The Initiative on Cities partners with academics and practitioners to solve some of cities’ most pressing urban challenges. We are fortunate to be a part of several sponsored projects with the Boston University community.
The Menino Survey, now in its eighth year, is the only systemic and academically rigorous survey of American mayors. Supported by Citi and The Rockefeller Foundation, the Survey takes the pulse of American mayors by identifying their priorities, their challenges, and the visions they have for their cities. Boston University Political Science Associate Professors David Glick, Katherine Levine Einstein, and Maxwell Palmer serve as co-PIs on this project.
In March 2021, we published the final set of findings from the 2020 Menino Survey. This report, co-authored by The Trust for Public Land, delves into how the disruptions of this unprecedented year have shaped mayoral perspective on parks and streets. Supported by Citi, The Rockefeller Foundation, and The Trust for Public Land.
In June 2019, we published a corollary report based on data from the 2018 Menino Survey. This report sheds sheds light on how US mayors perceive and prioritize the health of their cities in the context of existing urban health data. The report also highlights promising city-led initiatives targeting four priority health areas: the obesity epidemic, the opioid crisis, traffic fatalities, and gun violence. Supported by Citi and The Rockefeller Foundation.
In September 2018, we published Mayoral Views on Racism and Discrimination, co-written with the National League of Cities. This report, which draws on data from the 2017 Menino Survey, explores how mayors of medium-sized and large cities understand race, discrimination and equity in their communities and on a national level. The report also highlights several successful initiatives that cities, including Anaheim, Boston, Louisville and New Orleans, have undertaken in combating discrimination. Supported by The Rockefeller Foundation.
In April 2018, we published a corollary report based on data from the 2017 Menino Survey. This report offers the first systematic review of US city-to-city policy network activities, their media visibility, perceived value in the eyes of mayors, and membership composition. The report also provides novel insights into city peer groups based on an evaluation of network joining behavior. Supported by Citi and The Rockefeller Foundation.
Led by Boston University Associate Professor of Biology Lucy Hutyra , this project will create a network to exchange information on community standards and common measurements for carbon emissions, facilitate data sharing, and create analysis frameworks and cross-city syntheses to catalyze a new generation of researchers and enable new collaborations tackling important objectives that are difficult to address in isolation. This effort is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Atmospheric Chemistry, Carbon Cycle & Climate Program.
This interdisciplinary research project, led by Boston University Earth & Environment Professor Suchi Gopal and Nathan Phillips, examines the connectivity and functional interdependencies among co-located, critical infrastructure systems, such as gas, water and sewer pipes, roads, and the urban canopy, as well as the networks of people and institutions that depend on and manage and maintain the urban infrastructure. Street of the Future is funded by funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Coupling of Physical Infrastructure, Green Infrastructure, and Communities (CNH-S) award. Catch up on the first workshop.
Boston University Professors Pamela Templer, Lucy Hutyra, and Jon Levy, in a project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Traineeship (NRT), will train 60 Ph.D. students to address pressing environmental problems facing cities, using an interdisciplinary approach fusing biogeoscience, environmental health, and statistics.
Smart and Connected Communities includes a two-part workshop hosted at Boston University in July 2017 and in Washington, D.C. in November 2017. The goal of the workshop series was to identify and propose effective models of city-university-industry collaboration that help bridge the gap between fundamental research on problems inspired by communities, aiming to provide deployable solutions and sustainable services that improve the quality of life in various smart-and-connected community settings. This project is led by Boston University Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science Azer Bestavros and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Director of the Center for Information and Systems Engineering Ioannis Paschalidis.
Collaborators from city, regional, and state agencies are working to create a multi-sided marketplace for smart-city services in which stakeholders compete and cooperate within the same infrastructure. This project is funded by the National Science Foundation and led by an interdisciplinary team, including lead PI, Boston University Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Science Azer Bestavros.