- Civic AnalyticsLearn more
The Civic Analytics program, led by Professor Constantine Kontokosta, works directly with cities to acquire, analyze, and derive insight from data in order to solve tangible and significant problems of city management, policy, and planning.Health, Environment, and PolicyLearn more
The Health, Environment, and Policy program, led by Professor Kevin Cromar, improves health through scientific research, direct policy engagement, and collaboration with agencies at the local, federal, and international level.LitmusLearn more
The Litmus program, 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.Transportation and Land UseLearn more
The Transportation and Land Use program, led by Professor Eric Goldwyn, examines transit-infrastructure projects, land-use policies, and complementary data sets to understand how public agencies build, manage, and pay for capital projects, like subway expansions, bicycle lanes, and high speed rail.
- Urban ExpansionLearn more
The Urban Expansion program, led by Professor Shlomo Angel and supported jointly with the NYU Stern Urbanization Project, works with rapidly growing cities to better prepare them for their inevitable growth.Director’s Office LabsLearn more
The Director’s Office, led by the Director of NYU Marron Institute, opportunely engages with researchers on urban-focused projects that can develop into full programs if they demonstrate impact and are viable.
Climate Smart Cities
Climate-change risks are global, but urban areas in developing countries are particularly vulnerable to sea-level rise, storm surge, and natural disasters. These urban areas produce the lion’s share of most countries’ non-extractive GDP and, as dense concentrations of people and infrastructure, they can muster the resources to protect themselves. The Climate Smart Cities initiative supports cities by generating data on climate risks, helping find key vulnerabilities in urban infrastructure, helping design projects to protect those vulnerable points, and building capacity to manage and implement those projects.
The Climate Smart Cities initiative promotes adaptive strategies with strong co-benefits. Urban areas need physical resilience to survive immediate physical threats but also have to build social, economic, and ecosystem resilience in order to survive and thrive in the long term. The Climate Smart Cities initiative recognizes that investments to protect against short-term risk have to aim for long-term prosperity and long-term resilience. The initiative focuses on projects with strong economic spillovers, particularly for the most vulnerable populations. This includes ecosystem- restoration projects, physical barriers such as seawalls, systemic-resilience projects for water and power, and urban-development projects that build long-term capacity to reduce GHG emissions and create more economically vibrant settlements.
The initiative uses an innovative capacity-building strategy, partnering government officials with international consultants during project design. This direct engagement helps officials fully own the resulting project, which contributes to political buy-in, funding, and eventual implementation. At the same time, the team in the field engages with a broad cross-section of society—from shack dwellers in informal settlements to beach-resort owners—so that the final projects are truly representative of the needs of the city and the country.
This approach has been piloted in Grenada, with the support of the Green Climate Fund. The Climate Smart Cities: Grenada program has developed an integrated investment portfolio of nine climate projects, focused on the national capital of St. George’s and on Grenada’s second city, Grenville. These projects have been endorsed at the highest level and are now a key part of the national development strategy for 2030. When implemented, they will help the Government of Grenada build resilience to the threats of climate change: sea-level rise that will top two meters by 2080, storm surge that is already damaging coastal infrastructure, temperature increase that is harming crops, and precipitation changes that are leading to drought and flooding. The projects will also create thousands of jobs for local residents, improve the environmental resilience of peri-urban areas, create major new public spaces, reduce traffic congestion, and revitalize a historic center. We are a committed long-term partner in this work. Now that project design is complete, the Marron Institute team is helping the government seek funds for implementation from the IMF, World Bank, and other partners. Our team will remain engaged as an implementing partner. New programs in other countries are being discussed, along with a regional approach that would scale the methodology to the entire Caribbean.CloseSign up for the Marron Institute Mailing List
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