Boston Chinatown Atlas

The Boston Chinatown Atlas, a 15-year effort by Prof Tunney Lee, documents the origins of the Chinese in Boston and how they built Chinatown. Formerly displayed as banners, the maps, photos and elevation renderings it is now part of an interactive new website.

Lee’s research team included architect Randall Imai, CHSNE member David Chang, MIT students and many others.

The Chinatown Atlas can be viewed at

Collaborative Research Uncovers Equity Impacts of Land Use Planning for Climate Adaptation

In a new research article published in May 2016 by the Journal of Planning Education and Research (JPER), eight current and former DUSP researchers present the results of a large empirical study examining the equity impacts of land use planning for urban climate adaptation in the Global North and South.

2016 EPP Spring Newsletter

The Spring 2016 issue of DUSP's Environmental Policy and Planning Newsletter is now available.

SustainabilityConnect 2016

Second annual conference looks at MIT’s progress toward sustainability goals, and what remains to be done

SustainabilityConnect 2016, the second annual conference sponsored by MIT’s Office of Sustainability, embraced the local and the global in equal measure. Held on May 9 in the newly renovated Building E52, the conference drew faculty, students, and staff from across the Institute and addressed issues ranging from rising sea levels to greenhouse gas emissions, from green labs to an MIT roof study.

Thriving on risk in real estate

 Well-functioning markets thrive on risk and deciding how to value it, but to assess risk, markets rely on knowing what they don’t know. Uncertainty, or not knowing how much risk is present, is a market killer.

One tool markets use to help quantify uncertainty and turn unknowns into risks is the index, a method of measuring the value of a defined section of a market. Long a staple of stock markets — think of the Dow Jones Industrial Average or the S&P 500 — indices enable markets to better value risk and, therefore, to make better decisions.

Professor Larry Susskind Recognized for Excellence in Graduate Teaching

Larry Susskind, Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning, was recognized for his many contributions to lives of his students and advisees. He received the Graduate Teaching Award, presented at the 2016 MIT Awards Convocation. Professor Susskind's nomination included 25 letters of support from graduate advisees in 2015 and 2016. Students praised his devotion to his students' academic, personal, and long-term success.

Larry Vale & NPR Discuss Housing Subsidies

DUSP Professor Larry Vale was a special guest on NPR's "Planet Money," exploring the fascinating (and distressing) question, "Why Does Random Chance Decide Who Gets Housing Subsidies?"

LARRY VALE: The costs of expanding housing vouchers or finding other ways of deeply subsidizing housing are not so astronomical. So this is a deliberate choice to stop short of trying to meet that need.

Crowdsourcing the Silver Line commute

New app from MIT researchers gathers rider feedback to improve Boston bus service.

Crowdsourced data may soon improve commutes for Boston residents who ride the Silver Line bus.

Re-Imagining the Industrial City

Professor Brent Ryan was recently interviewed for a profile feature in the ILP Insider.  In the article, he envisions revitalized industrial cities with a focus on practicality and resilience.

MIT Names Center for Advanced Urbanism in Honor of Visionary Developer Norman Leventhal

MIT has named its Center for Advanced Urbanism (CAU) in honor of Norman B. Leventhal '38, a visionary developer and philanthropist at the center of Boston’s postwar revival. A life member emeritus of the MIT Corporation who died last year, Mr. Leventhal was a vital member of the MIT community for three-quarters of a century.

The center was officially named the Norman B. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism today at a signing ceremony attended by Alan and Sherry Leventhal and other members of Norman Leventhal’s extended family.