March 04, 2020


Building on the 2019 edition of this tool, Parks and Power, artist Cori Lin ( 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…

August 19, 2019

It is with great sadness that we report that Esther Wattenberg passed away on July 19, just shy of her 100th birthday.

A professor of social work at the University of Minnesota, she was a fierce advocate for underserved women and children. Esther was a critical part of CURA's work for several decades and a treasured part of the CURA family. May her memory be an inspiration.

July 30, 2019

This year, the Resilient Communities Project introduced a new Small-Scale RCP Partnership option, designed for communities that want to collaborate with University of Minnesota faculty and students on 1–5 projects. Below are some of the projects that will be under way this year with our partner communities—Scott County, St. Anthony Village, Ramsey, Minneapolis Public Housing Authority (MPHA), and League of Minnesota Cities

Do you have a project idea that could benefit from research or technical assistance? It's not too late to …

May 31, 2019
"The Illusion of Choice: Evictions and Profit in North Minneapolis"

In May of 2019, the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) held a multimedia release event for “The Illusion of Choice: Evictions and Profit in North Minneapolis” research project that included a presentation, a video telling the stories of tenants and landlords in North Minneapolis, an art installation with photos that explore the phases of eviction, and an illustrative simulation developed with the Juxta Art Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) team called the “Social Service Runaround.” Evictions are a social crisis in North Minneapolis caused by decades of…

May 21, 2019
CURA Researcher Rashad Williams presenting on mobile
home owners and displacement at UAA

CURA researchers and research projects were well represented at the recent Urban Affairs Association (UAA) conference in Los Angeles, April 24-27, 2019. In addition to the sessions below, Dr. Brittany Lewis was asked to participate on an activist scholarship panel by Professor Lisa Bates from Portland State University.

Sessions presented by CURA researchers:

  • Gentrification and concentrated poverty by Professor Edward G Goetz, Anthony Damiano, Dr. Brittany Lewis, and Molly Calhoun
  • Typologies of Fear in the…
April 15, 2019

Surviving the Freeway will be a forward-looking examination of the past. It will provide a multi-vocal historical perspective to ground public discussions about the legacies of the freeway as we understand them today. In doing so, it will create a base of engagement that will help communities organize and prepare to participate in planning for the future of the freeway and its adjacent neighborhoods. This is a necessary step toward any publically-accountable re-envisioning of the freeway intended to redress the communities it has harmed and continues to harm.

The topic has critical policy implications and is ripe for investigation. Minneapolis is in the midst of a long-overdue…