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.

To learn about our upcoming events, view our event calendar

Past Events

Click on an event below to learn more about past events, including a recap and recording when available.

Punishing Places: The Geography of Mass Imprisonment

October 21, 2021
Read a summary, watch a recording, or view the event highlights here.

On November 17th, 2021, Jessica Simes, Assistant Professor of Sociology, discussed her new book, Punishing Places: The Geography of Mass Imprisonment.

Co-Director Katharine Lusk and Simes discussed her findings that describe in unprecedented detail the consequences of mass incarceration for neighborhoods and communities in the United States. Simes then fielded questions from the audience and discussed urgent implications for policy reforms aimed at ameliorating the community effects of mass incarceration and promoting alternatives to the carceral system.


Pushing Boundaries – Women Scientists at the Forefront of Community-Engaged Research

October 21, 2021
Read a summary, watch a recording, or view the event highlights here.

On October 21st, 2021, the Boston University Urban Climate Initiative and the Initiative on Cities (IOC) co-hosted a panel discussion on the challenges and opportunities of community-engaged research with a focus on environment and health in cities.

The panelists included Patricia Fabian, Associate Professor of Environmental Health, BU School of Public Health, Lucy Hutyra, Professor of Earth & Environment, BU College of Arts & Sciences; Faculty Director (Interim), Initiative on Cities, Madeleine Scammell, Associate Professor of Environmental Health, BU School of Public Health, and Pamela Templer, Professor of Biology, BU College of Arts & Sciences. The event was moderated by Katharine Lusk, Co-Director, Initiative on Cities.


Access and Anti-Racism in Opioid Treatment: What Cities Need Now

October 13, 2021
Read a summary, watch a recording, or view the event highlights here.

On Friday, October 1st, 2021, the Boston University Initiative on Cities (IOC) and the Center for Innovation in Social Work & Health (CISWH) co-hosted a panel with key stakeholders exploring how to decentralize, destigmatize and improve equity in opioid treatment delivery.

Panelists included Nan Whaley, mayor of Dayton, Ohio, Drew Carpenter, Recovery Support Navigator and Substance Use Counselor at Bay Cove Human Services, Miriam Komaromy, Medical Director at Grayken Center for Addiction at Boston Medical Center, and David L. Rosenbloom, Professor at Boston University School of Public Health. The event was moderated by Christina Lee, Research Core Director at CISWH and Associate Professor, BU School of Social Work. 


Cool, Climate-safe Cities: New Solutions & Research

October 1, 2021
Read a summary or watch a recording of the event here.

On Friday, October 1st, 2021, the Boston University Institute for Sustainable Energy partnered with the Initiative on Cities (IOC) and the student-run Energy & Sustainability Club on a virtual event exploring advances in research, new building and paving materials, and new policies that can make our cities more livable and safer for the climate. The webinar was part of ISE’s fall 2021 Energy of the Future series, presented in collaboration with the U.S. Green Building Council.

Moderated by IOC Co-Director Katharine Lusk, the event featured keynote speaker Greg Kats, Founder & CEO of the Smart Surfaces Coalition and President of Capital E; Dr. Lucy Hutyra, IOC Faculty Director (Interim) and BU Professor of Earth and Environment; Rao Mulpuri, CEO of View (PhD BU ENG ’95); and Jennifer Roberts, Former Mayor of Charlotte, NC and Smart Surfaces Coalition Steering Committee member.


Coming Back Better: Building Healthy, Sustainable, and Resilient Cities post-COVID-19

July 1, 2021
Watch a recording of the event here.

On Thursday, July 1, 2021, the Boston University Initiative on Cities (IOC) and the School of Public Health co-hosted a panel on how cities can be structured to support health and what we have learned about the future of urban living from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speakers included Oxiris Barbot, Senior Fellow for Public Health and Social Justice at The JPB Foundation, Sandra Brooks Henriquez, CEO at The Detroit Housing Commission, Diana Hernandez, Associate Professor at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, and Katrina Forrest, Co-Executive Director at CityHealth.


The Seaport…and Beyond: A conversation about racial diversity and economic equity in the Seaport—and in future neighborhood development

June 29, 2021
Watch a recording of the event here.

On Tuesday, June 29, 2021, the IOC supported the Boston Globe and the Civic Action Project for an event discussing how public policy and private action can be used to assure that neighborhood development shares the space and the benefits equitably with people of all ethnicities and economic means.

Speakers included Duane Jackson, Managing Member at Alinea Capital Partners, LLC, Jon Davis, CEO and Founder at The Davis Companies, and Segun Idowu, President and CEO at Black Economic Council of Massachusetts. Moderated by Shirley Leung, Business Columnist at the Boston Globe and Zeninjor Enwemeka, Reporter at WBUR.


The Urban/Suburban Educational Divide: Racial Inequities and Shifting Landscapes

May 19, 2021
Watch a recording of the event here.

On Wednesday, May 19, 2021 the Boston University Initiative on Cities (IOC) and the BU Wheelock Educational Policy Center (WEPC) held a discussion on efforts to ensure students have access to a great education, and why integration efforts to close the urban-suburban divide leave some students caught in between, while others are stuck on one side.


Urban Parks and the Public Realm: Equity and Access in Post-COVID Cities

April 30, 2021
Read a summary and watch a recording of the event here.

On Friday, April 30, 2021 the Boston University Initiative on Cities (IOC) and The Trust for Public Land hosted an event on the future of urban parks in a post-COVID world featuring IOC Co-Director Katharine Lusk, Mayor Byron Brown of Buffalo, NY, and Mayor Libby Schaaf of Oakland, CA.

The discussion, moderated by Diane Regas, President and CEO of The Trust for Public Land, examined in-depth what some national and local leaders have done to address accessibility and quality of parks, and in what ways the COVID-19 pandemic has changed outdoor space in cities.


Telling the Untold History of Civil Rights Leaders in Boston

April 21, 2021
Read a summary and watch a recording of the event here.

On Wednesday, April 21, 2021, the Boston University Initiative on Cities (IOC), BU Arts Initiative, and BU Diversity & Inclusion hosted a discussion on the untold stories of civil rights leaders in Boston featuring Assistant Professor of History & African American Studies Paula Austin, filmmaker Roberto Mighty, and Lecturer in Art & Graphic Design Jessie Rubenstein.

