Project post type

September 22, 2022

Below is a roundup of project descriptions and partner organizations for the Fall 2022 semester Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program projects. The projects will run from early September to mid-January. If you want to be informed about upcoming deadlines for the Kris Nelson Program, make sure to subscribe to CURAs newsletter.

September 22, 2022

Organization: MN8

Currently there is a lack of formalized knowledge about Khmer Americans in Minnesota despite the fact that Hampton, Minnesota is home to the largest Cambodian Buddhist temple in the world outside of Cambodia. 

From fall 2021 to spring 2022, we worked with members of Wilder Research’s Pro Bono Research Program to conduct the first-of-its-kind Community Needs Assessment of the Cambodian American community in Minnesota. We co-created a mixed-methods project that included a statewide analysis of available data on Cambodian Americans in Minnesota and up to 20 interviews with Cambodian Americans about…

September 22, 2022

Organization: Renewing the Countryside

Farmland access is identified as the biggest challenge for emerging farmers—particularly Black and Brown farmers—in developing viable businesses and growing capacity for community resilience. While finding affordable land to lease or purchase is part of the challenge, an additional challenge is understanding the policies, codes and ordinances that regulate what can be done at county, city and township levels. Through our work and that of our partners working on farmland access, we regularly see emerging farmers either…

September 22, 2022

Organization: Midwest Skateboarding Alliance

All public parks offer benefits of greenspace, recreation, socializing, and safety. Skateparks accomplish this in particular for youth. Modern, state-of-the art skateparks are a tremendous draw for youth and skateboarders of all ages, providing mental, physical and social benefits and a point of pride for the neighborhood. Yet they are too often placed within suburban, predominantly white, high-income areas already privileged with similar amenities. The goal of this project is to address this bias and inherent inequities…

September 22, 2022

Organization: Twin Cities Community Agricultural Land Trust

Despite the accrual of conservation benefits from long-term urban agriculture and farmers’ commitment to conservation, and the many resources dedicated to conservation in Minnesota, many Minnesota urban growers are pushed into environmentally wasteful practices as a result of insecure land tenure and lack of resources. The bulk of farm production in the Twin Cities region occurs on land rented year to year, while urban agriculture policy is complex and often deems urban food cultivation an interim land use,…

March 29, 2022

CURA’s Public Policy Design Lab worked with Restaurant Opportunities Center of Minnesota (ROC-MN) and Minneapolis-based artist Gina Pena to create a visualization of The Rice Activity: Contextualizing the Working Class. This activity was developed through an earlier research project conducted by a UMN Graduate Research Assistant (supported by CURA’s Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program ) working with ROC-MN.

This visualization is based on a hands-on version of the…

December 19, 2021


The METRO Blue Line Extension Light Rail Transit project will extend the existing Blue Line from Target Field Station in Minneapolis northwest to Brooklyn Park and connect communities along the way. The communities along the way include North Minneapolis, Robbinsdale, Crystal, and Brooklyn Park. Currently, the project is deciding between two alignments in North Minneapolis. Around this alignment work, CURA has been contracted by Hennepin County and the Metropolitan Council to lead the Blue Line Extension Anti-Displacement Project. This project serves to lead the community through a project to examine the extent to which displacement is or will…

September 22, 2021

Hennepin County Board of Commissioners approved a contract with the Center of Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) to establish an Anti-Displacement Workgroup related to the design and construction of the METRO Blue Line Extension light rail. This action to invest in anti-displacement is intended to support corridor residents, businesses, and equitable development in the corridor.

Workgroup will comprise diverse perspectives

With community input, the project team designed an initial work plan, and local groups submitted proposals for the contract. A committee with corridor community and business…

August 13, 2021

We believe that support and fair treatment of individuals with criminal records is fundamental for a functioning society. The fact that our criminal justice systems create disparities means our society is not working properly. Criminal records impact individuals and families far beyond the punishment of a crime and keep people from living a good life, which everyone has a right to.

Project Goals

As a project-based initiative, we seek projects and work that align with our values and goals to support our mission and vision. 

  • Community - Lived experience equals expertise in our book. We…
  • July 02, 2021

    Many 911 systems in the United States use older technologies that struggle to account for the diverse ways of communicating during an emergency or disaster, and dispatchers taking calls must make rapid decisions based on limited information. While newer technology can identify callers’ locations, there is an opportunity to explore how technology can assist in determining the reason for the call and suggesting appropriate responses.

    Given this opportunity, HUP recently coordinated a connection between Hennepin County and Professors Tom Fisher (College of…