Center for Advanced Urbanism

The MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism’s objective is to become the world’s pre-eminent cultural center about the design of metropolitan environments, by articulating methods and projects to integrate separate disciplinary agendas in architecture, landscape, ecology, transportation engineering, politics and political philosophy, technology and real estate through a most eloquent design culture on scales ranging from the complex infrastructural intersection, to that of a neighborhood, on to the scale of an entire regional system.



Urban environments are being planned, designed, constructed, and retrofitted at an unprecedented pace and scale, which often precludes a rational, thoughtful process. Global economic forces have eclipsed standard paradigms of post-World War II urban expansion and ideas of incremental urban development. New megacities are being built all over the world in record time and often without standard protocols or procedures of the established design and urban planning professions. Pressing cultural and environmental concerns are demanding new levels of accountability as we measure ecological performance, energy use, mobility and density relationships, and the deployment of dwindling resources. These and other factors challenge the intelligence and efficacy of new urbanization forms and existing conventions and typologies for development. We have entered into a new era or urban growth whereby the rules have changed and paradigms of urbanism desperately need recalibration to meet today’s global challenges.

The MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism’s mission comes from four working principles:

  • Challenge pre-conceived professional roles and find solutions to real world problems.
  • Embrace large-scale design and planning.
  • Embrace technology in the design and planning of city form and function.
  • Commitment to deliver real world projects and clear paths to solve pressing urban design, architectural, and environmental problems.



Alexander D'Hooghe, Director
Alan Berger, Director of Research

Prudence Robinson, Assistant Director



School of Architecture and Planning

The School of Architecture and Planning comprises the Department of Architecture, the Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP), the Media Lab, the Center for Real Estate (CRE), and the Program in Art, Culture + Technology (ACT). Both departments, as well as MAS and CRE offer advanced degrees and include opportunities for joint programs with other departments. The Media Laboratory and the Center for Advanced Visual Studies do not confer degrees but are research based. The Media Lab houses the MAS program and provides its students a unique environment to explore basic research and applications without regard to traditional divisions among disciplines. CAVS offers an art-based platform for collaborations between artists, scientists, and technologists.
The School of Architecture and Planning builds on pioneering traditions. The first university instruction in architecture in the United States began at MIT in 1865. The program in city planning, established in 1933, was the second in the country. The presence of architecture and urban studies and planning in the same school reflects a deeply held conviction that the two disciplines, sharing a common intellectual tradition, provide mutually illuminating and critical perspectives on each other.

For more information, please visit the School of Architecture + Planning.