The Center for Community Innovation (CCI) nurtures effective solutions that expand economic opportunity, diversify housing options, and strengthen connection to place. The work of the center focuses on four topic areas:
- Revitalizing neighborhoods
- Developing economic resilience
- Designing and programming for the public realm
- Producing and preserving affordable housing.
At present, our revitalizing neighborhoods research is addressing retail in low-income neighborhoods and vulnerability to gentrification. Our resilience work looks at issues of the green economy and industrial land supply. Our concern with the public realm is leading us to investigate community arts and social interaction in public spaces. In the area of housing, we are researching mixed-income communities and the foreclosure crisis.
CCI acts primarily as evaluator, supporter, and translator of local innovation. We uncover the innovative practices that community and local actors create to address housing, community and economic development problems. Our focus is on “strong market” regions and how their economic growth and physical development patterns can become more equitable and inclusive.
CCI adopts a community-based research approach that builds a research agenda out of community concerns, but finds answers using rigorous academic methods.We aim to make academic research more accessible to stakeholders by interacting throughout the research process, from developing research questions to crafting a methodology to thinking through our findings. We also build the capacity of nonprofits and government through convening practitioner leaders, providing technical assistance and student interns, and interpreting academic research.