Jump to main navigation. Jump to main content

Upcoming Kris Nelson Community Based Research Deadline

October 1, 2019
Contact person: 

The Kris Nelson Community Based Research Program at the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) builds the power and capacity of community-based organizations to create social change through partnerships with the University of Minnesota. The research needs of organizations are matched with students to carry out community-defined and guided projects.

The deadline for Spring 2020 projects proposals is October 18, 2019. The projects will run from January 2020 through May 2020.

More details on submitting your proposal:

If you have any questions or would like to discuss a project idea, please feel free to reach out to me at canders@umn.edu or (612) 624-8988 or Vanessa Voller at voll0144@umn.edu.

The Nelson Program is generously funded by the McKnight Foundation.

Summer 2019 Project Highlights

Developing Community-Driven Housing Solutions for Latino Immigrants
Latinos and other immigrants living in Minneapolis and the East Side of St. Paul face substantial challenges in finding affordable, safe, and adequate housing, including exposure to environmental hazards (such as vermin, lead, poor air quality, mold, etc.), gang and drug activity within their neighborhoods, no culturally appropriate emergency housing, unaffordable rental prices, and inability to qualify/provide proof of income/documentation.

The research project is a component of a broader initiative to co-create solutions to housing challenges facing Latinos. Research will support us to connect community experiences to existing data points and collect/analyze survey data that digs deep into the realities of Latinos seeking/maintaining housing in the Twin Cities.

Seward Redesign, Inc.
Light Rail’s Limited Power to Revitalize Neighborhoods
For fifty years, Redesign’s mission has been the development of the Seward and Greater Longfellow communities. The light rail was the largest public infrastructure project in the neighborhood since Interstate 94 in the 1960s, and it has failed to attract private investment to the Franklin Avenue Station area (and the Lake Street/Midtown Station area, to some extent). Reckoning with the limited effects that the Blue Line had on land use, and surveying policies to achieve community goals, is important for Redesign and other parties to pursue the mission of community development intelligently and effectively.

This research project will compare the economic development goals of the Blue Line LRT with the realities, fifteen years later, around the different stations and reveal greater understanding of the effects of transit investment. Which Blue Line stations saw investment and development after the train was built, and which did not?

City of Lakes Community Land Trust
Permanently affordable housing (rental and ownership)….what is the right number/percentage to have in Minneapolis?

What is the right amount of affordable housing (rental and ownership) we should have in Minneapolis? To date, no entity has calculated the current figure. CLCLT is requesting that we get the current combined count of long-term affordable rental and ownership units in the City, determine how much is truly needed(today/future) and quantify what that really means.

District 1 Community Council
Pedestrian access and safety along McKnight Road in St. Paul

After a fatal accident, we’ve raised long-held concerns about safety along McKnight Road. Automobile drivers move at high speeds, and drivers disregard or don’t see pedestrian crossing signs. It’s dangerous to pedestrians and cyclists who share the road. Data on pedestrian and cyclist use is needed so safety measures can properly be advocated for.

A community meeting was held in February regarding a fatal accident on McKnight Road in January 2019. After the tragic death of a young woman, Ramsey County will be installing some safety measures at one of the crosswalks along McKnight, a county road. However, at that meeting, it was learned that the county does not have any statistics on pedestrian or bicycle use of McKnight Road. Residents, including a large population of our Somali neighbors, walk alongside the road day and night. In addition, kids on bikes, older adults and individuals with disabilities cross the street or are moving along beside cars traveling at high speeds. In some areas, there are no sidewalks. Visibility is limited. Solid data is needed to share with officials to advocate for increased safety actions and measures.