CITIES main goal is to promote cutting-edge research that leads to tangible improvements for sustainable, resilient, and equitable cities. Research in CITIES is organized around four research clusters: (1) The Digital-Physical Nexus, (2) The Physical- Social Nexus, (3) The Social-Digital Nexus, (4) The Intra-Inter-City Nexus. 

In particular, CITIES’ research focuses on the interactions between two or more of the following urban layers: (i) the physical layer, which includes physical infrastructure, instrumentation, and networks of devices; (ii) the digital layer, which includes data produced by human, devices, and sensors; and (iii) the social layer, which includes humans, their interactions, and the social networks that transpire.

Such interactions shape not only the urban systems within a city but also across cities. This framework allows CITIES to study dynamically evolving urban phenomena using a variety of disciplinary, methodological, and theoretical lenses while adopting a holistic perspective. CITIES aims to understand how urban systems evolve, and to develop the right strategies to guide such evolution towards a more sustainable future.

Research Clusters


This work was supported by the NYUAD Center for Interacting Urban Networks (CITIES), funded by Tamkeen under the NYUAD Research Institute Award CG001 and by the Swiss Re Institute under the Quantum Cities™ initiative.