Beyond names such as Martin Luther King Jr., the panelists discussed the mark left by other less-known leaders who helped shape the city of Boston and its role in the struggle for Black freedom.


Boston’s Chinatown: Community, Power, and Placemaking

April 15, 2021
Read a summary and watch a recording of the event here.

On April 15, 2021 the Boston University Initiative on Cities (IOC), BU Arts Initiative, and BU Diversity & Inclusion hosted a virtual discussion focused on the history and legacy of Boston’s Chinatown neighborhood.

The conversation was moderated by Ben Hires, CEO of the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center and featured Núrí Chandler-Smith, Dean of Academic Support and College Pathway Programs at Bunker Hill Community College; Angie Liou, Executive Director of the Asian Community Development Center; Heang Rubin, Chair at the Friends of the Chinatown Library and Assistant Professor of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University; and Cynthia Woo, Director of the Pao Arts Center in Chinatown.


Getting to Yes on Housing in Greater Boston and Framingham

April 13, 2021
Read a summary and watch a recording of the event here.

On Tuesday, April 13, the Boston University Initiative on Cities (IOC) and Abundant Housing MA hosted a discussion about the politics of housing and the challenges behind reforms.

Mayor Yvonne Spicer of the City of Framingham joined Associate Professor Katherine Einstein of Boston University in a conversation moderated by Whitney Demetrius, Director of Fair Housing Engagement at the Citizens Housing And Planning Association (CHAPA).


Downtown After COVID: Will Urban Centers be the Same?

April 7, 2021
Read a summary and watch a recording of the event here.

On Wednesday, April 7 the Boston University Initiative on Cities (IOC) and City Planning & Urban Affairs (CPUA) Program hosted a discussion on the future of downtown spaces in the post-pandemic era.

Moderated by Jon Chesto, Business Reporter at the Boston Globe, the panel featured Brian Swett, Boston Office Leader & Director of Cities in the Americas of Arup; Emily Keys Innes, Founder of Innes Associates and Faculty and board member at the CPUA Program; and David Valecillos, Director of Design at the North Shore Community Development Coalition and CPUA Faculty and alumnus.


Lessons from Paris: The Changing Landscape of Urban Transportation after COVID

March 23, 2021
Read a summary and watch a recording of the event here.

On Tuesday, March 23, 2021, the Boston University Initiative on Cities (IOC) hosted a discussion with municipal officials from the City of Paris to explore how the major urban center has been implementing pedestrian and cyclist friendly programs and infrastructure.

From the city’s Department of Transportation and Public Space, Curbside Evolution Project Manager Hervé Levifve, Chief of Cycle Infrastructure and Facilities Charlotte Guth, and Data Project Manager Mélanie Gidel joined the IOC for a discussion moderated by Kris Carter, Co-Chair of the City of Boston’s Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics (MONUM).


We the Possibility: Harnessing Public Entrepreneurship to Solve Our Most Urgent Problems

March 18, 2021
Read a summary and watch a recording of the event here.

On March 18, 2021, the Boston University Initiative on Cities (IOC) hosted Mitchell Weiss to discuss his new book We the Possibility: Harnessing Public Entrepreneurship to Solve Our Most Urgent Problems.

Weiss, a Professor of Management Practice in the Entrepreneurial Management unit and the Richard L. Menschel Faculty Fellow at Harvard Business School, previously worked with the late Mayor of Boston, Tom Menino, as Chief of Staff. We the Possibility discusses the role public entrepreneurship and governments should play when solving large-scale problems.


Animal City: The Domestication of America

February 9, 2021
Read a summary and watch a recording of the event here.

On Tuesday, February 9, 2021, the Boston University Initiative on Cities and the BU History Department hosted a discussion with Andrew Robichaud, Assistant Professor of History at BU, and Catherine McNeur, Associate Professor of Environmental History and Public History at Portland State University.

Robichaud and McNeur discussed Robichaud’s book, Animal City: The Domestication of America, which explores the connection between cities’ transformation in the 19th century and changes in the relationship between humans and animals.


Coming of Age in Jim Crow DC: Navigating the Politics of Everyday Life

February 3, 2021
Read a summary and watch a recording of the event here.

On February 3, 2021, the Boston University Initiative on Cities (IOC) kicked off its Race, Place, and Space series with a discussion featuring Assistant Professor of History and African American Studies Paula Austin.

Austin discussed her book Coming of Age in Jim Crow DC: Navigating the Politics of Everyday Life, which explores the lives of young Black men and women in Washington, DC during the 1930s.


Can Cities Stop the Climate Crisis?

November 19, 2020
Read a summary and watch a recording of the event here.

On November, 19, 2020, the Boston University Initiative on Cities (IOC) and the Institute for Sustainable Energy (ISE) hosted “Can Cities Stop the Climate Crisis?,” a virtual discussion on the pivotal role cities play in fighting climate change.

The discussion featured David Miller, Director of International Diplomacy and Global Ambassador of Inclusive Climate Action at C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, former mayor of Toronto (2003–2010), and was moderated by IOC Director Graham Wilson. Their discussion was centered around David Miller’s new book, Solved: How the World’s Great Cities Are Fixing the Climate Crisis.


Big City Africa

October 19, 2020
Read a summary and watch a recording of the event here.

On Tuesday, November 10, 2020, the Boston University Initiative on Cities (IOC) and the African Studies Center hosted Big City Africa, a discussion on the opportunities and challenges of urbanization in the African continent.

Moderated by Timothy Longman, Professor of Political Science at Boston University and Director ad interim of the African Studies Center at Boston University, the discussion featured Paul Collier, Professor of Economics and Public Policy at the University of Oxford and Director at the International Growth Centre; Astrid Haas, Policy Director at the International Growth Center; and Marcus Walton, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Boston University.


Black Boston: Transforming the Arts

October 13, 2020
Read a summary and watch a recording of the event here.

On Tuesday, October 13, 2020, Boston University Initiative on Cities (IOC), together with Boston University Diversity & Inclusion, and WBUR CitySpace, hosted “Black Boston: Transforming the Arts,” the fourth and final event in the Black Boston Series, which highlights transformative Black leaders from across Greater Boston and provides a forum to examine our city’s progress toward inclusive access, equity, and opportunity—and where we still fall short.

