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Urban Initiative

              News and Events

Research and Reports

Students          Data

Partners          Staff



NEW:  'Bristol County Veterans Needs Assessment,' a study commissioned by New Bedford's Veteran's Transition House; 'Innovating for Growth: A Gateway Cities Symposium,' the proceedings of an October 2013 event hosted by the MA Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and the MassTech Collaborative, documented by the Urban Initiative team (learn more about the event here)

 Welcome to the website of the Urban Initiative, an effort that aims to strengthen our nearby cities by conducting research, building the capacity of our community partners, and facilitating an informed conversation about urban policy. Here you can learn about what we do and why we do it, how UMass Dartmouth students are and can become involved in our work, read reports we've issued, get in touch, and stay updated on our work at the university and in the community. Our most dynamic content can be found on our blog and in our newsletter, so be sure to subscribe to both!


The Urban Initiative's mission is to address challenges and opportunities in the region’s smaller industrial cities, with a particular emphasis on strengthening our nearby communities like Fall River and New Bedford. Not only does the Urban Initiative conduct community-based research in these cities and provide their organizations and institutions with technical assistance, but we also engage undergraduate and graduate students in this work to build their skills and encourage them to invest their talents in Massachusetts' Gateway Cities.

Scope of Services

The Urban Initiative works with a diverse array of stakeholders to address their needs for information and support. Our clients/partners have included municipalities, school districts, state and local public agencies, nonprofits, private organizations, coalitions and associations, and citizen groups. The Urban Initiative's activities include:

Conducting applied research;

Designing and conducting program evaluations to help organizations and programs measure outcomes;

Fostering partnerships and collaborations across sectors and disciplines to encourage coordinated, strengths-based problem solving;

Making information, news, and data related to urban policy more accessible and useful to stakeholders in the region;

Providing a range of technical assistance to enhance the capacity of local stakeholders;

Convening events to disseminate skills and information to members of the community; and

Connecting the UMass Dartmouth community to cities like Fall River, New Bedford, and Taunton by engaging students and faculty in research and technical assistance opportunities.



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