Urban Practice and Impact


Putting lessons into practice for proven results.

Through UChicago Urban, we’re having a sustained and positive impact on urban life.

In much of the world, cities are growing faster than they ever have.

UChicago Urban realizes the opportunities that cities—with their concentration of talent, resources, culture, and more—present to the world.

We harness the potential of urbanization, drawing students, scholars, and practitioners to form research-driven solutions that tackle complex questions facing our cities and the people who live in them. UChicago Urban identifies and tests the most promising policies and programs, and puts lessons into practice for effective solutions with proven results.

Our practice and impact has produced lasting benefits and enriched lives in Chicago and cities worldwide. For example:

Urban Labs undertakes scientific inquiry to identify and test the most promising urban policies to have a positive impact on essential dimensions of urban life: crime, education, energy and environment, health, and poverty. The Crime Lab, one of five Urban Labs, has received national attention for evaluating programs shown to reduce violence and improve academic skills among young men in the Chicago Public Schools.

Across four integrated units, the University of Chicago Urban Education Institute (UEI) conducts rigorous applied research; trains exemplary teachers and school leaders; operates a multi-campus pre-K to 12 charter school, with 100 percent of its graduates accepted to four-year colleges; and provides empirically based tools and training to schools nationwide, including through its nonprofit LLC UChicago Impact, which provides learning tools to more than 2.8 million students in 60 major cities across 33 states.

The School of Social Service Administration (SSA) leverages multidisciplinary strengths to solve intractable urban social problems. SSA’s Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention brings together researchers, community representatives, practitioners, and policymakers to understand the risk and development of violence and to rigorously evaluate preventive interventions. SSA’s field education program trains students in 600 major nonprofits in Chicago while delivering tangible services to the most vulnerable citizens in the city.

The Kreisman Initiative on Housing Law and Policy at the Law School builds networks with peer academics and practitioners to examine the effects of legal and policy tools that bear on residential choice, and considers how reforms and innovations might advance housing access and stability and build better neighborhoods.

The Harris School of Public Policy prepares students to apply their education to real-time public policy challenges, analyzing field research and presenting policy recommendations to city officials in programs like Harris Policy Labs and the Urban Revitalization Project in Gary, Indiana.

Programs like the South Side Health and Vitality Studies (SSHVS) connect UChicago scholars with health care providers and researchers at peer institutions for broader impact. SSHVS generates new knowledge about health and tests the impact of health-related interventions.

Contact Us

For more information about UChicago Urban, contact:

Anne Dodge
Executive Director, UChicago Urban

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