New York University received a $40 million gift from Lightyear Capital LLC Chairman Donald Marron and will use the funds to create an institute to study cities and urban areas.
The Marron Institute on Cities and the Urban Environment will help cities become more sustainable and livable, the Manhattan-based university said today in a statement.
“This is wonderful for the city, for NYU,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a briefing at the university.
By the year 2025, there are projected to be 40 so-called megacities of 10 million people or more, up from 23 now, said the mayor, who is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP. For the first time, half the world’s population lives in cities, a proportion that will rise to three-quarters by mid-century, he said.
“It is a remarkable and historic shift and it presents real challenges to big cities -- challenges to improve public health, to create housing, to preserve the environment, to provide the basic services and economic opportunities to draw people to cities in the first place,” Bloomberg said.
Richard Revesz, dean of NYU’s law school, will lead the institute. He plans to step down from his current post on May 31. The institute will sponsor fellowships and award research grants and plans to work with policy makers around the world to shape solutions to urban issues.
NYU’s enrollment of more than 40,000 makes it the largest private, nonprofit university in the U.S. Among its alumni are former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, film director Martin Scorsese and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Bloomberg’s mother also graduated from it in 1929 and his daughter about five years ago.
Marron, who founded Lightyear, a New York-based private-equity firm, also served as chairman and chief executive officer of Paine Webber Group Inc.