building a scholarly understanding of cities. Fellowships provide exceptional emergent scholars with a unique nurturing environment that includes advanced technical training, a platform for interdisciplinary research, mentoring by senior faculty, and a community of people studying and working on issues impacting cities from a diversity of areas and perspectives.

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Research on Cook County Scavenger Sale Leads to State Legislation and Reform

Research by the Center for Municipal Finance under Mansueto Institute director Christopher Berry and colleagues, has paved the way for a new law that was signed by Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker. The research by Berry and colleagues at the Center for Municipal Finance found that Cook County’s Scavenger Sale system had inequitable results. Now, the state is poised to reform it and unfair property tax codes across Illinois.


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Documentary Spotlights Unequal Property Tax System

A documentary by the organization Strong Towns spotlights the United States’ regressive property tax system, which results in lower and middle-income homeowners paying a greater share of taxes than upper-income homeowners. In an extensive interview, Christopher Berry, Director of the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation at the University of Chicago and William J. and Alicia Townsend Friedman Professor at Harris School of Public Policy, describes the Property Tax Project, an effort to review records of sales of homes in any county across the country.


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Urban Innovation Grants Awarded

The Mansueto Institute has awarded Urban Innovation Grants to three teams at the University of Chicago for research projects focused on advancing more sustainable and equitable urban futures. The awardees represent multiple disciplines and academic units at the university in public health, sociology, and urban planning, and include research into traffic safety for children; urbanization, energy, and environmental sustainability; and how residents define Chicago’s neighborhoods.


Our Approach

We are seizing this opportunity to create a a hub for urban scholarship, based on an interdisciplinary approach that makes the most of the data and knowledge that cities embody.


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