Vision & Mission

Georgia Tech’s Center for Urban Innovation (CUI) thinks globally and acts locally by investing in interdisciplinary, scholarly research on urban issues and the expanding role of institutions in designing and governing resilient regional economies.

Uniquely positioned within a world-leading technological research university and a global city, the CUI was launched in 2014 to pursue research-driven discoveries that solve problems faced by cities and regions internationally. Today, the CUI is an incubator for research initiatives led by faculty that partner within the Georgia Tech community, and grow that community with new ties to universities, non-profits, civic organizations, public agencies, and tech industry businesses dedicated to building sustainable communities.

You are invited to be a part of this vibrant partnership, help us advance the urban innovation conversation, and better prepare our cities—and our world—to face the challenges of today and tomorrow.


CUI engages scholars and community leaders—researchers, students, civic and business executives, and more—to share approaches to problem-solving in an innovative, cross-sector conversation. With this interdisciplinary and innovative approach:

CUI is Leading: We conduct original research on cities and regions to develop replicable models.

CUI is Facilitating: We connect faculty with resources and partners for engaged urban academic inquiry.

CUI is Advancing: We convene and coordinate local, regional, and national stakeholders to advance solutions.

The Center for Urban Innovation:

  • Supports interdisciplinary, scholarly research on urban sustainability and the expanding role of intermediary institutions in the design and governance of resilient regional ecosystems. CUI serves as an incubator for faculty research initiatives in this arena as they grow.
  • Partners within Georgia Tech as well as with centers at other universities, nonprofits, and public agencies focused on strategies for building sustainable communities.
  • Serves as a portal connecting Georgia Tech’s expertise and information to the broader stakeholder community locally, nationally, and internationally.

Faculty associated with CUI engage in research ranging from civic computing to urban design. CUI supports scholarly research on issues ranging from the planning and implementing linear parks like the Atlanta BeltLine to mapping innovative approaches to urban governance around the world.

CUI pursues innovative solutions to intractable problems by leveraging the assets of a global university.  For example, CUI faculty look towards urban agriculture as a means to mitigate urban heat islands and minimize the negative health effects of urban food deserts—simultaneously confronting the dual challenges posed by climate change and economic inequality. Similarly, CUI faculty also look at urban transit through the lens of “hard infrastructure” like streets and light rail and the lens of “soft infrastructure” like devices and apps that connect citizens to real-time information about bikes, parkways, and pedestrian-friendly routes.

Research Overview

For a summary of CUI's early activities, explore the report Advancing the Urban Innovation Conversation: 2015 in Review.

To learn more about previous and current projects, visit CUI's three Research Neighborhoods:  Living Histories; People, Places, and Production; and Smart and Sustainable Cities.