In the Press

Why Some Politicians Shun Promotions

Bostonia, June 26, 2018

Put off by gridlock and partisan knife fights in upper reaches of politics—both in Washington, D.C., and in state capitals—city executives appear to be happy homebodies. “The bulk of mayors in our survey certainly said, ‘We’re cool being mayor,’” says Katherine Levine Einstein, a College of Arts & Sciences assistant professor of political science, who conducted the research with Maxwell Palmer, also a CAS assistant professor of political science, and David Glick, a CAS associate professor of political science, with help from Robert Pressel (CAS’16, GRS’16)…

Here’s How City Networks Can Help American Cities Reduce Their Carbon Footprint

CityMetric, May 9, 2018

Over the last three years, US mayors have become increasingly convinced that cities should play a strong role in reducing the effects of climate change. Today, two thirds of mayors are willing to expend resources to take action on climate. If the political will exists, the question then becomes: who is offering a roadmap to get there – and what are the next steps?

To Close Gaps at the Federal Level, Cities Are Increasingly Turning to Networking

GovTech, May 8, 2018

From climate changes to smart cities, mayors and high-level staff are joining more networks to address pressing issues in their jurisdictions. A new report looks at how mayors and cities have tried to address concerns and fill federal gaps through new networks…

New Report On City-To-City Networks, From Boston University Initiative On Cities, Shines Spotlight On Mayoral Policy Activism Beyond City Limits

PR Newswire, April 23, 2018

Today the Boston University Initiative on Cities, with support from Citi Community Development and The Rockefeller Foundation, launched Cities Joining Ranks—Policy Networks on the Rise, a new report which details the activities, visibility, value, and membership of city-to-city policy networks, and provides the first evaluation of city peer groups based on joining behavior…

The Ground Game: Cities & Racial Equity

Medium, March 27, 2018

On Sunday March 11th, Initiative on Cities Executive Director Katharine Lusk took the stage at SXSW to lead a discussion on how mayors are advancing racial equity in America. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Leon Andrews from the National League of Cities, and Dr. Atyia Martin, former Chief of Boston’s Office of Resilience and Racial Equity, joined to discuss local powers, progress and stumbling blocks...

White Residents Have Better Access to City Services, Mayors Say in New Survey

Governing, March 11, 2018

Mayors recognize that their white residents have better access to a wide range of public services than their residents of color, according to a new survey. Most mayors said people of color experienced worse treatment by police and the courts and had worse access to education, housing and health care...

Let The Mayors Lead

City Lab, March 8, 2018

So far this year, state lawmakers have shown a growing focus on interfering in local government, rather than finding solutions for the problems Americans collectively face. It’s no wonder that a recent survey from Boston University found that both Republican and Democratic mayors were very concerned about state government preemption…

As the Trump Administration Retreats on Climate Change, US Cities are Moving Forward

Chicago Tribune, March 6, 2018

Despite almost universal scientific consensus that climate change poses a growing threat, President Donald Trump ‘s recent infrastructure plan makes no mention of the need to build resilience to rising global temperatures…

Why Federalism is Hard

Vox, February 27, 2018

The word federalism used to make liberals raise their eyebrows in suspicion and skepticism. States’ poorly funded welfare programs, paralyzing debt, and resistance to guidance from the federal government were enough reasons to make federalism, as principle of government, something from which progressives would keep their distance…

Density’s Next Frontier: The Suburbs

City Lab, January 31, 2018

America’s mayors named housing, and housing affordability, as the number-one problem facing their cities. This concern was not only voiced by mayors of expensive, coastal cities, but in diverse communities across the nation…

Dem and GOP Mayors Agree: States Must Stop Preempting Local Laws

Next City, January 24, 2018

In a year marked by fires, hurricanes, drastic temperatures and $306 billion in climate-related damages, two-thirds of U.S. mayors believe that cities should take action on climate change, even if their efforts will cost them…

Among U.S. Mayors, There’s Widespread Concern About Housing Costs, a New Survey Finds

WBUR, January 24, 2018

Mayors across the United States say that housing costs are the biggest reason that people are moving away from cities, according to a new survey released Tuesday…

Why are People Leaving Cities?

