Global Cities, Governance, and Innovation

A laboratory for innovative public policy.

SIPA’s location in New York City provides a unique opportunity to study innovative policies in a complex and challenging urban environment. Faculty and students engage in policy analysis and applied projects in diverse settings—from Wall Street to City Hall to the United Nations and other international agencies, institutions, and NGOs.

Stopping the trash in NYC

Urban policy students at SIPA probably didn’t expect to get intimate with the city’s overflowing trash bins -- but it turned out to be a great way to analyze how garbage accumulates, and sometimes ends up in New York City waterways.

Drawing on this firsthand data, students and faculty made recommendations led the city to implement a new protocol for tracking street litter. The ultimate result? Cleaner streets and waters for everyone to enjoy.

The Sustainable City

What Can Be: Building the Sustainable City

A senior faculty member who worked for the EPA early in his career, Professor Steven Cohen has thought long and hard about renewable energy, energy efficiency, mass and personal transit, waste management, and more. His book The Sustainable City offers a framework for policymakers and citizens who want to invest in a modern city that is livable for all.