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The Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation at Drexel University forges innovative strategies to equitably advance cities, drawing inspiration from Drexel’s commitment to civic engagement and experiential education to train the next generation of urban leaders.


The Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation advances urban innovation through civic engagement at the service of society’s greatest challenges; trains the next generation of engaged urban strategists to solve complex and dynamic, cross-disciplinary urban challenges; and creates new knowledge and practices to enable our cities to function, prosper and thrive in a complex and dynamic global society.

Elements of vision:

  • To be impactful in addressing critical issues of resilient urbanism, including urban regeneration, creative placemaking, equitable development, mobility, environmental sustainability, civic engagement, energy use, governance, infrastructure and finance.
  • To graduate individuals with a Master’s Degree in Urban Strategy who use their multi-disciplinary training to solve urban challenges in innovative ways.
  • To be nimble in responding to the increasingly unpredictable nature of change and to seize opportunities, particularly in the pursuit of relevant applied research projects and in identifying Fellows who can enhance the Institute’s teaching, research and engagement.
  • To add to the field of urbanism by developing new tools for urbanists and innovations at the service of addressing urban challenges.
  • To build upon Drexel University’s historical commitment to practical and applied pedagogy and its commitment to its urban context in concert with colleague initiatives at Drexel that focus on connecting the academic community with the broader culture.
  • To have local, regional, national and global relevance and impact.
  • To operate in an efficient manner.


The Lindy Institute for Urban Innovation is mission-driven and market responsive. The Institute is guided by core values drawn from Drexel’s ethos of civic engagement, practice-based instruction and the melding of technical and artistic disciplines to advance society. Our values guide decision-making on our manner of instruction, project selection and engagement with stakeholders of all background and experience. These values include:

  • Excellence in city-making by striving to achieve elegant long-term outcomes with stakeholder support and an understanding of the inherent trade-offs in decision making.
  • Inclusiveness and Accessibility in democratically engaging citizens in decision making about shared urban futures and defining urban innovation as the myriad ongoing experiments undertaken by caring, resourceful, and curious practitioners from all manner of disciplines, races, ethnicities, genders, ages and casts of mind.
  • Thoughtfulness in considering all factors and fighting against preconceptions or equivocation based in limited vision.
  • Transparency as means to ensure inclusiveness, check against expeditiousness, and improve input and outcomes.
  • Inventiveness in embracing risk, entrepreneurialism and improvisation to change existing conditions and improve prospects for long-term urban planning.
  • Stewardship of our common resources with an invitation to be inclusive in sharing responsibility and credit.
  • Innovation in addressing the challenges of the present with respect for the past and a firm eye on the future.