Moderated by Crystal Williams, Vice President and Associate Provost for Community & Inclusion at Boston University, the discussion featured three panelists: Makeeba McCreary, Chief of Learning and Community Engagement at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts; Catherine Morris, Founder & Executive Director of BAMS Fest; and Maurice Emmanuel Parent, Executive Director of Front Porch Arts Collective, Professor of the Practice at Tufts University and Visiting Lecturer at Boston University.


BU Alumni Weekend: The 2020 Census: What’s at Stake?

October 1, 2020
Read a summary of the event here.

On Thursday, October 1, 2020, the Initiative on Cities (IOC) and the BU Alumni Association held The 2020 Census: What’s at Stake?, part of 2020 Alumni Weekend. The event included findings from “Counting the City: Mayoral Views on the 2020 Census”, a brief on the census findings from our forthcoming 2020 Menino Survey of Mayors.


Black Boston: Changing the Face of Politics

September 21, 2020
Read a summary and watch a recording of the event here.

On Monday, September 21, 2020, the Boston University Initiative on Cities (IOC), Boston University Diversity & Inclusion, and WBUR CitySpace hosted “Black Boston: Telling Our Stories.”

Boston City Councilor Andrea Campbell (District 4), Massachusetts State Representative Nika Elugardo (15th Suffolk District), and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) discussed political leadership, civic engagement, and equitable representation in an event moderated by  Kimberly Atkins, Senior Opinion Writer and member of the Editorial Board at the Boston Globe.


Black Boston: Telling Our Stories

August 27, 2020
Read a summary and watch a recording of the event here.

On Thursday, August 27, the Boston University Initiative on Cities (IOC), Boston University Diversity & Inclusion, and WBUR CitySpace hosted “Black Boston: Telling Our Stories,” the second installment of Black Boston, a recurring virtual discussion series featuring Black leaders from the Boston area.

The four-part series celebrates Black leaders who have transformed their field and, subsequently, helped transform the city. Moderated by Paris Alston, a producer at WBUR’s Radio Boston, the event featured Michelle Johnson, Associate Professor of Practice of Multimedia Journalism at Boston University; Karen Holmes Ward, Director of Public Affairs and Host of CityLine, WCVB; and Kimberly Atkins, Senior Opinion Writer at the Boston Globe. The panelists discussed the role of Black journalists in the city, and the challenges they face daily in an environment that is striving to become more diverse and inclusive but that at the same time still grapples with division and racism.


Black Boston: Building Healthy Communities

July 30, 2020
Read a summary and watch a recording of the event here.

On July 30, 2020, the Boston University Initiative on Cities, Boston University Diversity & Inclusion, and WBUR CitySpace held Black Boston: Building Healthy Communities, the first in a recurring discussion series featuring transformative Black leaders from across Greater Boston.


Confronting Systemic Racism: Policing, Mass Incarceration, and Black Lives Matter

June 23, 2020
Watch a recording of the event here.

On June 23, 2020 the Initiative on Cities (IOC) hosted Confronting Systemic Racism: Policing, Mass Incarceration, and Black Lives Matter.

Kimberly Atkins, Senior News Correspondent for WBUR and MSNBC contributor, facilitated an in-depth discussion with BU experts: Paula Austin, Assistant Professor of History & African American Studies, BU College of Arts & Sciences; Author of Coming of Age in Jim Crow DC: Navigating the Politics of Everyday Life. Raul Fernandez, Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, BU Wheelock College of Education & Human Development; Elected Select Board Member in Brookline, MA. Jessica Simes, Assistant Professor of Sociology, BU College of Arts & Sciences; Author of the forthcoming book, Punishing Places: The Geography of Mass Incarceration.


Opportunity Zones: How Are They Working for Cities?

June 10, 2020
Watch a recording of the event here.

On June 10, 2020, the Initiative on Cities (IOC) hosted an online briefing to share new research and perspectives on how the federal Opportunity Zones policy is working for cities, including how it can be used as a tool for COVID-19 economic recovery.

The webinar featured findings from the IOC’s national Menino Survey of Mayors about mayoral perspectives on Opportunity Zones along with a discussion with The Rockefeller Foundation, Citi Ventures, and the Economic Innovation Group (EIG) about on-the-ground observations, new data resources, and strategies for ensuring cities, investors, and developers can deliver on the policy’s goal to improve the lives of low-income Americans.


COVID-19 & Cities: Supporting Aging Populations

May 27, 2020
Watch a recording of the event here.

On May 27, 2020, the Boston University Initiative on Cities (IOC) and the Boston University School of Social Work (BUSSW) held a webinar to discuss the challenges and trends that aging populations face as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how cities are responding.

IOC Co-Director Katharine Lusk moderated and was joined by Bronwyn Keefe, Director of the BUSSW Center for Aging and Disability Education Research (CADER) and Research Assistant Professor at the BUSSW and Antron Watson, Age-Friendly Director for AARP Massachusetts.


COVID-19 & Cities: Multilingual Learners & Families

May 20, 2020
Watch a recording of the event here.

On Wednesday, May 20, 2020, the Initiative on Cities (IOC) and Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development hosted a webinar to discuss the challenges of remote learning on multilingual learners and their families, and what’s being done to support them.

Christine Leider, Clinical Assistant Professor Language Education & Program Director for Bilingual Education & TESOL Licensure at BU Wheelock; Rani Pan, K2 (Kindergarten) Inclusion Teacher at Mendell Elementary School (Boston Public Schools); Jocelyn Lee, Head of the Language Acquisition Department & Grade 5 ESL Teacher at Match Community Day Charter Public School and Part-Time Instructor at BU Wheelock; and Emily Blitz, English Learner Education Department Chair at Somerville High School, provided insight based on their experiences. 


COVID-19 & Cities: Pollution & the Environment

May 13, 2020
Read a summary and watch a recording of the event here.

On Wednesday, May 13th, 2020, the Initiative on Cities (IOC) hosted a discussion on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on pollution and urban air quality as part of our ongoing COVID-19 & Cities series.

David Miller, Director of International Diplomacy at the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and former Mayor of Toronto (2003-2010) and Lucy Hutyra, Associate Professor of Earth and Environment at Boston University, participated in the panel to offer their insight into both the scientific understanding and policy implications of improved urban air quality during COVID-19.


