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About Urban@UW

Inclusive Data-Driven Innovation for the Future of Cities

Urban@UW extends the understanding of cities—from people, buildings, infrastructure, and energy to economics, policy, culture, art, and nature—beyond individual topics to dynamically interdependent systems, so that we can holistically design and steward vibrant and welcoming cities in which future generations will thrive.

In partnership with the College of Built Environments and the Office of Research, and engaging colleges, schools and departments across all three  of University of Washington’s campuses, Urban@UW amplifies UW as a leading university in urban issues. Together, we catalyze the evolution of Seattle as a model city—a boundary-pushing laboratory and knowledge hub that leverages innovation to create a place of opportunity and health for all—and build new ideas that can be used in metropolitan regions around the globe. Urban@UW leverages deep understanding, leading-edge analysis, and an ethos of partnership to create the pathway for Seattle as the city of the future.

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Why UW?

University of Washington is home to a remarkably large group of faculty, students, and staff engaged in diverse urban research, teaching, and practice spanning all of city life. We have established strong partnerships with local and global stakeholders, integrating the extraordinary scholarship that occurs at UW with the issues faced by the city of Seattle and beyond. By addressing our community’s needs, Urban@UW emboldens the academic mission of our public university. We tackle the challenges of urban areas today, for the cities of tomorrow.

Why Seattle?

Seattle is recognized internationally as a bellwether city and leader in inclusive innovation. It is home to globally recognized civic organizations and leaders. It is a hub for technology innovation, known for advanced computing technologies, cloud computing and open data. It is a leader in environmental, social, and health innovation and investments, including food policy, equitable housing and contributions to biotechnology. And Seattle is a pioneer for social justice, having become the first major city to introduce a $15 minimum wage.

What We Do and How We Do It

Our mission is to serve as a UW-wide, cross-disciplinary research initiative and learning community of scholars, policymakers and practitioners that works to improve the resilience & sustainability, health & wellbeing, and justice & equity of cities.

Urban@UW works with scholars, policymakers, and community stakeholders to develop cross-disciplinary and cross-sector collaborative research. We aim to strengthen connections between research and solutions to today’s urban challenges. We do this through intellectual partnership, drawing upon the many scholars and centers on campus to cultivate new, path-breaking ideas, projects, and research-practice collaborations.

What do we mean by intellectual partnership? It can be a range of things, depending on the needs and capacities of the partner project. Examples include:

  • Helping new initiatives scope out their mission and initial research, teaching, and engagement goals
  • Amplifying, advocating for, and raising public awareness of existing projects
  • Connecting researchers and their projects with other related research and with constituencies beyond the university
  • Facilitation and logistical support for events and other collaborative activities
  • Pilot funding and fundraising assistance
  • Shared staff and administrative support services

Check out our community guidebook for an in-depth look at how we work.

Who We Are

Urban@UW is a large network of scholars and practitioners with leaders and supporters engaging in different projects and initiatives across all three campuses. Supported by the Office of Research and the College of Built Environments as well as external grants and partnerships, the Urban@UW institution-wide community includes our Steering Committee, Urban@UW Fellows, and Urban@UW Affiliates. Learn more: Who We Are.