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Discovering and sharing the knowledge that cities need is fundamental to our work.

All faculty in the Department of Urban Design and Planning are actively involved in research. They are currently engaged in over 14 research grants and contracts that amount approximately to $10 million. Much of this research is interdisciplinary, carried out with partners throughout the University. This research makes available research assistantships in the Department for a growing number of students.

Institute for Hazards Mitigation and Planning Research

The University of Washington Institute for Hazards Mitigation Planning and Research is an interdisciplinary academic Institute housed in the College of Built Environments. The creation of the Institute in the Fall of 1999 was a significant step in the evolution of the College’s involvement in disaster studies. The Institute was an outcome of the participation of Dr. Richard McCormick, President of the University of Washington, at the 1997 Seattle Project Impact signing ceremony in support of the University’s partnership. The Institute is dedicated to exploring ways to integrate hazards mitigation principles into a wide range of crisis, disaster, and risk management opportunities. The Institute is interdisciplinary in focus and structure, and the capabilities of the Institute are enhanced by its close links with other academic and research organizations.

Livable City Year

The University of Washington’s Livable City Year program (LCY) is an initiative enabling local governments to tap into the talents and energy of the UW in order to accomplish critical projects. LCY links UW students and faculty with a Washington city or other regional government for an entire academic year, partnering to address the city’s sustainability and livability goals by engaging students and classes across the university. LCY helps cities reach their goals for livability in an affordable way while providing opportunities for students to learn through real-life problem solving.

Urban Ecology Lab

The Urban Ecology Research Lab works to understand and improve the conditions of human-dominated ecosystems by conducting interdisciplinary research, integrating analytical and participatory approaches to problem-solving, and engaging policy makers and the public in the generation and use of scientific knowledge.

Northwest Center for Livable Communities

The Department of Urban Design and Planning has initiated a Northwest Center for Livable Communities that will provide assistance to communities in managing growth, in economic revitalization, and in efforts to become more sustainable and livable. The Department has obtained seed money for the Center through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Urban Infrastructure Lab

The Urban Infrastructure Lab (UIL) brings together students and faculty across numerous disciplines with a shared interest in the planning, governance, finance, design, development, economics, and environmental effects of infrastructure. The interests of the UIL span the systems critical to economic and social well-being, such as energy, water, health, transportation, education, and communications. Across these sectors, UIL studies integrate empirical and applied methods of research to discover the means to obtain long-run objectives, such as decarbonization, resilience, and information security through decisions made today.