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The CURA publications library is currently being digitized by the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy. When the project is complete, the entire CURA publications library will be online and fully searchable. Unfortunately, during this process we are not able to honor individual requests for publications . Additionally, we no longer have physical copies of publications to send out.

New publications are digitized daily and the publications catalog on the CURA website is not automatically updated with links to scanned copies, so please search the CURA collection at the Digital Conservancy for the publications you are looking for:


Search for reports, monographs, CURA Reporter articles, and other publications stemming from CURA-supported projects.

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Title Publishedsort icon Author Summary Program Keywords
InHabitation Report 2017 Zimmerman, Kathleen

This report describes the work that I, Kathleen Zimmerman, performed as a GRA for Tia Gardener-Simone’s InHabitation Project. The goal of this project was to construct a tiny house as a model for affordable housing for artists. It would be a live/work space that could be transported if necessary but would reside on a property in North Minneapolis. My role was to help design the tiny house and produce drawings and renderings for the project. Our timeline was to finalize designs by mid-July and start construction by August.

Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program
A Roadmap for the Preservation of Urban Gardens and Parklets in Frogtown 2017 Priestly, Kevin

This memo defines urban gardening as community gardens, market gardens, and urban farms. Greening, by contrast, are community-led efforts to beautify private spaces for public use. Frogtown has less vacant land and fewer foreclosed properties and businesses than other parts of the country—Baltimore and Milwaukee in particular—that have adopted and implemented successful, long-term vacant land management solutions.

Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program
Examining Implications of Improved Riverfront Access and Redevelopment in North Minneapolis 2017 King, Eric

While the Twin Cities is nationally recognized as having one of the best park systems in the nation, inequities exist in regards as to who can access and use these amenities. As the Above the Falls Regional Park is developed and Upper Harbor Terminal site redeveloped, it will be important that specific strategies are in place if these new amenities are meant to serve both the Northside community and populations historically underrepresented within the park system along with addressing any potential adverse impacts.

Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program
The Various Impacts & Returns of Comprehensive Value-Based Financial Literacy Programming: Re-Evaluation of the Family Stabilization Plan 2017 McGee, Demitri

This study was designed to reevaluate the Family Stabilization Plan (FSP), that is administered by a local twin cities nonprofit organization entitled Build Wealth Minnesota. In order to do so, three aspects of financial literacy programs were explored including: the impact of FSP on individual program participants, their families and the communities they live in; how FSP program participants and staff perceive financial literacy programs and; identify areas of improvement for the FSP.

Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program
Mental Health and the Gut Microbiome 2017 Mysz, Margaret

In recent decades, mental illness and its complications have been on the rise. Many view this increase in mental illness as a consequence of modernization. Specifically, economic changes, urbanization, dietary changes, sedentary lifestyles, lack of adequate sunlight, and decreases in social support are all believed to contribute to this increase.

Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program
Disrupting Poverty, Part 1 + 2 2016 Linder, Monique

Mentoring Young Adults (MYA) was founded in 2007 to help develop and empower young adults with a vision for their lives by focusing on leadership, employment housing, education, and entrepreneurial skills development. MYA is the only youth serving organization open on Saturdays and with on-call staff 24/7 and during holidays in Saint Paul North End. MYA programming strives to meet the needs of the diversity of African American and other high-risk youth.

Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program
Access and Equity: Reconnecting North Minneapolis and the Mississippi Riverfront 2016 King, Eric

The North Minneapolis community has been cut off from the river for decades by I-94, industry and development. As a result, north and northeast Minneapolis residents are experiencing inequitable access to the benefits of proximity to riverfront parks, trails and open space. Friends of the Mississippi River is working to better connect the North Minneapolis community across I-94 and the current industrial riverfront to the river. A research assistant is needed to research existing plans to better connect the community (e.g.

Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program
A Review of Local Wage Theft Ordinances, Data Practices, & Evaluation Procedures 2016 Cowgill, Jonathan

The phenomenon of wage theft, where employers fail to compensate their employees with the wages due them, is widespread in the United States. The National Employment Law Project (NELP) has estimated the amount of wages stolen in the United States to be tens of millions of dollars per year (Winning Wage Justice, 2011), and a 2008 survey of workers in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York found that 68% of those surveyed had experienced at least one pay-related violation during the past week of work (RISEP, 2013).

Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program
The Struggle: A Review of Common and Evidence-Based Practices in Shelter Care, Residential Treatment, and Day Treatment for Youth 2016 Utterberg, Max

It is no secret that child welfare in the United States is in a constant state of crisis. Even more so, oft-forgotten higher placements such as congregate care and day treatment settings for youth tend to maintain a state of “survival mode”. St. Joseph’s Home for Children in Minneapolis is no different - staff interviews indicated high levels of burnout, turnover, and inadequate program supplies.

Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program
The Struggle: A Review of Common and Evidence-Based Practices in Shelter Care, Residential Treatment, and Day Treatment for Youth 2016 Utterberg, Max

It is no secret that child welfare in the United States is in a constant state of crisis. Even more so, oft-forgotten higher placements such as congregate care and day treatment settings for youth tend to maintain a state of “survival mode”. St. Joseph’s Home for Children in Minneapolis is no different - staff interviews indicated high levels of burnout, turnover, and inadequate program supplies.

Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program
Manufactured Home Park Policy Best Practices for Comprehensive Plan Updates 2016 Cowgill, Jonathan & Lovelace, Hilary

This project is part of All Parks Alliance for Change's initiative for engaging the comprehensive planning update process in communities around the Metro area. The projects provides four product deliverables for All Parks Alliance for Change (APAC).

Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program
A Study of Capital Improvement Budget (CIB) and Neighborhood Sales Tax Revitalization (STAR) Programs across St. Paul, MN Council Districts 2016 Cowgill, Jono and Lovelace, Hilary

This report analyzes 10 years of Capital Improvement Budget data. It finds that spending is unequal across the City, with some indications that it is also inequitable. In particular, the analysis shows east side planning districts experiencing pronounced disadvantages. Through interviews with individuals involved in the CIB process, the report also finds that the allocation process does not explicitly take into account geographic balance or racial equity.

Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program
Reconnecting North Minneapolis and the Mississippi Riverfront 2016 King, Eric

As redevelopment along the North Minneapolis riverfront begins to become a reality as part of the Above the Falls planning efforts, it is important to ensure that river adjacent neighborhoods in North Minneapolis have safe and direct access to these new amenities and opportunities. New trails and parkland both planned and developed within the Above the Falls area have resulted in additional consideration for improving the connections and access for North Minneapolis communities.

Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program
Stryker-George: Plan for Action 2016 King, Eric

The West Side Community Organization is a neighborhood based,
action oriented organization working in the
community of the West Side neighborhood in St. Paul. The
organization engages with both residents and city staff in an
effort to ensure equitable development, planning, and
policies are implemented on the West Side. The Stryker
Ave Study grew out of the desire to achieve these priorities
by helping to revitalize a neighborhood commercial corridor
and provide better opportunities and access for residents
living in this community. The neighborhood has long

Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program
The Food Desert in St. Anthony Park 2016 Hjelseth, Bettsy

A food desert is known as an area that has limited access to affordable and accessible food, and the residents in St. Anthony Park live in one. This research study explored how the food desert in St. Anthony Park affects section 8 housing residents, as well as viable solutions to eliminating it. The researcher mostly used surveying and google research. She found that the residents in St. Anthony Park are negatively affected by living in a food desert, and putting in a food shelf or grocery store would be beneficial to residents of St. Anthony Park.

Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program
Defining Personal Financial Assets in the African American Community 2016 Karongo, Lawrence

This report will detail the wealth disparity that is faced nationally through the literature review conducted. To get an understanding of the crisis in Minneapolis, a qualitative study was also conducted along with short analysis of IPUMS USA data. This study is to help understand how wealth accumulation for African Americans is specific to Minneapolis. The study was conducted to understand a multitude of factors about wealth accumulation among African Americans in Minneapolis.

Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program
Minority Owned Business 2016 Ali, Abdiwahab

MEDA’s mission is to help entrepreneurs of color succeed through consulting, access to capital through loans and loan packaging, and access to market opportunities through corporate and government connections and expertise. Industry cluster analysis has been done to assess our regional economic competitiveness and determine the economic strengths within such industries. The formation and growth of minority owned business has not been studied in the same way.

Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program
A Narrative for Success: Articulating the Value of Hopewell Music Cooperative North 2015 Cowgill, Jonathan

This narrative report uses successful evaluative frameworks and case studies to articulate the value of the Hopewell Music Cooperative North. This narrative shows why Hopewell is an integral part of the local community, identifies its unique attributes, and articulates the value of low and no-cost music education organizations in low-income communities of color.

Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program
Frogtown as a model for innovative vacant land management: Health, economic, and ecological effects of improving access to parks 2015 Priestly, Kevin

Frogtown Green is a resident-led advocacy group that protects and maintains neighborhood green spaces as well as promotes sustainable, healthy, and creative development with-in District 7. By creating and protecting Frogtown’s green spaces Frogtown Green gives the community a unique opportunity to emerge from its dire economic circumstances and to re-build itself as a lively and sustainable community. This project will report on alternative and sustainable uses of vacant land in Frogtown that will bring a boost to the community.

Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program
The Rondo Neighborhood & African American History in St. Paul, MN: 1900s to Current 2015 Volante, Alisha

Rondo Avenue Inc. is dedicated to preserving, conserving, and accurately interpreting the contributions of African-Americans to the City of St. Paul. It is because of this that they are putting together a digital collection of documents that discuss the impact and repercussions of the construction of I-94 on Saint Paul’s black community of Rondo. A student researcher is needed to compile research on the history and destruction of Rondo by the construction of I-94 by creating a Finding Aid. By doing so, it will make information on Rondo more accessible to interested parties.

Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program
Documenting & Improving Alliance Housing’s Landscaping Assets 2015 Vernon, Dawn

Born out of the vision of St. Stephens’ Catholic Church community in 1991, Alliance Housing Inc.’s mission is to change lives and build stronger communities by providing housing stability for very low income individuals and families in Minneapolis and the wider Twin Cities metro area. Dawn Vernon cataloged Alliance’s landscaping assets by text and graphics at its 22 properties in south and north Minneapolis. This project summary shows some examples of the documentation.

Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program
Healthy Foods Healthy Lives Project Sweetie Pie-Camden Greenhouse Project 2015 Singh, Virajita, Alexander Thill, and Daniel Handeen

From the global to the local level a much-needed transformation of our food systems is slowly but surely underway. A green movement across the nation in terms of horticulture and urban agriculture is on the upswing with local community gardens and school integrated gardens emerging across cities and towns in the country. Many of these efforts have become an agency for community development, bringing communities together, including families and youth, to work on tangible projects in the present that have the potential to change their future.

Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program
Urban Farm & Garden Alliance Nelson Report UPDATE 2015 Grewell, Rachel

CURA’s support has allowed the Urban Farm and Garden Alliance to embark on a measurement project for their gardens. The goal was to collaboratively design a system for measuring multiple yields and use the results from that process to create community friendly guides that will be accessible to anyone interested in doing this type of measurement. The objectives of this CURA project included a pilot growing season from the summer through the fall of 2015 in which the UFGA gardens and backyard gardeners weighed and measured their produce.

Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program
Policy and Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing Development In Twin Cities Suburban Communities 2015 Brown, Erika

Other reports have examined regulatory and financial barriers to development of suburban affordable housing, though few have approached the topic from the perspective of the community developer. In partnership with the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers (MCCD), this report uses this lens to examine regulatory and financial barriers that currently exist within suburban communities throughout the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program
Public History Community Research Project for St. Paul Model Cities: St. Paul’s Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, 1925-1941 2015 Volante, Alisha

Model Cities is a 501 (c) (3) private non-profit organization created in 1967 to address health disparities and increase health access among residents of St. Paul’s Summit-University community. Model Cities’ vision is to be actively engaged in the development of urban communities through family support services, affordable housing development, homeownership counseling, commercial revitalization and economic development, principally for low and moderate-income residents.

Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program
Highlighting What Worked: Lessons Learned from the Teen Tech Crew’s Civic Technology Project, What’sWerk? 2015 Struck, Maggie

research work that I did this summer at the Kitty Andersen Youth Science Center
(KAYSC) for the CURA Nelson Program was informed by and grew out of a three
year partnership I have had with the KAYSC as a graduate student from the
University of Minnesota and my current dissertation project, (Re)
Envisioning the Civic: Youth Making Meaning within a Civic Technology Project
. Using a
critical ethnographic research design, my dissertation investigates the
meaning-making practices and civic identity development of the Teen Tech Crew (TTC)

Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program
Cultivate Corcoran: An Analysis of the Corcoran Retail Environment 2015 King, Eric

In 2015 the Corcoran Neighborhood Organization (CNO) began working on developing strategies and methods for cultivating a thriving Corcoran business environment that is supportive and responsive to local resident’s needs in accordance with the CNO Strategic Plan adopted in 2012. Following the key highlights of this strategic plan, CNO has been undertaking efforts to build staff capacity in an attempt to both “strengthen the diverse richness of the area through place-making and the engagement of people,” and “pursue and strengthen partnerships to better serve the community.”

Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program
The State of Black Women’s Economics in Minnesota 2015 Lewis, Brittany

The Black Women’s Business Alliance (BWBA) is a general public benefit corporation business owned and operated since January 2015. BWBA’s mission is to broaden the aspirations and strategies of black women entrepreneurs that create and expand community wealth. BWBA is searching for a student with experience researching and working with Black women’s social, political, and economic issues. This project will look and select key economic factors impacting Black women’s lives in Minnesota by looking at state and local data, national status reports, and census data.

Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program
An Innovative Approach to Environmental Outreach 2015 Sundermann, Charlene

The primary goal of the TCEducate educational outreach program is to raise the neighborhood residents’ understanding of environmental issues surrounding the TCE contamination from the former General Mills facility located on the north central edge of the Southeast Como Neighborhood in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The design of the TCEducate program has multiple educational components for the local residents to either participate in or have access to the information.

Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program
The North Minneapolis African American Housing Opportunity Survey 2015 Chiumento, Alyssa

In the fall of 2013, the Northside Community Response Team (NCRT) approached the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) about help conducting a community-engaged survey of African American residents of North Minneapolis. The findings will provide a better understanding of what could be preventing North Minneapolis households from achieving better housing for themselves and for their families.

Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program