COVID-19 & Cities: Municipal Fiscal Health

May 6, 2020
Read a summary and watch a recording of the event here.

On Wednesday, May 6, 2020, the Initiative on Cities (IOC) hosted COVID-19 & Cities: Municipal Fiscal Health, continuing the IOC’s ongoing COVID-19 & Cities series.

Christiana McFarland, Research Director at the National League of Cities, and Pam Kocher, President of the Boston Municipal Research Bureau, joined IOC Director Graham Wilson to discuss the impact COVID-19 has had on municipal fiscal health and how it will continue to create financial challenges for cities.


After COVID-19: (Re)Building Resilient Cities

April 30, 2020
Read a summary and watch a recording of the event here.

On Thursday, April 30th, 2020, the Boston University School of Public Health(SPH) and the Initiative on Cities (IOC) co-hosted After COVID-19: (Re)Building Resilient Cities, a webinar exploring the role cities play in supporting public health during COVID-19 and as we start to emerge from the pandemic.

Part of SPH’s Coronavirus Seminar SeriesSandro Galea, Dean and Robert A. Knox Professor at the School of Public Health, moderated a panel of speakers who provided context for the pandemic through the lens of contemporary public health issues. Galea was joined by Jennifer Keesmaat, CEO of The Keesmaat Group and former Chief Planner of Toronto, Katie Swenson, Senior Principal at Mass Design Group, Joan Saba, Partner at NBBJ, and the IOC’s own Katharine Lusk, Co-Director of the Initiative on Cities., and Bruce Katz, Founding Director of Nowak Metro Finance Lab at Drexel University and Distinguished Fellow at the Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation.


COVID-19 & Cities: How Are They Coping?

April 15, 2020
Read a summary and watch a recording of the event here.

On Wednesday, April 15th, 2020, the Initiative on Cities held a webinar that examined the effects that COVID-19 is having on cities bearing the brunt of the public health and economic crisis triggered by the global pandemic.

IOC Director Graham Wilson was joined by Katherine Levine Einstein, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Faculty Fellow at the IOC, and Bruce Katz, Founding Director of Nowak Metro Finance Lab at Drexel University and Distinguished Fellow at the Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation.


Why Cities Lose: The Deep Roots of the Urban-Rural Political Divide

December 6, 2019
Read a summary of the event here.

On Friday, December 6th, the Initiative on Cities hosted a book talk with Jonathan Rodden to discuss his book, Why Cities Lose, which explores how the Democratic Party’s electoral challenges have deeper roots in economic and political geography.

Jonathan Rodden is a professor of political science and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and founder and director of the Stanford Spatial Science Social Lab. He has been researching the correlation between voting behavior and population density and compiling this book for over 10 years. In his book,  he argues that urban interests are systemically underrepresented in state legislatures and in Congress: with Democrats clustered in cities, Republicans often win legislative majorities despite losing the overall popular vote. The reasons why cities lose are therefore often the reasons why the Left loses too. 


Prison Changes People, Education Changes Prisons

November 19, 2019
Read a summary of the event here.

On Tuesday, November 19th, the Initiative on Cities hosted a comprehensive seminar on the power of education in prison systems, as it has proven to be one of the most effective ways to decrease crime and the financial and social costs of incarceration. Moreover, inmates who take part in education programs are less likely to return to prison and are better positioned to successfully reenter society and make positive impacts on their families and communities.

The speakers included Mary Ellen Mastroilli, Faculty Director of the Boston University Prison Education Program, Associate Professor of the Practice, Criminal Justice, and Chair, Applied Social Sciences; Andre de Quadros, Professor of Music, Music Education, and Affiliate Faculty of the African American Studies Center, the Center for the Study of Asia, the Global Health Initiative, and the Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies & Civilizations; Robert Iacovielle, a participant of the BU Prison Education Program; Andrew Cannon, a Ph.D. candidate in Mechanical Engineering; and Maco L. Faniel, the National Program Manager of the Petey Greene Program. They each discussed their experience working with current and formerly incarcerated individuals and the power education has to reform the prison system.


Book Talk: Latino Mayors: Political Change in the Postindustrial City

November 14, 2019
Read a summary of the event here.

On Thursday, November 14th, the Initiative on Cities, the Latin America Studies Program, the African American Studies Program, and the Center for Latin American Studies held a book talk with Marion Orr, the co-editor of Latino Mayors: Political Change in the Industrial City.

In Latino Mayors, the authors explore the rise of Latino mayors over the past 30 years and how their ascension into politics is a reflection of ethnic succession, changing urban demography, and political contexts. The book contains case studies of 11 Latino Mayors in six cities across the United States: San Antonio, Los Angeles, Denver, Hartford, Miami, and Providence.


Rip Off or Reasonable? Cities & Corporate Financial Incentives

October 18, 2019
Read a summary of the event here.

Businesses are potentially more mobile today than ever before and have a wide range of options on where to locate. Cities and state try hard to attract investment; as in the competition for Amazon’s HQ2, they often promise significant sums in tax rebates, subsidies and services.  On Friday, October 18th, the Initiative on Cities held a discussion on corporate financial incentives in cities and how they affect economic development in urban spaces. University of Texas at Austin Professor Nathan Jensen and BU Political Science Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies David Glick led the presentation, exploring how cities use tax rebates, subsidies, and other financial incentives to attract corporate investment, and, more importantly, how these relationships adversely affect economic development.


Keeping A Good Thing Going: Sustaining Economic Growth in Our Cities

October 2, 2019
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On Wednesday, October 2nd, the Initiative on Cities welcomed Alan Harding, the Chief Economic Adviser to the Mayor of Metropolitan Manchester, and Midori Morikawa, Director of Business Strategy for the City of Boston, to discuss sustaining economic growth in cities and maintaining momentum while prioritizing inclusivity.

Alan Harding has spent the past three years as Chief Economic Advisor to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, a relatively new metropolitan authority that has brought together the 10 boroughs that constitute Greater Manchester. Midori Morikawa heads Boston’s Office of Economic Development, a department created by Mayor Marty Walsh after his election in 2014.


