Urban Studies | Wilson Center

Urban Studies

Urban Solutions: Metropolitan Approaches, Innovation in Urban Water and Sanitation, and Inclusive Smart Cities A New Generation of Ideas

By the middle of the century, four out of every five people might be living in towns and cities. Urbanization is reshaping the world and how it works, demanding research, policies, and practice that reflect a new urban reality. 

Violence and Gender: The Other Side of Pakistan’s Urban Unrest

Much of the international focus on violence in Pakistan’s cities tends to revolve around terrorism perpetrated by Islamist extremist groups. In reality, a variety of other major factors drive violence in urban Pakistan as well—including issues associated with water access, waste disposal, transport, and drugs and alcohol. In these cases, gender considerations play a key role.

How Do Smart Cities Talk to People?

At the Smart Cities Week Conference held in Washington, DC September 15-17, tech companies and urban innovators gathered to discuss and showcase recent developments in the emerging smart city market. One demonstration featured real-time traffic, public safety, and disaster mitigation maps appearing on large flat-screen televisions constantly flashing and cataloging data. The exhibits resembled an all-you-can-eat style menu for cities looking to become more efficient and ultimately—smart.

Uncovering Urban Inequality in Cairo

Researchers Diane Singerman, Kareem Ibrahim, and Reem Abdel Haliem have been collaborating through TADAMUN, a Cairo-based initiative that works with citizens to claim their urban rights, conducting a spatial analysis of urban inequality to offer visual tools for understanding development gaps and policy challenges in contemporary Egypt.

Building Community Through Theater; Lessons From the Setagaya Theater

Crossover: Urban Water, Transport, and Energy

On September 15, the Wilson Center’s Urban Sustainability Lab gathered a panel of urban experts to discuss “cross border” links in policy, technology, and practice that can help cities develop long-term integrated approaches to address urban challenges. Blair Ruble, Vice President for Programs and Director of the Urban Sustainability Lab, opened the discussion, making the case that new technologies offer a platform for moving governance forward and fostering sustainable change in the urban sphere.

Las Colonias in the 21st Century: Progress Along the Texas-Mexico Border

The Wilson Center’s Urban Sustainability Lab and Mexico Institute, together with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, hosted a panel of experts to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the underserved low-income communities along the U.S.-Mexico border known as “colonias.”