About Urban

Our Story
Our Next50 Vision

In the decades ahead, powerful shifts in technology, climate, demographics, and the global economy threaten to exacerbate inequalities and block opportunities for people to thrive. Unease about these disruptions fuels a level of polarization not seen for a century and derails progress on racial and economic injustice so long at the center of the American story.

But we can imagine a more optimistic future, where the disruptive forces of change are harnessed to expand opportunities so all people can realize their potential to contribute, to be valued, to feel a sense of belonging, and to have a voice.

This vision guided the Urban Institute in 2018, when we marked our 50th anniversary with an exploration of how we could best support those driving change across society. We wanted to know:

  • What would it take to advance equity and upward mobility and achieve racial justice and shared prosperity in the decades ahead?

  • What knowledge do changemakers need to catalyze bold solutions?

See what we learned about how data and evidence can accelerate promising solutions to the country’s big challenges.

As part of our year of exploration, Urban also recommitted to our mission and clarified how we must work in the future. In our Next50, Urban will strive to:

  • Support changemakers to accelerate solutions

  • Leverage cutting-edge research technologies and data science

  • Understand and confront structural racism

  • Deliver accessible insights to influencers and changemakers

  • Continue to inform federal policymaking

  • Deepen our collaboration with states and localities

  • Reflect and embrace America’s changing demographics