Women’s Political Empowerment A Century After the 19th Amendment: Reflections by Women Mayors

September 17, 2019
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On Tuesday, September 17th, the Initiative on Cities invited three Massachusetts mayors, Mayor Ruthanne Fuller of Newton, Mayor Donna Holaday of Newburyport, and Mayor Yvonne Spicer of Framingham, to reflect on their experiences on the campaign trail and in public office and discuss the challenges that women face in political leadership. The panel was moderated by Virginia Sapiro, Professor of Political Science and Dean Emerita of Arts & Sciences and was co-sponsored by the Howard Thurman Center, the Political Science Department, Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program and BU College Democrats.


The Sounds of Boston and Beyond: Hearing the Sonic Dimension of Cities

September 10, 2019
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On Tuesday, September 10th, the Initiative on Cities hosted The Sounds of Boston and Beyond, a seminar that explored the development urban soundscapes and the impact they have on public health and community engagement.

The seminar was led by Erica Walker, Founder of Noise and the City and the Community Noise Lab at Boston University, Daniel Steele, a Visiting Fellow at the IOC and the Program Manager of Sounds in the City, and Edda Bild, a Soundscape Researcher who also comes from Sounds in the City. Prior to the seminar, Steele and Bild led a soundwalk across Boston to explore the various urban soundscapes that exist within the city and discuss the sound and noise implications of city planning.


Diffusion of Public-Private Innovations: Conditions for Scaling Up Smart City Projects

May 28, 2019
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On May 28th, the Initiative on Cities welcomed Lasse Bundgaard, a Visiting Researcher from the Copenhagen Business School and Copenhagen Solutions Lab, to discuss his research on Smart City Solutions and public-private partnerships. He presented the results from his paper with Susana Borras, “Diffusion of Public-Private Innovations: Conditions for Scaling Up Smart City Projects,” which discusses the conditions that affect the scale up of Smart City Solutions resulting from public-private partnerships. Bundgaard is specifically interested in the role the dynamic of the partnership have to play in the success the project will have, both in terms of whether it will be scaled up and, in later research, ensuring the greatest value for citizens and private partners.


Are Today’s Frontiers Inside Cities? A Lecture by Saskia Sassen

April 30, 2019
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On Tuesday April 30, Saskia Sassen joined the Initiative of Cities to speak about increased competition for housing, rising rent and how housing is deemed as a commodity for financial firms. Sassen first highlighted the capabilities society has today, “we have capabilities that are rather simple, but how can we make them less destructive?” She provided an example of the Aral Sea in Uzbekistan and how it has dried up over the years. She emphasized how we consist of negative capabilities and we must explore ways to be less destructive and use our intelligence to produce positives.


What Will it Take to End Homelessness in Boston and Beyond? Insights from Policy, Research and Advocacy

April 17, 2019
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On Wednesday April 17, Professor Thomas Byrne, Laila Bernstein and Joe Finn joined the Initiative of Cities to speak about how homelessness impacts Boston and other cities throughout the U.S. Each speaker suggested several plans to resolve chronic homelessness through initiatives such as Permanent Supportive Housing and subsidized housing.


Book Talk: “The Urban Commons” by Dan O’Brien

March 27, 2019
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On Wednesday March 27, Dan O’Brien, Associate Professor of Public Policy, Urban Affairs and Criminology Northeastern University, spoke about the current 311 system in Boston and illustrated data trends that showcased how Bostonians interact with their neighborhoods and local governments. In his new book, The Urban Commons: How Data and Technology Can Rebuild Our Communities, he explored theories of custodianship and territoriality.


Beyond Congestion: Pathways to Mobility

March 26, 2019
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On Tuesday March 26, panelists discussed how current transportation networks within major cities do not operate efficiently and future technology will serve a key role in incentivizing change and eliminating congestion. The conversation was initially led by Matthew Raifman, Senior Manager at Ford Smart Mobility. Raifman described congestion as an “excess of vehicles on a portion of roadway at a particular time resulting in a reduction below total possible throughput.” Traffic congestion serves as a negative externality for residents by inducing vehicle costs, greenhouse gas emissions, additional travel time and potential health risks.


Book Talk: “The Cities on the Hill” by Thomas Ogorzalek

March 22, 2019
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On Friday, March 22, Thomas Ogorzalek, Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University spoke about the divide between urban and rural America and how racial conflict shaped the current political landscape of our country. He illustrated that the divide between these areas have originated in cities themselves in his new book, The Cities on the Hill: How Urban Institutions Transformed National Politics. He focused on how city leaders transformed their political parties and interests on the national level. Current partisan politics in America can be attributed to the 1930s when city leaders became unified in national politics and supportive of civil rights. These changes paved the path for what is known as modern liberalism today. Ogorzalek goes on to explain that during the 20th century, American politics were influenced by race and local institutions served as the main driver of what kept Americans apart.


Research Spotlight 2018: Menino Survey of Mayors

February 13, 2019
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On Wednesday, February 13, Assistant Professors Katherine Einstein, Maxwell Palmer, and Associate Professor David Glick joined the Initiative on Cities and shared key findings from the 2018 Menino Survey of Mayors from interviews of 110 mayors across 37 states. The three highlighted mayoral views on social mobility, living wage ordinances, the sharing economy, immigration and other issues that impact cities daily.


Building a Livable City: Infrastructure for All

January 25, 2019
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Boston University City Planning and Urban Affairs Program, Initiative on Cities, and Sustianability@BU hosted Adriaan Kok, senior project manager and designer for the Dutch company ipv Delft. Kok discussed his projects on improving infrastructures through sustainable and future-proof designs.


Book Talk: People Before Highways

October 17, 2018
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On Wednesday, October 17th, Dr. Karilyn Crockett joined the Initiative on Cities to discuss her book, People Before Highways: Boston Activists, Urban Planners, and a New Movement for City Making, which was published in early 2018. The book investigates a 1960s grassroots movement in Boston to halt the urban extension of the interstate highway system.


Film Screening: Chega de Fiu Fiu: Enough with Catcalling

October 10, 2018
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On Wednesday, October 10th, the Initiative on Cities and the Boston University Center for Latin American Studies presented a screening of the Brazilian documentary Chega de Fiu Fiu, which translates roughly to Enough With Catcalling. Filmmakers Amanda Kamanchek and Fernanda Frazão use the documentary to explore sexual harassment and catcalling in the streets of Brazil, and the film interweaves the stories of three Brazilian women who share their versions of the female experience.


