Boston University’s Initiative on Cities is launching a program called MetroBridge to connect the needs of local government with the capacity of undergraduate and graduate students at the university.

MetroBridge is seeking partner municipalities with issue-based projects that students can undertake during a semester-long course and that would provide a tangible benefit to the host community.

The program, according to MetroBridge’s website, is “designed to help local leaders catalyze [their] sidelined initiatives by connecting them with the knowledge capital of our faculty and the mental sweat equity of our students who crave a real-world connection to their academic work.”

MetroBridge is aligned with the national Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities model, which shares best practices in university-government collaborations.

Focus areas include climate and the environment, city planning and transportation, service delivery, civic engagement, economic development, housing, human services, and more. Types of projects include data analysis, data visualization, hackathons, machine learning, policy analysis, program evaluation design, qualitative research, survey design, and web design, among others.

The MetroBridge team is currently accepting project proposals for the spring, summer and fall semesters next year.

For more information or to fill out a Request for Interest form, visit, or contact MetroBridge Program Manager Emily Robbins at

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