Newsweek, January 24, 2018

It’s certainly not just an issue in pricey Greater Boston. A new nationwide survey of mayors finds that half believe the cost of housing is among the top three reasons people move out of their cities…

Mayors Tackle Climate Change Issue

Albanian Times, January 24, 2018

Mayors tackle climate change issue as it is increasingly becoming a crucial factor so much that the advocate strategies that could be an impediment for the residents and may even harm the cities economically…

Will Cities Save Our Democracy?

Real Clear Politics, January 24, 2018

With dysfunction all too common in our national politics — marked by party-line votes, partisan rancor, and, of course, government shutdowns occurring with nauseating regularity — hope may lie closer to home…

Leaders of US Cities Worried About Lack of Affordable Housing

BU Today, January 24, 2018

If you want to get mayors of US cities talking, says BU political scientist David Glick, ask them about affordable housing. Republicans and Democrats alike, mayors of big coastal cities and medium-size Midwestern towns “are all worried about it,” says Glick, a researcher with the University’s Initiative on Cities…

Big City Mayors in U.S. Rank Climate Change Among Their Most Pressing Concerns

Renewable Energy Magazine, January 23, 2018

A growing number of mayors across the United States believe attenuating the effects of climate change is among their top priorities, but a deep partisan divide remains on the question of whether human activities worsen the problem, a new survey finds…

New Menino Survey of Mayors, from Boston University Initiative on Cities, Reveals Housing Affordability and Climate Change as Top Issues for Mayors

Business Wire, January 23, 2018

Mayors nationwide, from cities large and small, agree that housing availability and affordability are their most pressing concerns and the top reasons why people are moving away from their cities…

The Leading Challenge Many U.S. Mayors Say Their Cities are Facing

Route Fifty, January 23, 2018

Housing affordability and access is a top concern for mayors throughout the U.S., according to newly published survey results…

New Survey of Mayors Shows Most are Concerned About Lack of Affordable Housing

The Washington Post, January 23, 2018

More than half of the mayors who responded to the annual Menino Survey of Mayors said that high housing costs are the main reason that people are moving out of their cities, the leading cause above concerns about jobs, schools and public safety…

Survey: Mayors View Climate Change as Pressing Urban Issue

The Associated Press, January 23, 2018

U.S. mayors increasingly view climate change as a pressing urban issue, so much so that many advocate policies that could inconvenience residents or even hurt their cities financially…

BU Scientists Get $3 Million NSF Research Traineeship Grant

BU Today, December 20, 2017

Pamela Templer, a College of Arts & Sciences professor of biology, and a team of interdisciplinary researchers from CAS and the School of Public Health are aiming a broad-based new teaching program. The researchers have been awarded a $3 million, five-year National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) grant to prepare a new generation of interdisciplinary scientists to tackle urgent urban environmental problems through what is hoped will be a model graduate program for other universities…

Too Many in Greater L.A. Miss Out

Los Angeles Daily News, February 28, 2017

Thousands of Angelenos are in position to build a stronger financial future through one of the nation’s most successful — yet most severely underutilized — anti-poverty measures, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). leaders across the country recognize the dire need to lift families out of poverty. According to the just-released findings of the Menino Survey of Mayors, America’s mayors from cities big and small say poverty is their most pressing economic concern….

It’s the Poverty, Stupid, Not Trump’s Imagined Carnage

The American Prospect, January 27, 2017

Most municipal leaders understand that crime reduction hinges on addressing multiple underlying economic factors like poverty, which requires dollars and innovative strategies, not beatdowns. Chicago officials want more federal funding for education, economic development, and gun control, not the National Guard. Indeed, poverty is the top economic issue for both Democratic and Republican mayors in the United States, as we know from the Boston University Initiative on Cities, which tallied the responses from 102 mayors in cities of 75,000 or more in 41 states for its recent 2016 Menino Survey of Mayors….

