The core mission of the Institute of Urban and Regional Development (IURD) is to advance knowledge and practice in ways that make cities and regions economically robust, socially inclusive, and environmentally resourceful, now and in the future. Through collaborative, interdisciplinary research and praxis, IURD serves as a platform for students, faculty, and visiting scholars to critically investigate and help shape the processes and outcomes of dynamic growth and change of communities, cities, and regions throughout the world.
The accelerated pace of urban growth around the world has spawned a host of complex problems related to housing, sprawl, transportation, environmental quality, poverty and the physical transformation of cities. Among the global challenges facing cities and regions today that are being tackled by IURD scholars are climate change, energy efficiency of cities, environmental justice, metropolitan ecosystems, green infrastructure, sustainable urban design, water-resource management, and urban distress in the Global South. For the most part, such problems cannot be solved through the lens of a single discipline but rather must rely on creative thinking and partnering among scholars and stakeholders across many fields and disciplines. In this capacity, IURD serves as a conduit for scholars and educators across many fields on the Berkeley campus to conduct collaborative research, train graduate and post-graduate students, and interact with and inform the practices of public agencies, the media, foundations, community leaders, and citizens. In so doing, cities and regions of the future can be more productive, resource-conserving, and socially just.
Important outlets for the creative ideas and work found at IURD are its Centers and collaborative partners with which IURD is associated. At present, IURD houses five centers, the Center for Community Innovation, the Center for Cities + Schools, the Center for Global Healthy Cities, Global Metropolitan Studies, and the Urban Analytics Lab. Its two related partners are the Urban Inequality and Poverty Collaborative, also housed at IURD, and the CED-backed Global Urban Humanities Initiative. These are where normative theories and critical thinking about cities and regions are forged, and get most directly expressed into practice.
IURD also provides a research home and support to individual faculty and graduate students from the university's professional teaching programs, including city planning, education, law, architecture, landscape architecture and environmental, social welfare, civil engineering, public health, and agriculture & resource economics.
IURD's publication program is an important part of the Institute’s outreach efforts, insuring that research results are rapidly disseminated to a range of public policy stakeholders.
We invite you to learn more about us, our researchers, and our work.