Urban Futures

This initiative investigates advances in the sciences, engineering, business, architecture, design, and law to ensure smart, equitable, sustainable, and healthy cities. Topics include hard and soft infrastructure; digital technologies; transportation systems; clean, sustainable, and secure energy storage and distribution; climate change resilience; efficient and reliable water systems; landscapes and ecology; urban agriculture; financial systems; and security. The complexity of these issues requires multidisciplinary efforts that address the human factors, social issues, and public policy and management, with the goal of achieving positive social impacts.

Featured Urban Futures Research

Akima Brackeen

Akima Brackeen, IIT College of Architecture’s inaugural Jeanne and John Rowe Fellow, is studying the lack of access to water in majority Black neighborhoods across the city, which affects access to clean drinking water, where people can live and own property, and even leisure and recreation.

Megacity Mobility

Professor of Civil and Architectural Engineering Zongzhi Li has co-authored Megacity Mobility, a book that lays out the urgency of addressing transportation problems in our largest cities. 

Electrical engineering

Illinois Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech) has joined the Midwest Regional Network to Address National Needs in Semiconductor and Microelectronics—a partnership of 20 colleges and universities committed to developing innovative solutions in higher education to best support the onshoring of the advanced semiconductor and microelectronics industry.


The Center for Assured and Resilient Navigation in Advanced TransportatION Systems (CARNATIONS) at Illinois Institute of Technology was named a new Tier 1 University Transportation Center (UTC) by the United States Department of Transportation.

Raff Donelson

Chicago-Kent College of Law Professor Raff Donelson is reaching into a relatively new field of research, studying the philosophy behind modern police policy.

Willis Tower energy savings

A study led by Illinois Institute of Technology Assistant Professor of Architectural Engineering Mohammad Heidarinejad and conducted at Willis Tower in Chicago shows the energy savings of heating and cooling as a result of automated shades are high enough in some buildings to pay back the cost of installation within three to five years.