IOC 2016 Survey of Mayors Finds Poverty a Top Issue

BU Today, January 25, 2017

The nation’s mayors say that poverty is the most pressing economic issue facing their communities—more so than either the shrinking middle class or income inequality. That finding is the key takeaway from the 2016 Menino Survey of Mayors, released earlier this month by Boston University’s Initiative on Cities. For this year’s study, 102 sitting mayors from 41 states were interviewed last summer as one of the most contentious presidential campaigns in decades played out—a campaign that contained inflammatory rhetoric over issues like immigration and inclusion….

Poverty, Economic Equality Are Big Concerns for U.S. Mayors

Boston Globe, January 10, 2017

Mayors across the United States are increasingly focused on poverty and economic inequality and less preoccupied with city finances, according to Boston University’s annual survey of more than 100 sitting mayors. The findings of the survey suggest that although municipal budgets have stabilized since the financial crash of 2008, mayors fear that the rising cost of urban life threatens to make cities affordable to only the very rich and very poor….

“Menino Survey of Mayors” Across Nation Reveals Poverty Among Consistent Concerns

WBUR, January 10, 2017

Poverty, lack of inclusion for all residents and fear among immigrants are some of the major concerns reported by mayors across party lines in cities throughout the country, according to the “Menino Survey of Mayors.” The late Boston Mayor Thomas Menino started the initiative when he began teaching at Boston University a few years ago. Later Tuesday morning, a briefing on the new results will be held in New York City. Graham Wilson, director of the Boston University Initiative on Cities, joined Morning Edition….

Majority of U.S. Mayors Say Poverty is Their Top Concern

Next City, January 10, 2017

While the growing divide between “coastal elites” and Middle America has been a hot topic in recent months, many mayors from red and blue states have strikingly similar policy priorities, according to a survey released Tuesday by the Boston University Initiative on Cities. The 2016 Menino Survey of Mayors, now in its third year (see the 2015 results here and the 2014 results here), checks in with over 100 mayors in 41 states about everything from their own career ambitions to tackling poverty and federal agencies. While last year’s survey focused on topics like infrastructure, finance and housing, this year’s was more heavily skewed toward what the researchers called “people priorities” — things like poverty and immigration….

New Menino Survey of Mayors Reveals Poverty as Top Issue for Cities across the Country

BusinessWire, January 10, 2017

Three central issues of the 2016 presidential election – income inequality, the shrinking middle class and immigration – are also of deep concern to mayors of cities throughout the country. These findings are part of the 2016 Menino Survey of Mayors released today by the Boston University Initiatives on Cities, with the support of Citi, which details the most pressing needs and policy priorities of America’s mayors.The 2016 Menino Survey of Mayors provides important and timely insights into some of the largest and most complex issues facing the nation’s mayors at a time of significant transition….

NLC President Matt Zone Creates Economic Mobility and Opportunity Task Force

PR Newswire, November 28, 2016

The National League of Cities‘ (NLC) new president, Matt Zone, councilmember from Cleveland, Ohio, launched a new NLC Task Force on Economic Mobility and Opportunity at the City Summit in Pittsburgh. The task force will identify recommendations for cities to address economic barriers that keep many families from sharing in our country’s prosperity. Findings from the 2015 Menino Survey of Mayors conducted by Boston University’s Initiative on Cities confirm that growing inequality and persistent poverty continue to concern local leaders….

Thinking about Smart Cities

BU Today, November 10, 2016

The smart cities movement has brought together government officials with university researchers as well as people from industry, foundations, and other nonprofits. As part of an NSF-funded project called SCOPE (Smart-city Cloud-based Open Platform and Ecosystem), BU researchers from the Hariri Institute, CAS, the College of Engineering, and the Initiative on Cities, are testing a wide range of possibilities, from smart parking apps to using traffic data to reduce carbon emissions….

