The Marron Institute conducts innovative applied research, working with cities to take on critical challenges of urban living. Started with a generous gift from Donald B. Marron, the Institute operates on a model of academic venture capital in which the faculty who run research programs receive seed funding. Faculty members use seed funds to develop their programs, hire research staff and build portfolios of externally-funded projects that have the potential to improve outcomes in cities. Currently, the Marron Institute has four major research programs focused on urban planning, environmental health, criminal justice, and public sector performance and innovation.
Urban Expansion, led by Professor Shlomo Angel and supported jointly with the NYU Stern Urbanization Project, works with rapidly-growing cities to make room for their inevitable expansion.
Air Quality, led by Professor Kevin Cromar, works to improve the health and welfare of urban residents by finding cost-effective ways to monitor and reduce air pollution.
Crime and Justice, led by Professor Mark Kleiman, works to reduce crime and mass incarceration, and develop sensible approaches to drug policy.
Litmus, led by Professor Angela Hawken, works with public agencies and the people they serve to develop and rigorously test new ideas for improving the performance of the public sector.
Globally, cities are home to more than half of the world’s population—4 billion people and growing. Though the researchers and faculty members at the Marron Institute do publish and teach on occasion, their chief focus is the pursuit of sponsored research that will extend the impact of the Institute’s founding gift and have a positive and measurable impact on life in cities the world over.