Category: Research Awards

2018 Urban Research Award: Impact of Natural Disasters on City Integrity

Economics PhD candidate Giovanna Marcolongo aims to use statistical analysis to examine the relationship between emergencies—defined as municipalities’ declaration of a “state of emergency”—and corruption in local government, particularly focusing on public procurement outcomes. In order to determine this correlation, Marcolongo will investigate whether municipalities in a “state of emergency” are more likely to award […]

2018 Urban Research Award: Observing and Modeling Urban Boundary Layers Under Heat Waves

Heat waves (HWs) are amongst the deadliest natural disasters and are one of the most important causes of weather-related mortality. Urban residents, which now account for more than 50% of the global population, are arguably more vulnerable to HWs due to the urban heat island (UHI) effect wherein cities are usually hotter than the surrounding […]

2018 Urban Research Award: Cities in the Realm of State Preemption Laws

Media accounts and political organizations have increasingly highlighted a surge of state preemption laws that restrict the autonomy of cities. Political Science Ph.D. candidate Luisa Godinez Puig will investigate the validity of said surge to prove if preemption laws have increased over time and, if so, which cities within the United States have been most […]

2018 Urban Research Award: Ancient Teotihuacan and Modern Mexico City

Community Archeology on the Urban Periphery: The Tlajinga District at the Nexus of Ancient Teotihuacan and Modern Mexico City Associate Professor David Carballo, who holds a joint appointment in Anthropology and Latin American Studies, will pioneer a new initiative of community-based archaeology at Teotihuacan, Mexico. Teotihuacan is an ancient Mesoamerican city and UNESCO World Heritage […]

2018 Urban Research Award: The Geography of Mass Imprisonment

Sociology Assistant Professor Jessica Simes seeks to bridge the gap in sociological research between the political and economic causes of the prison boom and the neighborhood-level impacts of mass incarceration to help explain a phenomenon found in small cities and suburbs: a disproportionately high rate of imprisonment, compared to larger cities. For example, in 1973, […]

2018 Urban Research Award: Water Use Efficiency in Urban Street Trees

Under the direction of Boston University Associate Professor Lucy Hutyra, Earth & Environment PhD candidate Sarah Garvey will examine water use efficiency among urban street trees in order to determine their climate sensitivity in relation to non-urban trees. Her research question is based on her lab’s recent work that suggests Boston’s street tree growth rates […]

2018 Urban Research Award: Justice in Urban Climate Mitigation

Earth & Environment Associate Professor Anne Short seeks to examine climate action plans in 24 cities across the United States to determine if and how they integrate environmental justice into their goals. Professor Short undertakes this project in order to add to empirical evidence—of which there is little—examining justice in the context of urban climate […]

In the News: Professor Rotjan’s Urban Coral Project

Congratulations to Professor Randi Rotjan for receiving media coverage by WPRI 12 and ecoRI News on her urban coral project. Rotjan was received an IOC Urban Research Award in 2017 to support her project, which analyzes the impact of microplastics and microbial films on urban coral. Concerned about the 4.8 to 12.7 million metric tons […]

Executive Director Katharine Lusk Co-Authors Paper On Youth-led Participatory Budgeting

Katharine Lusk, Executive Director of the Initiative on Cities, co-authored a paper published last week by the Journal of Youth Studies. Lusk collaborated with Associate Dean Mary Elizabeth Collins, Professor Astraea Augsberger, and PhD Candidate Whitney Gecker, all from the Boston University School of Social Work, to explore youth-led participatory budgeting. The team worked with […]