The Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) works with community leaders and local government partners to produce knowledge that drives change. Our mission is to connect the resources of the University of Minnesota with the interests and needs of urban communities and the region for the benefit of all.

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CURA works with communities to provide grants and technical assistance, as well as to produce research and knowledge, that helps shape vital places to live and work throughout Minnesota. Our work is driven by the community and the knowledge that is produced belongs to the community. We value knowledge, and believe that community is a source of unique knowledge because of the lived experience and cultural wisdom of residents.


CURA supports applied research projects by faculty that actively involve community partners in the research process. The following CURA programs provide grants, technical assistance, or other support for applied faculty research projects. 

Local Government

CURA frequently partners with government entities on research and other one-time projects. Here are programs where that partnership is sustained and focused.


There is power in defining research questions and in controlling the production of knowledge. When research is done in communities of color and low-wealth communities, a power imbalance often exists between researchers and community-based organizations.