21st Century Cities Initiative

The 21st Century Cities Initiative (21CC) at Johns Hopkins University is the campus hub for research, teaching, and outreach related to urban economic growth and urban quality of life. Through rigorous data analysis and policy evaluation, our center focuses on how to align the incentives of the private sector and federal, state, and local governments to unlock the full potential of cities including Baltimore, U.S, and international cities.

City residents and firms gain from the benefits of density. When we live at close physical proximity, we learn more from each other, we can more easily trade and interact with each other, and we can specialize in activity where we have a comparative advantage because we know that we can trade with others who have an edge in supplying services that we demand but that we do not have the time to produce for ourselves. While cities offer great opportunities, they also impose costs. Cities suffer from various degrees of pollution, traffic congestion, and crime. These social costs can significantly lower urban quality of life.

21CC seeks to identify cost effective strategies for accentuating the gains from urban density while mitigating the social costs of living and working in close physical proximity.

Partnering to Improve Cities

21CC is a critical part of Johns Hopkins University’s larger efforts to support and strengthen Baltimore and other cities with similar challenges. As Baltimore’s largest anchor institution, Johns Hopkins takes seriously its obligations as an employer, real estate holder and economic engine. The university oversees a number of community building initiatives, such as inclusive neighborhood revitalization strategies surrounding its campuses, local hiring and purchasing programs, and live where you work subsidies for employees.

We work closely with more than 200 Johns Hopkins faculty members across disciplines who are interested in issues related to cities 21CC coordinates with the various research efforts across the university in developing and implementing its research, convening and policy activities.

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Intern With Us

21CC has opportunities available for Johns Hopkins undergraduates to intern with us and work on a variety of research projects both at the center and in partnership with city agencies. To learn more, please contact Mac McComas, MacMcComas@jhu.edu and visit our intern page.

21CC Staff

  • Matthew E. Kahn
    Matthew E. Kahn Director, 21CC, Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Economics and Business

    Krieger School of Arts & Sciences and Carey Business School

  • Bruce Hamilton Emeritus Professor of Economics and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Economics

    Krieger School of  Arts & Sciences

  • Denise DiPasquale
    Denise DiPasquale Senior Fellow
  • Mac McComas Program Coordinator
  • Vrshank Ravi
    Vrshank Ravi Researcher
  • Rhiannon Jerch
    Rhiannon Jerch Post-Doctoral Researcher
  • Mary Miller Senior Fellow

Steering Committee

  • Beth Blauer
    Beth Blauer Executive Director, Centers for Civic Impact

    Krieger School of Arts & Sciences

  • Robert Blum
    Robert Blum William H. Gates Sr. Professor, Chair, Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, Director, Urban Health Institute

    Bloomberg School of Public Health

  • Tamas Budavari
    Tamas Budavari Associate Professor, Applied Math and Statistics

    Whiting School of Engineering

  • Filipe Campante
    Filipe Campante Bloomberg Distinguished Associate Professor, International Economics and Economics

    School of Advanced International Studies and Krieger School of Arts & Sciences

  • Andrew Cherlin
    Andrew Cherlin Benjamin H. Griswold III Professor, Department Chair, Department of Sociology, Director, Hopkins Population Center

    Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

  • Stefanie DeLuca
    Stefanie DeLuca James Coleman Professor of Sociology & Social Policy, Co-Director, Poverty and Inequality Research Lab

    Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

  • Deborah Gross
    Deborah Gross Professor, Leonard and Helen Stulman Endowed Chair

    School of Nursing

  • Lingxin Hao
    Lingxin Hao Professor, Sociology

    Krieger School of Arts & Sciences

  • Jeanne Hitchcock
    Jeanne Hitchcock Special Advisor to the Vice President

    Government and Community Affairs

  • Philip Leaf
    Philip Leaf Professor of Mental Health, Director of the Center for Adolescent Health

    Krieger School of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Nursing

  • Robert Lieberman
    Robert Lieberman Krieger-Eisenhower Professor, Political Science

    Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

  • Robert Moffitt
    Robert Moffitt Krieger-Eisenhower Professor, Department Chair, Economics

    Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

  • Nicholas Papageorge
    Nicholas Papageorge Broadus Mitchell Assistant Professor, Economics

    Krieger School of Arts & Sciences

  • Craig Pollack
    Craig Pollack Associate Professor, Health Policy and Management

    Bloomberg School of Public Health and School of Medicine

  • Phillip Phan
    Phillip Phan Alonzo and Virginia Decker Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship

    Carey Business School

  • Luis Quintero
    Luis Quintero Assistant Professor of Urban Real Estate and Economics

    Carey Business School

  • Darlene Saporu
    Darlene Saporu Assistant Dean for Diversity and Inclusion

    Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and Whiting School of Engineering

  • Emilia Simeonova
    Emilia Simeonova Assistant Professor, Economics

    Carey Business School

  • Lester Spence
    Lester Spence Associate Professor, Political Science

    Krieger School of Arts and Sciences

  • Lindsay Thompson
    Lindsay Thompson Associate Professor, Director, CityLab

    Carey Business School

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