Mansueto Institute Colloquium Series

The Mansueto Institute hosts regular talks during the academic year from scholars on topics related to urban science and sustainability. Participate either in-person, with lunch included, or via Zoom. Talks take place in Central Time, from 12:30-1:30 pm on Wednesdays at 1155 E. 60th Street on the University of Chicago campus, unless otherwise noted.

Fall 2022 Talks

Ming Lu

Teasing Apart Among and within City Variation in Urban Biodiversity Through a Large-scale, Multi-city Collaboration

Mason Fidino, Quantitative Ecologist at Urban Wildlife Institute at the Lincoln Park Zoo

Wednesday, October 26, 12:30 PM

Hybrid Event: 1155 E. 60th Street, Room 142, or via Zoom


We live on an urban planet, and in no place is this more apparent than in the world’s cities. As urban environments are one of the fastest growing ecosystems on earth, they represent a unique opportunity for science, especially for ecology and conservation. Yet, one central limitation of most urban ecological studies is that they are conducted within single cities. After all, cities vary in age, topography, geographic location, zoning, population density, and many other factors. Because biodiversity likely responds to this among-city variation, it is difficult to extrapolate findings from one city to another. For example, does the spatial distribution of a species in one city reflect that species distribution in another city? To address questions like this, multi-city research that uses a shared methodology is necessary. As such, my colleagues and I at the Lincoln Park Zoo started the Urban Wildlife Information Network (UWIN), a systematic, collaborative multi-city biodiversity monitoring survey that spans over 40 cities and 3 continents. While UWIN protocols have expanded to sample multiple taxa, in this talk I will discuss our first and most widespread sampling efforts, which revolve around using motion-triggered trail cameras to monitor medium to large terrestrial mammals along gradients of urban intensity in each city. Over the course of this talk I will describe how UWIN came to be, share some of the published research from our network, and discuss some difficulties—or opportunities, depending on how you look at it—associated to modeling multi-city data.

Ming Lu

A Decision-Making Quandary: Intergenerational Trauma and the Criminal Justice System

Micere Keels, Associate Professor in Comparative Human Development at the University of Chicago

Wednesday, November 9, 12:30 PM

Hybrid Event: 1155 E. 60th Street, Room 142, or via Zoom


A discussion of a developmental and ecological model for the intergenerational transmission of trauma & violence, and how our understanding of the relationship between victimization and trauma and later offending could and should be accounted for in the criminal justice system.




Ming Lu

Remote Work and City Structure

Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, Glen A. Lloyd Distinguished Service Professor, Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics University of Chicago 

Wednesday, November 30, 12:30 PM

Hybrid Event: 1155 E. 60th Street, Mansueto Institute Lounge, or via Zoom


Remote work is a rapidly growing form of labor delivery, thanks to gradual progress in communication technology. More recently, the global pandemic crisis demonstrated that a dramatic increase in remote work is feasible. Across all large cities, we witnessed empty central business districts and stronger housing demand for larger units away from city centers. As public health concerns about Covid-19 recede, we are left with longer-term questions about the future of remote work and its impact on the spatial organization of cities. Remote work offers clear advantages to workers by removing the need to commute to the workplace. However, it also suppresses gains from direct interaction at work that depend on the presence of co-workers. This externality may lead to multiple equilibria, where either most workers commute or most workers stay home. Which of these equilibria is most beneficial to workers is a priori ambiguous. We model and estimate the consequences of progress in remote work technology on the long-term structure of cities and use it to study the role of path dependence in determining which stationary equilibrium is ultimately reached.