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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