By CHRISTOPHER AMATI
The Mansueto Institute has appointed its first Director. Dr. Luis M. Bettencourt a prominent researcher and scholar in the field of urban studies, has been named Pritzker Director of the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation at the University of Chicago.
Founded in 2016 with the goal of providing a place for interdisciplinary urban scholarship, The Mansueto Institute, 1100 E. 57th St., is dedicated to research and education in the processes that shape and sustain cities.
Bettencourt left his position at the Santa Fe Institute, where he served as a professor of complex systems, to head the Institute. The holder of a doctorate in theoretical physics from Imperial College, London , Bettencourt has held positions at Los Alamos National Laboratory, MIT and the University of Heidelberg. He brings an analytic, data-driven approach to understanding the forces that drive economics and population growth in urban areas.
The Mansueto Institute was founded from a $35 million gift from alumni Joe and Rika Mansueto and operates under the UChicago Urban banner as part of a collaborative commitment to understanding and resolving the forces and conditions shaping large urban areas worldwide. It provides both undergraduate, graduate and internship programs and serves as a meeting place for scholars, policymakers and students interested in urban scholarship. It collaborate with initiatives such as the Urban Education Institute and Urban Labs to study housing policies, violence, heath care and other issues affecting rapidly growing urban populations worldwide.
Bettencourt’s appointment as Director is effective July 1.