Luis M. A. Bettencourt is the director of the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation at the University of Chicago and professor of ecology and evolution at the College. He is also associate faculty and special friend of the department of sociology, and external professor at the Santa Fe Institute.
He conducts interdisciplinary research on complex adaptive systems and leads efforts in the areas of the science of cities. His research focuses on the identification of cities’ systemic processes and properties, as well as their local histories and contexts in identifying paths for a better quality of life, economic growth, and sustainable development. He works with international networks of researchers, local governments and NGOs to understand and systematise urban knowledge, and to create solutions to urban issues. His work is well-known academically and has been influential in developing new theory and empirical perspectives on cities and urbanisation worldwide.