Racism: what BU and Boston can do about it

BU Today, November 9, 2016

Drs. Karilyn Crockett and Atyia Martin, the City of Boston’s Director of Economic Policy and Research and the Chief Resilience Officer respectively, addressed students and staff at the third forum in a series called Reducing Disparities: Advancing Toward Racial Equity, sponsored by BU’s Initiative on Cities. They gathered to talk about what Boston is doing—and what BU can do—to encourage equality. Among the themes of the forum, moderated by Dean Kenneth Elmore, was that Boston, where most residents are people of color, needs institutions like BU to address inequality.

On range of issues, mayors are taking the initiative

Boston Globe, June 21, 2016

In a hyperpartisan era of government gridlock, mayors are increasingly tackling society’s most vexing problems, from mass transit to immigration, income inequality to economic development. The Boston University Initiative on Cities 2015 Menino Survey of Mayors found that mayors “feel that they are tasked with some of the most thorny policy issues facing America without the accompanying aid from higher levels of government that their predecessors might have expected….”

Calculating gender pay equity

Boston University College of Arts & Sciences Magazine, Spring 2016

Just before he left office in 2014, late Boston mayor Thomas M. Menino (Hon.’01) set the city an ambitious goal: be the first in America to bridge the wage gap. After leaving office, Menino joined BU to cofound the Initiative on Cities (IOC), a research center designed to connect academics like Azer Bestavros with policymakers. Bestavros told Menino there might be an alternative solution to the data problem: computer software that would allow the companies to play a part in revealing Boston’s wage gap, without any paychecks leaving their servers….

How America’s mayors are taking the lead on income inequality

Governing, March 24, 2016

Compared to areas like crime or local tax rates, mayors believe income inequality is an area over which they have neither a great deal of control nor a great deal of accountability to constituents. While that might lead us to expect mayors to do less, the survey shows the opposite to be true: Many of America’s mayors are aggressively pursuing a wide variety of policies and tactics that target household financial insecurity and income inequality.

BU has a mayor: Nashville’s Karl Dean- music city’s former two-term leader in residence at IOC

BU Today, March 2, 2016

The inaugural Mayor-in-Residence at BU’s Initiative on Cities (IOC), cofounded by Boston’s late, beloved five-term mayor, Thomas Menino (Hon.’01), Dean is also a CAS visiting professor of political science for the spring 2016 semester. He was elected Nashville mayor in 2007, easily won reelection in 2011, and served until this past September, when a term limit forced him to step down.

Researchers tackle BPS school assignment system equity as many clamor for answers

Bay State Banner, February 19, 2016

Two years in, the impact of Boston Public School’s relatively-new school assignment system has yet to be fully assessed, and the Boston Compact is pushing for significant modifications. Harvard’s Nancy Hill, BPS’ Kim Rice and Harvard’s Kelley Fong were among panelists speaking at the Boston University Initiative on Cities headquarters....

Cities build up innovation to tackle breakdown in urban infrastructure

GOVERNING, February 17, 2016

In the recently released Menino Survey of Mayors, local leaders noted they are receiving little funding and support from the federal government, and are increasingly taking the challenge into their own hands. That’s why Living Cities and the Citi Foundation have designed the third cohort of City Accelerator — an initiative that is helping 11 select U.S. cities foster innovation and collaboration among urban leaders — to test, innovate and codify new ways of building, repairing and maintaining much-needed infrastructure....

U.S. mayors name their biggest infrastructure wish

Next City, January 26, 2016

For the second year running, infrastructure topped the list of mayoral challenges. More than half of mayors responded that underinvestment in infrastructure is the number one state or national issue creating the largest problem for their cities....

Initiative on Cities 2015 Survey: what US mayors want

BU Today, January 25, 2016

To mayoral priorities include funding for aging infrastructure, bike accessibility, police reforms....

IOC released national survey of mayors, welcomed former mayor on campus

The Daily Free Press, January 25, 2016

The Boston University Initiative on Cities released the 2015 Menino Survey of Mayors during the United States Conference of Mayors 84th Winter Meeting Wednesday. IOC also welcomed to campus the first Mayor in Residence former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean Tuesday.