The Latino City

September 27, 2018
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On Thursday, September 27th, the Initiative on Cities and the Boston University Center for Latin American Studies co-sponsored a discussion on the emergence of Latino communities in American cities. The conversation was moderated by BU Assistant Professor Jonathan Calvillo, who teaches Sociology of Religion. The event featured Dr. Llana Barber and Erualdo González, who each spoke of their respective research on the development of Latino communities in Lawrence, Massachusetts, and Santa Ana, California.


Age-Friendly Cities

May 3, 2018
Read a summary of the event here.

Boston University Professors Ronwyn Keefe and Ernest Gonzalez came together with James Fuccione of the Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative to discuss how communities can prepare to accommodate the increasing aging demographic.


Breaking the Incarceration Cycle

April 18, 2018
Read a summary of the event here.

Jennifer Doleac, Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Economics at the Batten School and Director of the Justice Tech Lab at UVA, from visited the Initiative on Cities to lecture on programs and policies to productively incorporate the formerly-incarcerated into their communities.


Gun Violence and Police Shootings in U.S. Cities

April 11, 2018
Read a summary of the event here.

BU School of Public Health Professor Michael Siegel and former Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges visited the Initiative on Cities to discuss firearm violence and community-police relations. Siegel discussed his research on the link between structural racism and fatal police shootings, while Hodges spoke about her work as mayor surrounding policing and community building.


Conflict and Cleavages in US Cities

April 4, 2018
Read a summary of the event here.

Harvard Kennedy School Ph.D. candidate Peter Bucchianeri joined the Initiative on Cities to share research in progress on Conflict and Cleavages Under Democratic One-Party Rule. If two debating sides normally shape how policy is being made, what happens when one of those sides is absent? How does one party rule change how policy is formed?


A Conversation with David Lammy

March 20, 2018
Read a summary of the event here.

On March 20th, David Lammy, the Labour Member of Parliament for Tottenham in London, England, visited the Initiative on Cities to discuss issues within his constituency, the impact of Brexit, and the goals of the Labour Party.


Assessing and Planning for Neighborhood-Based Resiliency

February 13, 2018
Read a summary of the event here.

Resilient is a word used in many contexts and with varied meaning. This seminar explored what it means for a neighborhood to be resilient, able to withstand both unexpected shocks and ongoing stresses through social connections, adequate resources and planning, showcasing the work of Cambridge’s Special Committee on Neighborhood-Based Resilience.

Moderated by Boston Univeristy Associate Professor and Director of City Planning Madhu Dutta-Koehler, this talk featured a presentation by Cambridge City Councilor Craig Kelley.


When Tokyo Went Electric: Electricity Theft and the Materiality of Modern Life

December 6, 2017
Read a summary of the event here.

The Initiative on Cities, BU Department of Art & Architecture, and Center for the Study of Asia co-hosted a lecture by Professor Ian Miller of Harvard University. His presentation led attendees through Japan’s journey to become one of the most “electrified” places on Earth through fossil fuels and the debate of energy as property.


Urban Sustainability, the Electricity Sector, and the Pursuit of a Zero Carbon Global Footprint

November 27, 2017
Read a summary of the event here.

The Initiative on Cities and the Institute for Sustainable Energy hosted former Lord Mayor of London, Fiona Woolf, to discuss her efforts on sustainability and innovation within London’s electricity industry.


Boston’s Hidden Histories

November 13, 2017
Read a summary of the event here.

The Initiative on Cities brought together scholars and City of Boston officials to share some of the lesser known aspects and history of our urban home from historical uses of the Boston Common to silica underneath Beacon Hill.

Moderated by Boston University History of Art & Architecture Professor Daniel Bluestone, speakers included: Joe Bagley, City Archaeologist, City of Boston; Robinson “Wally” Fulweiler, Associate Professor, Departments of Biology and Earth & Environment, Boston University; and Ian Stevenson, Ph.D. candidate in American & New England Studies Program, Boston University.


Getting There: Transportation Vision to Transformative Reality

September 27, 2017
Read a summary of the event here.

What do cities need to be innovative transportation centers? How does equity factor in when transportation networks change?

Moderated by Questrom School of Business Associate Dean Paul Carlile, this seminar featured Lily Song, lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Design; and Terry Regan, Program Manager with the US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Volpe Center and Adjunct Professor, Boston University City Planning Program.


Immigration, Cities & President Trump

February 28, 2017

Immigration has emerged as arguably the dominant story of 2017. Mayors nationwide have been outspoken in their criticism of the Trump administration’s policies thus far. How are cities in Massachusetts, and around the country, navigating the complex issue of immigration? And what might be at stake for cities moving forward?

Moderated by WBUR reporter Shannon Dooling, this seminar featured Chief Brian Kyes, Chief of Police, City of Chelsea; Karen Pita Loor, Clincal Associate Professor of Law, Boston University School of Law; Sarah Sherman-Stokes, Clinical Instructor, Boston University School of Law; and Councilor Josh Zakim, Boston City Council.


Resurgence of the Latin American City

February 13, 2017

According to UN-Habitat, Latin America is the most urbanized region in the world. Over 75% of its population lived in cities at the turn of the 21st century and that figure is expected to rise to almost 85% by 2030. This seminar explored the past, present and future of innovation in urban Latin America.

Moderated by Taylor Boas, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Boston University, this seminar featured James Kostaras, Senior Research Affiliate at the Institute for International Urban Development and Ana Villarreal, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Boston University.


Faith and the City

December 7, 2016

What is the role of faith in the modern city? How do religious leaders and institutions impact urban residents, especially marginalized populations?

Moderated by Rev. Dr. Robert Hill, Dean of Marsh Chapel at Boston University, this seminar featured Rev. Rainey Dankel, Associate Rector, Trinity Church, Boston; Shaykh Yasir Fahmy, Senior Imam, Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Cent; and Rev. Dr. Theodore Hickman-Maynard, Visiting Assistant Professor of Evangelism and Church Renewal, School of Theology, Boston University.


Urban Earth Science: Understanding the Potential of Growing Field

November 30, 2016

Earth science has been the new trend for cities and city researchers. What is urban earth science and how are researchers and practitioners using their findings to advance science and policy? 

