Established in the early 19th century to address the higher education needs of a rapidly growing New York City, NYU has been from its origins a consciously urban university. Today, with a major presence not only in New York but in major cities on every continent, NYU is urban.

NYU's urban character derives not only from its location, but from its scholarly strength in studying the challenges, opportunities, issues, policies, and complexities of urban environments.

And few issues are more pressing: in 2008, for the first time more than half the world's people lived in cities, and by 2050 that will increase to two-thirds. NYU’s vast offerings on urban topics—arts, technology, urban planning, sustainability, transportation, health, education, and much more—are shaping how we effectively address and solve today’s most critical urban challenges.

We live in it, we study it, and we aim to improve it. NYU is, truly, in and of the city.

The Urban Initiative's Latest


NYU Hosts Second Annual Urban Research Day
April 4, 2018
New York University

NYU Launches Inaugural Urban Doctoral Fellowship Program
February 6, 2018
New York University

The Answer for Standing-Room-Only Subways? More Standing Room
New York Times | October 17, 2017
Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service