The Boston University Initiative on Cities (IOC) proudly supports urban research on various topics. Faculty affiliated with the IOC has published works on many issues ranging from mayoral policy and challenges to the effects of our carceral system on urban and young populations. Publications are available to read below and have been organized by topic.


The IOC annually conducts the Menino Survey of Mayors to learn about the challenges and policies of mayoral administrations. Further work has also been published by faculty to analyze these findings and investigate new topics.

Leading the American City Series

Leading the American City is a five-part video history of American mayoral leadership, governance, and power. The series features personal interviews with eight transformative mayors, who reflect on their time in office and offer insight into the mayor’s job.  


From city policy on homelessness to the effect of COVID-19 on the housing market, the IOC has supported publications related to housing issues in cities.


Extreme heat, rising sea levels, and environmental injustice are topics the IOC and our affiliated faculty have investigated on climate change in urban areas.


Publications supported by the IOC on justice and crime have highlighted the effects of our legal system on small cities, mayoral views on discrimination, and more.


Research and practice have been presented in myriad published formats to demonstrate how to engage and support youth in cities.


IOC-supported publications show that Boston is a global city with many challenges, from racial disparities to fiscal leadership.

Higher Education

Publications on higher education supported by the IOC have shown opportunities and areas of potential growth in this field.