Moderated by Dr. Eliza Wallace, GIS Analyst at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, this panel featured Lucy Hutyra, Professor of Earth & Environment at Boston University; Pamela Templer, Professor of Biology at Boston University; Andrew Trlica, Ph.D. candidate at Boston University’s Department of Earth & Environment; and Stephen Decina, Ph.D. candidate at Boston University’s Department of Biology.


Understanding the Economic Development Gap

October 25, 2016
Read a summary of the event here.

Why have some cities experienced an economic development boom, while others have struggled? What can cities do to recover from decades of decline? This panel discussion focused on exploring and understanding the urban development gap, especially as it applies to Gateway and Legacy cities in the U.S.

Moderated by Boston University Professor of Economics and IOC Advisory Board member Robert Margo, the panel featured Anne Gatling Haynes who serves as Director of the Transformative Development Initiative at MassDevelopment and as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of City Planning and Urban Affairs at Boston University; and Lily Song who works as a Senior Research Associate at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of City Planning and Urban Affairs at Boston University.


Sharing Visions, Shaping Cities: Imagine Boston 2030

April 4, 2016

The City of Boston recently kicked off Imagine Boston 2030, a community-focused comprehensive planning process that will lay out a vision for the city’s future. What will the plan ultimately look like? Do city plans work? How can we help create a great city for the next generation? Join us for lunch and a conversation with planning experts from BU and beyond. 

Moderated by Madhu Dutta-Koehler, Associate Professor of Practice and Program Coordinator for the City Planning and Urban Affairs Program at Boston University School of Law, Sharing Visions, Shaping Cities featured Sara Myerson, Director of Planning at the Boston Redevelopment Authority; Matthew Littell, Principal at Utile; Renee Loth, Editor of ArchitectureBoston; and Rami el Samahy, Adjunct Professor of City Planning and Urban Affairs at Boston University and Principal at over,under.


Cities and the Opioid Crisis

March 1, 2016
Read a summary of the event here.

Cities throughout the country are faced with a growing opioid epidemic. How are urban leaders addressing this crisis? What can cities do from a policy, public safety, and public health perspective to curb opioid abuse and offer effective recovery services?

Moderated by Jack Beermann, Professor at the Boston University School of Law, Cities and the Opioid Crisis featured David Rosenbloom, Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Boston University School of Public Health; Jen Tracey, Director of the Office of Recovery Services for the City of Boston; Leonard Campanello, Chief of Police for the City of Gloucester, MA; and Colleen LaBelle, Program Director at Boston Medical Center.


Boston Public Schools’ Assignment Plan

February 4, 2016
Read a summary of the event here.

In 2014, the Boston Public Schools (BPS) switched to a new school assignment plan. Two years in, is the plan working? What does a “fair” school assignment system look like? And is fairness the same for everyone? Do families differ in what they want in a school? How might the Boston Public Schools Choice and Assignment system balance these factors?

Moderated by Hardin Coleman, Dean of the Boston University’s School of Education, this panel featured Kim Rice, Assistant Superintendent of Operations of Boston Public Schools; James Racanelli, Director of Operations Management of Boston Public Schools; Nancy Hill, Professor of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education; and Kelley Fong, PhD candidate in Sociology & Social Policy at Harvard University.


Urban Energy Systems

December 2, 2015

New electrical utility business models are changing the way energy systems in cities work. What impact are they having on urban residents? How are the utilities collaborating, or not, with city governments? And what does it mean for the future of urban energy systems? 

Moderated by Paul Carlile, Senior Associate Dean for Innovation at the Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, Urban Energy Systems featured Peter Fox-PennerDirector of the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Boston University; Robert Kaufmann, Professor of Earth and Environment at Boston University; and Travis Sheehan, Ecodistrict Fellow at the Boston Redevelopment Authority.


Food Culture, Boston, and the Contemporary City

November 12, 2015
Read a summary of the event here.

Food culture is changing how we experience and interact with cities. Is the current interest in food new? How important is food culture to American cities today? How are cities innovating to solve food-related challenges? Does food culture impact all neighborhoods equally? What are the tradeoffs in balancing innovation and regulation? And where does Boston stack up?

Moderated by David Glick, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Boston University, Food Culture, Boston and the Contemporary City featured Jenny EffronExecutive Director of Washington Gateway Main Streets; Howard Leibowitz, Co-Founder of the Boston Food Policy Council and former Executive Director of the Boston Public Market; John Hubbard, Executive Director of the Restaurant Entrepreneurship Institute; and Connor Fitzmaurice, PhD candidate in Sociology at Boston University.


The Allston Railyard: Redeveloping the City One Yard at a Time

October 21, 2015
Read a summary of the event here.

The Allston Railyard sits on Boston University’s doorstep, a massive plot of land filled with potential. How can Boston harness this complex redevelopment opportunity to achieve a broad public vision? What are the challenges cities face in undertaking these “megaprojects?”

Moderated by Daniel Bluestone, Director of the BU Preservation Studies Program and Professor of the History of Art and Architecture, The Allston Railyard featured Virginia Greiman, Assistant Professor at the Boston University Metropolitan College and the former Deputy Chief Counsel and Risk Manager for the Big Dig; Jonathan Greeley, Director of Development Review at the Boston Redevelopment Authority; and Alex Krieger, Professor in Practice at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.


Research Spotlight: Municipal Policymakers, Physical Activity, and the Built Environment

October 16, 2015

Physical activity is critical to public health and its dependence on the built environment is clear. But how can scholars and advocates ensure that cities understand this relationship and implement effective policies?

This research spotlight featured the research of Monica Wang, Assistant Professor of Community Health Sciences in the School of Public Health. Moderated by IOC Executive Director Katharine Lusk, a discussion with Anne McHugh, Director of the Chronic Disease Prevention and Control Division at the Boston Public Health Commission, followed Professor Wang’s presentation.


Air, Earth, and Water: Elements of Health and the Urban Environment

October 15, 2015
Read a summary of the event here.

This Research on Tap event, in partnership with the Boston University Research Administration, explored faculty research centered on the study of cities from an inter- and multi-disciplinary approach, evaluating complex challenges from the perspective of law, environment, engineering, management, cultural studies, medicine, and public health.

