Urban Futures

Urban Futures will deepen our commitment and broaden our impact in the interdisciplinary areas of real-world learning, problem-based scholarship and research, and community-based partnerships. This work will come to life through these emerging initiatives:

Urban Futures Initiative

Currently, more than half of the global population live in cities. By 2050, that number will increase to two-thirds. So what? Urbanization is an outcome of natural population growth and it impacts people in both rural and urban environments in a variety of ways. We broadly classify the effects of urbanization into four categories:

  • Society: Economic, education, health and government
  • Mobility: Transportation and infrastructure
  • Sustainability: Food, water, energy and environment
  • Resiliency: Public safety and security

The University of Cincinnati has a number of community-based, participatry, and community-engaged initiatives, activities and projects that are focused on addressing the challenges associated with urbanization. Within Next Lives Here, the Urban Futures Initiative will leverage, amplify, and expand UC's impact by establishing a superstructure that can serve as the enterprise-level backbone to enhance the impact our institution has in this region.


Simpson Center for Urban Futures

The Simpson Center will promote research in the field of future urban planning, infusing futuristic urban planning into the curriculum and scholarship programs within UC's college of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning. In addition, an archive of Orville Simpson's work is being established in the 1819 Innovation Hub.



Digital Futures

Research is centric to our purpose. As a top urban public research university, we push limits and challenge ideas to discover what’s next. UC’s 180,000 square-foot Digital Futures building, located in the Uptown Innovation Corridor, will serve as a transdisciplinary space to bring together University of Cincinnati experts for collaboration in “Use-Inspired Basic Research” and “Applied Research.” This future-focused research will harness the power of intellect and technologies to advance our region and impact our global society.


    UC desires to address the increasing digitally-enabled, human-centered challenges that are arising in             today’s world. The Digital Futures space allows the creation of new knowledge, technologies and                      approaches having societal impact by co-locating researchers and providing an outstanding infrastructure     to support their work. Our impact will be accelerated by intentional partnerships with the broader                     community.

    The current digital age has changed how we live, work, learn and play. These changes bring along both             opportunities and challenges for our region and the globe. UC’s Digital Futures space embraces the                 present while re-imagining the future in all its forms – objective, subjective and inter-subjective.

    The University of Cincinnati’s Next Lives Here – Digital Futures space within the Urban Futures Pathway         enables knowledge creation that is:
        • multi- or transdisciplinary;
        • integrated, inclusive and impactful; and
        • amplified by external partnerships.

Visit our Media page to view news coverage about Digital Futures and other Next Lives Here projects and initiatives.

rendering of digital futures building

Rendering of Digital Futures Building

  • UC signs long-term lease agreement in Aug. 2018
  • 180,000 square-foot facility to be constructed within Uptown Innovation Corridor
  • Part of 5.8 acre development on the southeast corridor of Martin Luther King Drive and Reading Road
  • Adjacant to UC's 1819 Innovation Hub
  • Scheduled for completion in the summer of 2021