The areas of greatest promise and challenge for cities in the 21st century are not always, or even often, those of the 20th century. Across its six core strands (expanding opportunity, transforming education, promoting wellbeing and health, strengthening infrastructure, cultivating the arts, and creating wealth), 21CC will work to identify cross-cutting themes, and seek solutions that are distinctive to the 21st century city. Reimagining the city will be a core theme.
We will seed and nurture a distinctive form of scholarly inquiry, one that is deeply cross-disciplinary and vitally engaged with cities. We will do so in two ways:
1) through strategic hiring of individuals whose appointments will span at least two of our partner schools, through the vehicle of the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor program, and
2) by seeding research and attracting post-doctoral fellows to build cross-disciplinary collaboration and creative synergies between academia and the civic leadership of cities.
Pedagogical aims are woven into every level of our efforts, through our postdoctoral program, which will work to link postdoctoral researchers to faculty mentors at two or more of our partner schools, through our seed grant program, which will incentivize faculty to engage undergraduate and graduate students, and through the new Social Policy minor, offered to undergraduates at the Krieger School. In these ways, we will hone the skills and shape the research and practice careers of some of the most academically-gifted urban-focused students in the nation. We will also explore developing a cross-school signature course.
Sparking dialogue and sharing knowledge with civic leaders and practitioners who have dedicated their careers to serving revitalizing cities is a core part of our mission. To spur innovation and change in America’s revitalizing cities, we will not only draw on the new knowledge our scholars and students produce, but from the experiences of other cities across the globe. Drawing on these insights, we will pilot and evaluate new approaches to catalyze the potential and confront the pressing needs of revitalizing cities in the 21st Century.