Centers and Initiatives

The School’s research centers and initiatives enrich our understanding of important public policy issues as well as to generate and implement solutions. These centers also provide policy relevant research opportunities for faculty and students.

Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy

The Dukakis Center conducts interdisciplinary research, in collaboration with civic leaders and scholars both within and beyond Northeastern University, to identify and implement real solutions to the critical challenges facing urban areas throughout Greater Boston, the Commonwealth, and the nation.

Founded in 1999 as the Center for Urban and Regional Policy or CURP, the Dukakis Center is equally committed to producing state-of-the-art applied research and to implementing effective policies and practices based on that research.

In November 2008 the Center was renamed in honor of Kitty and Michael Dukakis for the extraordinary work that both of them have done to make the City of Boston, the Commonwealth, and the nation a better place to live and work.

The Resilient Cities Lab

The Resilient Cities Lab addresses pressing and emerging challenges that may undermine the quality of life and livelihoods in cities. Researchers from science, engineering, business, planning, policy, and law collaborate to

  • advance the use of data management, geographic information, computer-based modeling and simulation, and visualization of complex urban dynamics so that decisions can be more effectively based on the best available knowledge
  • conduct research that helps cities prepare for climate change and other global influences on their performance
  • engage the research and practitioner communities in dialog so both sides truly learn from each other
  • empower students to become knowledge brokers who are fluent in the use of cutting-edge analytical methods and who feel at ease in the world of urban investment and policy making

The Social Impact Lab at Northeastern University

The Social Impact Lab at Northeastern University is a learning and innovation hub combining rigorous academics, experiential learning, civic engagement, and collaboration to empower social change. Their programs create a bridge between the classroom and the community by creating shared learning opportunities for students, faculty, nonprofit leaders, donors, policy makers and other social change agents. They include:

  • Giving with Purpose, the world’s first massive open online course (MOOC) on effective charitable giving, created in partnership with the Buffett family’s Learning by Giving Foundation
  • Northeastern Students4Giving, a student-led philanthropy program that uses real-dollar grant making to explore how social change happens and is funded. 
  • Teaching by Giving, a partnership with the Learning by Giving Foundation to support experiential philanthropy education across the U.S.
  • The Social Impact Conference, an annual gathering of students, faculty, nonprofit and philanthropy leaders, social entrepreneurs, and policy makers to discuss emergent topics in the social impact arena.
  • The Social Impact Lecture Series, conversations with thought leaders who are making a difference around the world.

Consortium on Food Systems Sustainability, Health, and Equity

“We are faculty, students, and staff in an urban university who focus our research, teaching, and action on dimensions of the food system life cycle, from production through consumption to food waste disposal and reuse, with emphasis on urban and regional dimensions of food system sustainability, health impacts, and equity.”

Affiliated Centers from other schools at Northeastern:

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