Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society Organization Logo Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society

Faculty Fellow

Luis Bettencourt

Pritzker Director, Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation; Professor of Ecology and Evolution, Biological Sciences Division University of Chicago


Luis Bettencourt’s research investigates the fundamental processes of biological and social organization and evolution in complex systems, with an emphasis on cities and urbanization. His research seeks to identify and explore new data and contexts that allow for quantitative comparisons through time and space in order to produce new insights and theory. He has worked extensively on complex systems theory and modeling, cities, and urbanization. Originally trained as a theoretical physicist, Bettencourt has held postdoctoral positions at the University of Heidelberg, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and at MIT Center for Theoretical Physics. He is the author of over 120 scientific papers and several edited books. His research has been influential in building a new understanding of cities worldwide and throughout history, as well as processes of sustainable development. His work has been featured in leading media outlets, such as The New York Times, Nature, Science, WIRED, New Scientist, and Smithsonian.

To learn more about Luis Bettencourt’s research and publications, please visit his profile page at the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation.


The Formation of Fin de Siècle Vienna

2020 – 2021