This session, hosted by IOC Director and Executive Director Graham Wilson and Katharine Lusk, featured the research of:

  • Megan Sandel, Associate Professor of Pediatrics: Community Heath Worker Home Visits
  • Ian Sue Wing, Associate Professor of Earth and Environment: Cities, Traffic and CO2
  • Jonathan Levy, Professor of Environmental Health: Public Health, Air Quality, and Residential Insulation
  • George T. O’Connor, Professor of Medicine: Effects of Early Life Exposure to Allergens and Bacteria on Recurrent Wheeze and Atopy in Urban Children
  • Madeleine Scammell, Assistant Professor of Environmental Health: Chemical, Physical & Social Hazards of Where We Live, Work & Play
  • Ann Aschengrau, Professor of Epidemiology: Health Effects of PCE in Drinking Water
  • Nathan Phillips, Professor of Earth and Environment: Urban Gas Leaks
  • Robinson “Wally” Fulweiler, Associate Professor of Earth and Environment: What Lies Beneath: How the History of Boston Impacts Its Water Quality Today
  • Jay Wexler, Professor of Law: Religious Practices that Harm the Environment
  • Pamela Templer, Associate Professor of Biology: Atmospheric Nitrogen Deposition in Urban Areas: Implications for Water and Air Quality
  • Japonica Brown-Saracino, Associate Professor of Sociology: Urban Heat: Intra- neighborhood Variation in Individual-scale Heat Exposure
  • Wendy Heiger-Bernays, Associate Professor of Environmental Health: Growing Food in Urban Soils
  • Jillian Goldfarb, Research Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering: Integrated Solutions at the Water-Energy Nexus for Urban Municipal Solid Waste Management

The Inclusive Sharing Economy

October 1, 2015
Read a summary of the event here.

The sharing economy has redefined how urban populations access and enjoy their cities, democratizing travel, transportation and commerce. But does the sharing economy benefit all members of the urban community? How can city leaders ensure that services like Zipcar, Airbnb, and Hubway have a positive, inclusive impact?

Moderated by Nathan Phillips, Professor of Earth and Environment at Boston University, The Inclusive Sharing Economy featured Justin Holmes, Director of Corporate Communications and Public Policy at Zipcar; Giorgos Zervas, Assistant Professor at the Boston University Questrom School of Business; and Braden Golub, Founder and CEO of SPOT parking.


The Cultural City

April 7, 2015

Cultural images of Boston range from its venerable arts and music institutions to the seamy underworld portrayed in the film The Departed. As in many cities, these polar extremes mask a rich spectrum of urban cultures.

Featuring Rebecca Ostriker, Arts Editor at The Boston Globe, Charles Merzbacher Associate Professor of Film at the BU College of Communication, and Merry White, Professor of Anthropology at the BU College of Arts & Sciences, The Cultural City panel explored the diversity and dynamism of culture in Boston and other cities, from neighborhood cultures to food, theater, film, music, literature, and museums. How can a city’s culture contribute to the place’s character? What role does it play in a city’s evolution? And can a city’s culture be stewarded by public policies?


Teaching the City

March 3, 2015

Urban universities experience all of the benefits, and many of the challenges, of cities. It seems clear that teaching about the city is a critical way by which universities can help their students build strong and healthy ties to their home cities and to urban centers more generally. Are universities taking advantage of all the opportunities to teach the city? Are there innovative new approaches for turning the city into a classroom?

Teaching the City offered a panel discussion with a diverse group of experts who teach in and about the city, featuring Daniel Bluestone, Director of Preservation Studies at BU; Dennis Carlberg, Sustainability Director at BU; Jacey Greece, Clinical Assistant Professor of Community Health Sciences at BU; James Pasto, Senior Lecturer in the BU Arts & Sciences Writing Program; and Madhu Dutta-Koehler, Program Coordinator & Adjunct Professor of City Planning & Urban Affairs at the BU Metropolitan College.


Policing the City

February 23, 2015

Effective and fair public safety stands as one of the most crucial responsibilities of city leadership. Unfortunately, tragic incidents across the country have shifted a critical public eye on urban police departments and the communities they serve, giving rise to hot debate in cities across the country. Given the proven effectiveness of community policing, why are some urban police departments moving away from this strategy? What impact does diversity have on urban police departments? How can police, city, and community leaders adapt to improve collaboration and establish peaceful and safe neighborhoods?

Moderated by Boston University Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore, Policing the City featured experts in law enforcement and community issues, including Boston Police Commissioner William Evans, Reverend Jeffrey Brown, and Professor Shea Cronin.


Research Spotlight: National Survey of Mayors

January 27, 2015

In October 2014, the Initiative on Cities released its groundbreaking National Survey of Mayors, a research effort led by IOC Executive Director Katharine Lusk and Boston University Assistant Professors David Glick and Katherine Levine Einstein. Drawing insight from over 70 mayors nationwide, the Survey Report details the challenges, policy priorities, and inspirations for America’s city leaders. On January 27th 2015, Glick presented the highlights of the survey findings and discussed the implications with Eric Shaw, Director of the Office of Planning for the city of Washington, DC, at Boston University’s DC campus.


The Inclusive City

December 4, 2014
Read a summary of the event here.

Which population groups are traditionally included – and excluded – under the umbrella of urban inclusivity? What strategies have cities taken, and what steps remain to be taken?  What are the greatest contemporary threats to urban heterogeneity and inclusivity?

Moderated by Japonica Brown-Saracino, Associate Professor of Sociology at Boston University, The Inclusive City featured Phillipe Copeland, Clinical Assistant Professor at the Boston University School of Social Work; Robert Margo, Professor of Economics at Boston University; Carmen Torres, Clinical Instructor at the Boston University School of Education; and Katie Swenson, Vice President of National Design Initiative on Enterprise Community Partners.


The Open City

September 18, 2014
Read a summary of the event here.

The inaugural IOC Urban Seminar, The Open City, examined a key question facing urban communities: how can cities take the massive influx of raw data, turn it into knowledge, and turn that knowledge into a better city?

Moderated by Nathan Phillips, Assistant Professor of Earth & Environment at Boston University, The Open City featured Sucharita Gopal, Professor of Earth & Environment at Boston University; Nigel Jacob, Co-Founder of the Boston Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics; and Dan O’Brien, Director of Research at the Boston Area Research Initiative and Assistant Professor at Northeastern University.