Center for Advanced Urbanism

The overall goal of the MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism (CAU) is to establish a new theoretical and applied research platform to transform the quality of urban life. The Center is committed to achieving this goal via collaborative interdisciplinary research projects, intellectual discourse, leadership forums and conferences, publications, education of a new generation of leaders in the field, and a distinctive, highly influential presence at international gatherings focused on urbanism.


The MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism is a premier research center focused on the design and planning of large-scale, complex, 21st century metropolitan environments. The Center aims to redefine the field of urban design to meet contemporary challenges utilizing interdisciplinary collaborative practices and the most advanced analytical and representational tools.


  • To enable real world collaboration among interdisciplinary professionals to build new knowledge and deliver large-scale design and planning projects that address pressing global urban design, architectural, and environmental challenges.
  • To disseminate the learning from these projects in the form of new modes of analysis, frameworks for practice, and recommendations for the long-term functionality of metropolitan areas.
  • To educate a new generation of leaders who not only have a deep understanding of the issues facing our urban future, but also have the real world project experience to catalyze change.


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.