Urban Studies | Wilson Center

Urban Studies

Wealthy Families in São Paulo Ditching Cars for Public Transportation

When people ask how long it takes to get from one place to another in São Paulo, there is usually one universal response: anywhere between 20 minutes and three hours. Urban mobility has always been one of the city's main bottlenecks, and state- and municipal-level administrations have failed to fix it. With 7.4 cars per ten people, driving in São Paulo is a challenge. And although the city's subway system is by far Brazil's best, it still leaves much to be desired.

The Absent Hand: Reimagining Our American Landscape

This engrossing work of literary nonfiction is a deep dive into our surroundings―cities, countryside, and sprawl―exploring change in the meaning of place, and reimagining our American landscape 

Bottom-Up Politics: What Do We Know and Where Do We Need to Go?

Bottom-up politics responds to the current dysfunction in national governance with its damaging consequences for residents in both urban and rural communities throughout the nation. Partisan gridlock and protracted inattention to everyday problems are spurring communities to bring together problem-solving efforts of their own. Termed by New York Times columnist David Brooks "a localist revolution," these initiatives bridge partisan, sector and social divides. Found in places varied in size, geography and partisan leanings, bottom-up politics is in need of sustained exploration.

Encouraging the Next Generation of Innovative Policymakers

Innovative policy solutions often require fresh perspectives. Toward that end, the Brazil Institute is proud to be collaborating with the Colégio Dante Alighieri in São Paulo in support of Colégio Dante’s GEN initiative. Interdisciplinary Project Practice Learning (IPPL) is more than an interdisciplinary Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) initiative because it also integrates history, philosophy, and sociology.

New Innovations for Green Financing in Urban China

To reduce the energy and carbon footprint of Chinese cities and meet the country's Paris Climate Agreement targets, it is estimated that by 2020, China needs to invest $254 billion to support the construction of green buildings and retrofit existing ones. There is potential for a billion-dollar market of cost-effective, green, and energy efficient building opportunities in China; however, few structures exist in China’s market for banks and institutional investors to deploy capital for energy efficiency.