overview
Research Areas

The MIT Center for Advanced Urbanism has four primary areas of inquiry addressing the most critical challenges to the future of urbanism. We seek collaboration with companies, government agencies, non-profit organizations, professional groups, and others to continue growing the research areas.

Climate + Urbanism

Envisioning technology’s impact on city form
The focus of this research area is testing the long-term consequences, benefits, and second-order effects of new technologies as they get implemented in neighborhoods and across metropolitan areas. Technologies include building systems, big data, and smart cities (the internet of things). Scenarios primarily test the impacts of technology primarily on urban form and space but also considers the socio-economic and cultural consequences of introducing new technologies.

Environment + Urbanism

Design and planning for healthier urban environments
This research area addresses urban environmental issues and their impacts on the future of the city, including: food, water, urban health, biodiversity, landscape performance, pollution and toxicity, building health, resource consumption, waste management, and more. The goal of this research is to design and develop more sustainable outcomes for cities to reduce dependence on limited natural resources and make cities healthier for all.

Global + Urbanism

New global models for urban development
This area of research is specifically targeted at unique global contexts that require new models for urbanism. Global + Urbanism research is place-dependent and can vary widely based on geographic context, recognizing that urban form, protocols, and practices are radically different depending on institutional processes. No single solution can be universally applied to solve urban problems or create solutions in industrialized and developing world contexts. With the global urban world expecting rapid growth to 2050, Global + Urbanism research asks what new urban models can be implemented to disrupt paradigms of city-making.

Technology + Urbanism

Envisioning technology’s impact on city form
The focus of this research area is testing the long-term consequences, benefits, and second-order effects of new technologies as they get implemented in neighborhoods and across metropolitan areas. Technologies include building systems, big data, and smart cities (the internet of things). Scenarios primarily test the impacts of technology primarily on urban form and space but also considers the socio-economic and cultural consequences of introducing new technologies.