At mayors conference, the spirit of Menino

The Boston Globe, January 21, 2016

The spirit of the late Mayor Thomas M. Menino made an appearance this week in Washington, D.C., at the Winter Meeting of the US Conference of Mayors.

The conference released the “Menino Survey of Mayors” detailing the most pressing needs and policy priorities of mayors across the country. The survey was performed in partnership with The Boston University Initiative on Cities, which Menino co-founded after leaving office in 2014….

American mayors say infrastructure is most urgent priority

Cities Today, January 21, 2016

Mayors have identified investing in ageing infrastructure as the most pressing policy priority for cities according to findings released in the 2015 Menino Survey of Mayors….

In Survey, mayors say they worry about aging infrastructure

Associated Press, January 20, 2016

Mayors across the U.S. say they worry about their cities’ aging infrastructure and they’d like more state and federal support, according to a survey released Wednesday….

Summit explores ways to improve urban mobility

The Daily Free Press, December 8, 2015

The Boston University Initiative on Cities hosted a summit Monday to address ways that various technologies, policies and low-cost design interventions could improve transportation in Boston…

Lessons From a Former Mayor in One Accessible Collection

Next City, November 10, 2015

During two decades as mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino obviously learned a few things about the job he held. Insiders in state politics and government dubbed him the “urban mechanic,” …

BU Chosen to Host Menino’s Archives

Daily Free Press, October 28, 2015

Former Boston Mayor Thomas Menino’s family has chosen the Boston University Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center to organize and house the official Thomas Menino Archive….

BU Hopes to Bring Tom Menino ‘Back to Life’

The Boston Globe, October 27, 2015

Nearly a year after the city’s longest-serving mayor died on Oct. 30, 2014, his legacy is being preserved and presented to the public in a collection curated by the Gotlieb Center, which hosts collections on historical figures and famous artists….

Karl Dean Featured in Boston Globe as Mass Transit Advocate

The Boston Globe, October 10, 2015

Karl Dean, a Democrat in his second term as this city’s mayor, had a few minutes to tell President Obama about his dream: building a “trackless trolley” line that would connect Nashville’s gentrifying east side with its ritzy west….

HUBWeek Panel Discusses Closing the Gender Wage Gap

The Boston University News Service, October 15, 2015

IOC Executive Director Katharine Lusk joined City Councillor At-Large Michelle Wu, Boston’s Office of Women’s Advancement Executive Director Megan Costello, and Director and Public Policy Professor Iris Bohnet of the Women and Public Policy Program at the Kennedy School to discuss concrete efforts to eliminate the gender wage gap in Boston….

Karl Dean to Join Boston University Faculty, Author Book

The Tennessean, August 14, 2015

Karl Dean’s post-mayoral schedule has gotten a lot busier, with plans to help lead an urban affairs initiative at Boston University, teach there and co-author a book that chronicles Nashville’s recent growth….

Initiative on Cities Seminar Looks in Boston Arts, Culture

Daily Free Press, April 8, 2015

Arts experts from Boston University joined Rebecca Ostriker from The Boston Globe to speak on a panel Tuesday about urban culture and development for the Initiative on Cities’ Urban Seminar Series “The Cultural City,” the final presentation of the 2014-15 academic year. The panelists talked about Boston’s unique culture and challenges the city faces to become more cultural…

Initiative on Cities panel emphasizes interaction in city

Daily Free Press, March 4, 2015

Leaders of the Boston University community spoke about the benefits and challenges of practice-based teaching and student interaction in Boston for the Initiative on Cities’ Urban Seminar Series title “Teaching the City.”…

Initiative on Cities seminar addresses urban policing, practices

Daily Free Press, February 24, 2015

With a critical public eye on police departments following the summer’s occurrences of police-civilian violence in Ferguson, Missouri and Staten Island, New York, Boston University’s Initiative on Cities held an Urban Seminar Series…

The Power and Perspectives of Mayors: Data From a Survey of More Than 70 U.S. Officials 

