Cities as Clients

The Urban Collaboratory brings together faculty and students in collaboration with city leaders and residents to identify and address emerging challenges in 21st-century urban centers. Interdisciplinary teams with members from different Colleges across campus work together in a convergent research approach emphasizing societal impact.

About the Collaboratory

The Urban Collaboratory draws together a community of scholars from across the University of Michigan campus to collaborate directly with city stakeholders to address targeted challenges that impact the health and livability of urban centers.

The Collaboratory provides a “front door” to communities trying to connect with U-M. Faculty and student teams work directly with city stakeholders to identify community challenges, develop an effective approach, identify funding sources and then implement solutions guided by novel urban design methods. Collaboratory projects integrate information, communication technology, and sensor technologies in a comprehensive fashion to observe, manage, and control urban processes—all with the goal of improving residents’ overall quality of life.

Projects and Partnerships

Current Collaboratory projects include removing phosphorus from water in Detroit, helping seniors age in place in Ypsilanti, improving public transportation in Benton Harbor, and much more.

“Partnerships with the Urban Collaboratory will unlock the power of interdisciplinary research and implementation through design integration with our city partners.”

Geoffrey Thün

Associate Professor of Architecture and Associate Dean for Research at the Taubman College of Architecture Urban Planning, and Urban Collaboratory Co-Director

Collaboratory Leadership

Project Collaborators