About Metropolitan Policy Center

Metropolitan Policy Center


What is the MPC?

The Metropolitan Policy Center (MPC) was created in the Fall of 2014 within the School of Public Affairs at American University (AU). MPC serves as the metropolitan and urban research hub on AU's campus. MPC's mission is to create knowledge and propose solutions to our 21st century metropolitan and urban challenges. The insights gained through the Center are disseminated to policy makers, think tanks, foundations, nonprofits, community groups and academic and mainstream media outlets.


MPC's mission is to understand the intersections among various social, economic and political processes, operating at various levels, that influence metropolitan and urban landscapes. MPC employs mixed methods to uncover, explain and propose solutions to important 21st century metropolitan and urban challenges including: affordable housing, economic development, racial and ethnic diversity, social service provision, and urban and regional governance.


MPC has three important objectives:

  1. Cultivate innovative cross-disciplinary metropolitan and urban research that helps to improve people's lives and public policy.
  2. Garner sufficient external university grants from governments, private foundations and corporate institutions to support collaborative research projects.
  3. Demonstrate American University's engagement in Washington, DC.


MPC achieves its mission and objectives through three strategies:

  1. Advance and support complex, innovative AU metropolitan and urban scholarly work across disciplines and research methods.
  2. Host campus events on important metropolitan and urban topics.
  3. Promote community engagement through cultivating strategic partnerships with nonprofits, businesses, community groups and other research centers both locally and abroad.