To learn about upcoming events, please visit our events calendar


We host summits that bring together urban leaders, practitioners and academics from around the world to examine timely challenges facing cities and the dynamic leadership strategies that are instrumental to tackling them.

Urban Seminar Series

We provide a forum for BU Faculty to share their urban research with peers, students and practitioners through our Urban Research Seminar Series.

Speaker Series

We bring speakers of national and international prominence to Boston University, including elected officials and business and community leaders, to discuss the economic, social, environmental, and health imperatives key to successful urbanization.


We apply policies in the real world, by working with practitioners, promoting applied learning, and examining mechanisms that enable the effective – and exceptional – delivery of basic city services. We host public and private workshops for practitioners and academics to create partnerships and find solutions to pressing urban challenges.

Race, Place, and Space Series

Race, Place, and Space, co-hosted by the Initiative on Cities and the BU Arts Initiative, focuses on the ways in which racial and ethnic groups access, inhabit, occupy, shape, and are memorialized in urban contexts—as well as the ways their contemporary and historical contributions have been made invisible, disregarded, or denigrated. 

Black Boston Series

This completed virtual discussion series was a collaboration between the Initiative on Cities, Boston University Diversity & Inclusion, and WBUR CitySpace. Black Boston featured transformative Black leaders from across Greater Boston, providing a forum to examine our city’s progress toward inclusive access, equity, and opportunity—and where we still fall short.

Racial Equity Events Series

This completed series brought together members of the Boston University community to discuss how the University is currently leveraging time and resources to address racial disparities in the Boston region, and what actions they can take in the future to advance racial equity. This event series included a Research on Tap, two University-wide showcases, and several smaller, subject-specific seminars held at the Initiative on Cities.