NYU School of Professional Studies Schack Institute of Real Estate Launches the NYUSPS Urban Lab

New Research Initiative Explores the Intersection Between Cities and Real Estate


NEW YORK, February 2, 2017 - The NYU School of Professional Studies (NYUSPS) Schack Institute of Real Estate has launched the NYUSPS Urban Lab, a new research and engagement initiative that will explore the relationship between real estate and cities as centers of economic activity and innovation. The launch of the Lab comes just before the 50th Anniversary of the Schack Institute’s establishment as NYU’s home for teaching and applied research in the fields of real estate and construction management, and embodies the Institute’s ongoing commitment to thought leadership and applied practice in these rapidly evolving industries.

“The work of the NYUSPS Urban Lab will shape the practice of real estate and urban development, guide the policy debate, and broaden the NYUSPS Schack Institute of Real Estate’s leadership role at the intersection of urbanism and real estate,” stated Sam Chandan, PhD FRICS, Larry & Klara Silverstein Chair in Real Estate Development and Investment, and associate dean of the NYU School of Professional Studies Schack Institute of Real Estate.

Directed by Steven Pedigo, NYUSPS Schack Institute clinical assistant professor, the Lab will be active on several fronts. Collaborating with real estate investors and developers, city officials and practitioners, and faculty members and students across NYU and the NYU School of Professional Studies, it will develop applied research insights and case studies, convene leading thinkers and practitioners to discuss the challenges facing the real estate industry and cities, and offer a suite of professional development courses and programs for city builders, economic development practitioners, and real estate professionals.

“Through the NYUSPS Urban Lab, the NYU School of Professional Studies and its Schack Institute of Real Estate are uniquely positioned to play a leading role in developing an urban agenda, which focuses on the critical socio-economic policies that are requisite to building and maintaining creative and resilient cities now and in the future,” asserted Dennis Di Lorenzo, Harvey J. Stedman dean of the NYU School of Professional Studies.

Following a soft launch in Fall 2016, the NYUSPS Urban Lab hosted four events centered on issues affecting urban development now and in the future. The Lab’s first event, “The Creative City,” took place on October 13 and featured renowned urbanist and NYUSPS Clinical Research Professor Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class, and NYUSPS Schack Associate Dean Sam Chandan, who discussed the forces that are reshaping the urban environment and real estate markets today.

On November 2, “Building a New Urban Agenda” featured a distinguished panel of urban thought leaders and policy makers, which included Chandan and Florida; Svenja Gudell, chief economist, Zillow; Amy Liu, vice president and director of the Metropolitan Policy Program, The Brookings Institution; and Martin O’Malley, former governor of Maryland and senior advisor, The MetroLab Network. Five key themes were explored, including the future of the creative economy; investing in urban and suburban transit infrastructure; building affordable housing; upgrading jobs and wages; and targeting poverty in central cities and suburbs.

The third and final event of 2016, “Zika and the City: How Epidemics Impact the Health, Real Estate, and Tourism of Our Cities,” took place on December 15 and was cosponsored with the NYUSPS Jonathan M. Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism and the Tisch Institute for Sports Management, Media, and Business. It featured a discussion between Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and Florida on the organized effort Miami Beach has made to combat Zika, as well as what the long-term implications of Zika are for cities across the country. The second half of the event included a panel discussion on “Managing Zika’s Impact on Health, Tourism, and Sports,” moderated by Pedigo and featuring Arthur Caplan, Drs. William F. and Virginia Connolly Mitty Professor of Bioethics; director, Division of Bioethics at NYU Langone Medical Center, and codirector of the NYUSPS Sports and Society; Lee Igel, codirector, NYUSPS Sports and Society, and clinical associate professor, NYUSPS Tisch Institute for Sports Management, Media, and Business; and Kristin Lamoureux, associate dean of the NYUSPS Jonathan M. Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism.

The Urban Lab’s formal kick-off event, “Empowering Cities Under the New Administration,” was held on February 2 and featured Richard Florida; Jonathan Haidt, Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at the NYU Stern School of Business; and Benjamin Barber, founder and president of the Global Parliament of Mayors. The panelists debated the challenges cities face in engaging with the new administration and how they can support urban innovation in the context of a more complex political environment.

In 2017, the Lab will launch an Urban Fellows program comprised of leading researchers, real estate investors and developers, civic leaders, and economic development practitioners from across the United States and abroad. Florida has been named the first Urban Lab Distinguished Fellow.

“More than ever before, we must coexist in an urban world—living, working, and creating cities,” said Pedigo. “It is our hope that the insights uncovered by the Urban Lab and its fellows can help to guide those working in our cities to make them stronger and more sustainable for the future.”

To learn more about the Urban Lab, please visit: sps.nyu.edu/urbanlab.

About the NYU School of Professional Studies Schack Institute of Real Estate
The NYU School of Professional Studies (NYUSPS) Schack Institute of Real Estate was founded in 1967 at the initiative of prominent members of the New York City real estate community, who encouraged NYU to establish an academic center that would provide a world-class education for industry professionals. Nearly 50 years later, the Schack Institute is at the forefront of real estate education and is recognized globally as one of the world’s leading centers of real estate research and pedagogy. Across the Institute’s graduate degree programs—notably the MS in Real Estate, the MS in Construction Management, and the MS in Real Estate Development—as well as a rapidly expanding undergraduate degree program, enrollment has grown to nearly 1,000 full- and part-time students from across the United States and nearly 50 other countries. In addition to its flagship degree programs, thousands of working professionals enroll in the Schack Institute’s executive education, diploma, and career advancement programs each year.

An anchor of real estate academia’s engagement with industry, the Institute is home to the REIT Center, the Center for the Sustainable Built Environment, and the newly established Urban Lab. In addition, the Institute hosts national industry events, including annual conferences on real estate capital markets and the REIT sector. Under the direction of the Schack Institute’s faculty, ongoing applied research at the Institute spans an exceptional range of issues in real estate development and investment, urban economics, and market structure and regulation. For more information about the NYUSPS Schack Institute of Real Estate, visit sps.nyu.edu/schack.