The Metropolis Initiative advances socio-technical innovations and knowledge coproduction towards developing sustainable, resilient, and equitable metropolitan regions, in the US and worldwide.

Cities are complex socio-technical systems that critically rely on resources from regional, and increasingly global, Earth systems. The big question looking forward is: How will technological breakthroughs — in sensors, models, materials, data analytics, networks, and connected devices, among others — shape the 21st-century metropolis, from dense urban cores to distant connected communities? This coming transformation of the city is crucial to the human race’s future and quality of life; in particular, to our ability to simultaneously mitigate and adapt to climate change.  Instead of passively responding to technological advances, the Metropolis Initiative envisions a future where cities actively develop, use, and integrate innovations to make their urban systems more resilient in the face of natural and human-made disasters and shocks, more sustainable in using resources, more socio-economically equitable, and simply more comfortable and pleasant places to live for the 70% of the planet’s population who will reside in urban regions by 2050.  

Anchored in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Princeton, the Metropolis Initiative connects and supports researchers across many departments and fields that include engineering, natural sciences, architecture, economics, policy, demography, and history. We strive to catalyze interdisciplinary research where the many world-class programs of our institution converge to reimagine a better future metropolis.