photo of Sophie McManus
Sophie McManus
Research Associate
Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center
  • Profile
  • Outside Affiliations
  • Sophie McManus is a research associate in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center at the Urban Institute, working within the Community Economic Development Hub practice area. Her research focuses on equitable and supportive business ecosystems, community and economic development policy, and community-based initiatives in Washington, DC.

    Before joining Urban, McManus was the research and engagement lead at Open Cities Lab, a nonprofit organization in South Africa working to improve data systems and transparency in government decisionmaking. Outside Urban, she previously worked on independent study on Opportunity Zone projects in Baltimore and Washington, DC, and is assisting with research on right-to-purchase policies in the greater DC region.

    McManus completed her master’s degree in town and regional planning at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and was a Rotary International Global Scholar. She is pursuing a doctoral degree in urban planning at the University of Maryland, focusing on place-based redevelopment policy, affordable housing, and Opportunity Zones.

    Research Areas
    Neighborhoods, cities, and metros
    Wealth and financial well-being
    Race and equity
    Community and economic development
    Equitable development
    Federal housing programs and policies

    Outside Affiliations
    University of Maryland
    PhD student

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