April 15, 2020

Representing one of the highest rates in the country, one in every 42 children in Minnesota is identified with autism spectrum disorder. Without intervention, adolescents risk a sharp decline in social support, stalled neurological progress, and a marked increase in depression and anxiety. Often shut off from educational and social supports that were available in childhood, adolescents experience significant roadblocks as they strive for independence. Similarly, young adults with autism can feel isolated and undervalued as members of our community. This project seeks to shift the status quo by pairing teens and adults with autism in one-to-one mentoring relationships as part of a…

April 09, 2020
2020 Census response rate map for Minneapolis

CURA’s Community GIS team created this map of Census 2020 return rates in Minneapolis and is updating it regularly through the 2020 collection period. Here is a St. Paul Census 2020 return rate map.

Click on an area to see the percentage of households who have responded to the census so far. Each area is a census tract. Click on the right arrow at top of the pop-up window to see how the current return rate…

March 22, 2020

Now available: a new version of the AMI Cheat Sheet, updated for 2019 and using HUD’s Area Median Income for the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington metropolitan area, which increased to $100,000 for a family of four.

This is the third update: find the 2017 edition here and the 2018 edition here.

Download a pdf version of this 2019 AMI Cheat Sheet for Minneapolis and St Paul here.

Read the fine print at the bottom of the guide for details about the numbers and data…

March 16, 2020

The Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) is following recommendations by Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, the Minnesota Department of Health, and University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel, which encourage community-wide social distancing and other efforts to curb transmission of COVID-19. Therefore the CURA office is closed until further notice. Additionally, all CURA events and trainings are postponed indefinitely.

CURA's work continues, though, as our staff and researchers remain on the job remotely. If you have a general question, please contact the CURA office via email. Or contact CURA staff directly. Make sure…

March 15, 2020

Kaysone, Sunny and Sophea live in and/or have roots in Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center and North Minnepolis, where some of Minnesota's largest populations of South East Asians (SEA) live. The team will focus on engaging community members to explore the feeling of being stuck between two worlds - neither here nor there - and highlight the narratives of the diaspora voice and whether a sense of belonging can be found in their neighborhoods.

The artist team will engage communities in telling their stories through outreach of interviews, conversations, and gatherings. The project will conclude with a street theatre performance with the artist team and community members in…

March 15, 2020

The West Side of Saint Paul is a community that was able to create itself in its place, integrating and feeding the social, economical and cultural dynamics with new practices. And within that evolution the people have not lost their identity matrix. This identity is also a multicolored mosaic of identities of diverse regions of Central and South America that add and juxtapose each other to create the new reality of Saint Paul. In the face of anti-immigration policies of the present administration that attack basic humanitarian principles and break the community, the immigrant and the native communities of Saint Paul make efforts to transform their reality into a more positive…

March 15, 2020

The Frogtown and Rondo communities have two of the most well established identities in the City of Saint Paul. In the words of the artists, "We are known for being a largely working class, scrappy, artistic, incredibly diverse bunch of humans who have roots all over the planet. We brought the history, stories, tastes and smells to the heart of St. Paul to be shared, explored, and celebrated."

The story of these neighboring communities – two communities divided first by freeway, then by arbitrary district designation, and finally by train, is a story that must be told and preserved. Mychal and Tou Saiko will be creating a colorful, music - poetry - and dance-centered,…

March 04, 2020
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Coalition of Asian American Leaders (or CAAL) has proactively led a campaign urging our government and private institutions to collect and use disaggregated data that more accurately reflects Asian American experiences. This way, solutions crafted to achieve equitable social, economic, and health outcomes will be more responsive and relevant.

This winter, CAAL staff, designer Khou Vue, and CURA worked together to create a visual snapshot of The Factors Impacting the Economic Wellbeing of Asian Minnesotans. The infographics in…

March 04, 2020


Building on the 2019 edition of this tool, Parks and Power, artist Cori Lin (www.corilin.co and @cori.lin.art)and CURA have made a 2020 Minneapolis Park Board Budget and Funding Explainer: a graphic guide to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board's budget.

Cori also created The People's Money: a million dollar bill that Parks and Power organizers can use in workshops around participatory budgeting and the MPRB budget.

View and download:

February 10, 2020

Too many people in the Twin Cities region do not have access to safe, healthy, affordable, and reliable housing. In particular, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) communities, people with disabilities, and low-wealth communities face barriers to this critical resources. Market conditions have shown that the housing market does not work for most low-income people, so solutions may require questioning long held assumptions, creating innovative solutions, and attempting new ideas to address housing stability.

To address these challenges and identify solutions, the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) and the …

January 30, 2020

The Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) invites proposals for our Faculty Interactive Research Program (FIRP). University of Minnesota faculty are critical resources in exploring issues and concerns important to Minnesota, such as the criminal justice system, demography, state or local economic development, education, employment, energy, the environment, health, housing, state and local government, welfare and poverty, human and social services, transportation, or land use and development.

The FIRP encourages University faculty to carry out research projects that answer questions about these important regional issues, in partnership with community groups…

January 10, 2020
A BCBW project cohort meeting

The Building Capacity with Black Women (BCBW) project team led by Dr. Brittany Lewis at Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) was formed in the summer of 2019 to work collaboratively with 10 empowered participants to provide the time, space, and tools needed to help Black women that have experienced housing instability resume conscious control over their own housing stability through strategic supports and claim a visible and active voice in the public policy arena as co-collaborators on an engaged action research project of their choosing. CURA believes that when those most affected by housing…

November 26, 2019
George Orning’s masters thesis heavily influenced the statewide shoreland protections. George later served as CURA’s Associate Director, tasked with creating the statewide Lakeshore Development Study.

It’s no coincidence that both the Shoreland Management Act and the Center of Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) are celebrating their 50th anniversaries this year. Minnesota’s shoreland management program was one of the first major statewide initiatives to come out of CURA. This milestone year offers a unique opportunity to look back on the history and purpose behind the shoreland program, its beginnings with CURA, trends in shoreland development, and what we can do to improve shoreland…