Center for Urban Studies

Who we are

We are a research, neighborhood planning and community development institute devoted to building a just metropolis by eliminating neighborhood inequality and spatial injustice through the development of a neighborhood regeneration project that turns distressed urban places in communities of hope and opportunity. We are concerned with the transformation of distressed neighborhoods in shrinking cities and regions. We seek to understand these neighborhoods, cities and metropolitan regions in order to change them.

What we do

We seek to build healthy communities and to create just cities and metropolitan regions. The intent is to build vibrant neighborhoods based on community control, participatory democracy, and cooperative economics that are anchored in people-centered urban centers based on social, economic, political, cultural and racial justice. To achieve this goal the UB Center for Urban Studies uses a prefigurative neighborhood planning strategy, engages in radical community development, and works with other groups and organizations to transform underdeveloped and marginalized neighborhoods into vibrant, healthy communities that are controlled by its residents.


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“ To build a Just Society, we must be able to imagine a very different, but possible, world.  To create that world, we must be prepared to cast away our illusions and exercise our right to the city.  And we must dedicate ourselves to building a bold new world based on participatory democracy, social-racial justice, and anchored by prefigurative planning.”

Henry Louis Taylor