The Journalist’s Resource, January 26, 2015

In recent years, many city mayors have increasingly stepped into the wider policy-making space, coordinating actions and working toward common goals, even as the U.S. Congress have struggled to legislate and govern in a complex and changing world. To better understand urban politics and policy-making processes, Katherine Levine Einstein and David M. Glick of Boston University analyzed interviews with more than 70 mayors of a representative sample of cities across the United States…

How Coastal Cities are Preparing and Adapting to Sea Level Rise

WBUR, December 14, 2014

WBUR’s Bob Oakes moderates a panel discussion from the IOC’s Sea Level Rise and the Future of Coastal Cities City Leadership Summit, featuring urban leaders from Boston, MA, Elizabeth, NJ, and Melbourne, Australia…

From Boston to Melbourne, Cities Will Continue to Lead on Climate Change Resilience

Next City, November 17, 2014

When it comes to adapting to the effects of climate change, it seems that Michael Bloomberg’s favorite adage holds true: Cities act, nations talk…

Is Somerville Really the “Next Cambridge?”

Boston.com, November 4, 2014

For locals whose ideal Saturday involves re-reading “Infinite Jest,” listening to alt-J, and sipping an Americano out of a delightfully mismatched mug, a decision must be made: Cambridge or Somerville?…

As Asian Cities Grow, So Do Public Health Concerns

City Lab, October 21, 2014

All around the world, rural migrants are flocking to cities in search of a better life. But it turns out that a move to the big city can bring out the worst in people…

Boston-area Communities Vie to be the Next Somerville

The Boston Globe, October 17, 2014

When Ed Greable takes buyers house shopping in Medford, the broker hits one selling point…

The Most Influential Cities

American City & County, October 13, 2014

When it comes to policy issues, mayors from across the country look primarily to three particular cities for inspiration, according to a Boston University Initiative on Cities study..

Survey Illuminates American Mayors’ Priorities

Planetizen, October 9, 2014

A new study conducted by former Boston Mayor Tom Menino and the Initiative on Cities at Boston University surveyed 70 mayors on their challenges, policy agendas, and relationships…

Boston Is One of the Most Influential Cities in the U.S., According to Mayors

Boston Magazine, October 9, 2014

Who do mayors look to for inspiration on how to serve their own constituents? Why, their fellow mayors of course. And according to the results of a survey conducted by BU’s Initiative on Cities, Boston is one of the most influential cities in the country…

What Keeps U.S. Mayors Awake at Night?

Next City, October 8, 2014

While we often get snapshots into how certain U.S. mayors feel about specific issues (like transportation or stadium subsidies or “poor doors”), we rarely get an integrated overview of the way our cities’ executive branches, on the whole, prioritize policies based on their political environs…

Denver’s Nation’s Fourth-Most Influential City Say Mayors

Denver Post October 7, 2014

American mayors think Denver is the nation’s fourth-most influential city when it comes to policy ideas, according to a Boston University study…

The Most Influential Cities in the Country, According to Mayors

Washington Post October 7, 2014

When asked what cities they looked to for policy ideas, U.S. mayors mentioned New York, Boston, and Austin more than any other cities, a Boston University Initiative on Cities survey found…

Patrick, Menino, Other Leaders Reflect on Lessons Learned from the Boston Marathon Bombing

NECN March 24, 2014

Boston University’s Initiative on Cities conference is taking an in-depth look at the Boston Marathon bombing, providing other cities with useful crisis management information…

Lessons Learned From the Boston Marathon Bombing

WGBH News March 24, 2014

A day-long symposium on the lessons learned from the Boston Marathon bombing wrapped at Boston University on Monday – attended by law enforcement officials, politicians, academicians, media and victims of the tragedy…

Davis Stands by Releasing Photos of Boston Marathon Bombing Suspects

WBUR March 24, 2014

Former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis says when he saw the photos of Boston Marathon bombing suspects Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, he wanted his officers and the public to be alert…

Tom Menino’s Initiative on Cities

WBUR “Radio Boston” March 18, 2014

Menino is setting up the Initiative on Cities with Graham Wilson, Chairman of the Political Science Department at B.U…