Urban Leadership

Advancing Urban Leadership

We seek to understand and address the most pressing leadership challenges facing mayors, on issues ranging from financial governance to urban planning, population growth, and health and sustainability. We convene current and former elected officials, academics, and business leaders to co-engineer solutions.

City Leadership Summits

We host summits that bring together urban mayors and leaders from around the world to examine timely challenges facing cities and the dynamic leadership strategies that are instrumental to tackling them. In 2014, we hosted Summits focused on Crisis Leadership and lessons from the Boston Marathon, and another on Sea Level Rise to examine the strategies taken by coastal cities to adapt to threats of climate change. In 2015, we hosted Fiscal Leadership and the Modern City, which examined the ways in which communities are tackling contemporary financial constraints, and a conference on Transportation Nudges, which took a look at the ways in which cities can nudge their way to better mobility. In 2016, we hosted The Dynamic City: Futures for the Past to explore the tension between celebrating a city’s historic character and adapting for 21st century economic and social needs. 

Menino Survey of Mayors

Our team has interviewed mayors from across the country to examine the leadership and management challenges facing modern-day mayors today and over time, through a first of its kind mayoral leadership research initiative.

Executive Education

The Boston University Initiative on Cities, in partnership with the BU Questrom School of Business, designs custom executive education programs that train business leaders to think like cities.

Original IOC Publications

We author original research that examine the leadership and policy tools used to help cities adapt and affect positive change.