The latest issue of Duke Magazine shines a spotlight on the Initiative for Urban Studies, a student-led effort to build an interdisciplinary curriculum focused on urban studies and city planning at Duke. Two students in the Hart Leadership Program–Zoe Macomber ’24 and Lindsay Hu ’23–have been instrumental in organizing their peers and faculty around the study of cities.

Zoe, a former SOL and PEP fellow has taken several Hart Leadership Classes as part of her Program II major, including Lead the Way Durham, which focuses on civic engagement, planning, and policy in Durham. Lindsay Hu also took PUBPOL 298: Authentic Leadership, a Durham-engaged service-learning class through which she worked closely with the Iglesia Emanuel Food Pantry and developed a passion for community leadership.

The Initiative for Urban Studies aims to delve into the complexities of urban life and development, addressing issues such as affordability, livability, and mobility. The Duke Magazine feature describes how Lindsay, Zoe, and their co-convener Charlie Colasurdo ’23 conceived of the initative during their freshman year and have since worked to identify classes focused on how cities function, hosted a conference titled “Build Better Cities,” and organized a student club named Our Urban Future. The initiative comes with an interdisciplinary approach and collaboration across various departments at Duke, along with faculty adviser Paul B. Jaskot praising the students for their energy and impact on the University’s curriculum. In pushing this effort forward at Duke, both Zoe and Lindsay used skills and frameworks for community leadership they honed through their engagement with the Hart Leadership Program.

Read the full Duke Magazine article here and check out the Duke Initiative for Urban Studies here.