The Kinder Institute Forum Lectures are organized by Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research. Established in 2010, the institute advances the understanding of critical issues facing Houston and other leading U.S. urban centers through scientific research, educational programs, and public outreach with the goal of developing more humane and sustainable cities.



Past Events in This Series

Kinder Institute Forum Lecture: Creative Design and Community Engagement Strategies for Long-Term Equitable Development

Maurice Cox, Detroit’s planning director, looks at creative design and community engagement as strategies for long-term urban revitalization. 

Kinder Institute Forum Lecture & Book Signing: Richard Rothstein on “The Color of Law”

Author and Economic Policy Institute fellow Richard Rothstein discusses the legal history and persistence of segregation. A book signing follows the talk.


Kinder Institute for Urban Research Forum Lecture: Bruce Katz on the New Localism

Bruce Katz discusses where the real power to create change lies—and how it can be used to address serious social, economic and environmental challenges.

Kinder Institute for Urban Research Forum Lecture: Carol Coletta on Reimagining the Civic Commons

Learn about the concepts behind “Reimagine the Civic Commons,” an initiative to revitalize and connect public places to form cities that are more creative and inclusive.

Kinder Institute for Urban Research Forum Lecture: Elizabeth Currid-Halkett on Innovation and the Warhol Economy

Author and researcher Elizabeth Currid-Halkett discusses the importance of cities investing in innovation for a competitive advantage.

Kinder Institute for Urban Research Forum Lecture: Amy Liu on Resilience and Opportunity Following Disruptive Events

Amy Liu, an expert on using urban research to inform strategies for economic growth and opportunities, explores how cities can stay resilient during natural and man-made disasters.

Kinder Institute for Urban Research Forum Lecture: New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu

Mitch Landrieu, mayor of New Orleans since 2010, visits to give the Kinder Institute for Urban Research Forum Lecture. This program is sold out.

Kinder Institute for Urban Research Forum Lecture: Harriet Tregoning on Recovering from Natural Disasters

An expert on natural and economic disaster resilience, Harriet Tregoning discusses how a community and government recover from disasters such as Hurricane Harvey.


Kinder Institute for Urban Research Forum Lecture “Hope in Challenging Times: Cities Are Leading the Way in Tackling Our Toughest Issues”

Former White House official and current policy institute officer Cecilia Muñoz presents a free discussion in the ongoing Kinder Institute for Urban Research Forum Lecture series.

Kinder Institute for Urban Research Forum Lecture: Sean Reardon on Poverty and Inequality in Education

Sean Reardon, a professor at Stanford University, shares insights from his research on educational inequality.

Kinder Institute for Urban Research Panel Discussion: Undocumented City

Experts explore questions about how undocumented immigrants navigate Houston’s social and political landscape.

Kinder Institute Forum: Matthew Desmond on “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in an American City”

In this talk, Matthew Desmond, winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction, focuses on the realities of extreme poverty and economic exploitation in the United States, and promotes fresh ideas for solving this devastating, uniquely American problem.

Kinder Institute Forum Lecture: Governor Martin O’Malley

Martin O’Malley, former governor of Maryland and mayor of Baltimore, visits Houston to talk about the challenges facing our economy and strategies he believes will make the economy better.


Kinder Institute Lecture: Nigel Jacob on New Urban Mechanics

Nigel Jacob, cofounder of New Urban Mechanics, talks about how he injects human-centered design within governments, and how to begin creating a template for civic innovation across the country.

Kinder Institute Lecture: Richard Florida

The Kinder Institute for Urban Research and the Greater Houston Community Foundation present celebrated author, thought leader, and urbanist Richard Florida.

Kinder Institute Lecture “Houston’s Pension Future”

Panel discussion moderated by Ryan Holeywell, senior editor, Rice University's Kinder Institute for Urban Research Houston faces an increasing unfunded liability for its employee pensions: at least $3.9 billion as of 2015, up from $212 million in 1992. If no action is taken, that amount is expected to continue growing.

Kinder Institute Forum Lecture “Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution”

As the streets and freeways of Houston continue to grow denser each day, this lecture offers a unique opportunity to hear Janette Sadik-Khan, one of the most distinguished transportation experts in the world, talk about the solutions she’s bringing to present-day transportation challenges. Following the talk, Sadik-Khan signs copies of her new book, Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution. About the Speaker Janette Sadik-Khan is a top authority on transportation and urban transformation. She served as New York City’s transportation[…]