Center for Urban Research
Urban Change: New York and Beyond
The Center for Urban Research at The CUNY Graduate Center organizes basic and applied research addressing the core issues facing New York and other large cities, often in partnership with foundations, public agencies, nonprofit organizations, and other clients. It also trains students in research techniques and presents public forums on urban policy issues.
A common thread in these activities is to understand the broad forces driving different forms of inequality, the dynamics of inter-group relations, and neighborhood change in large urban areas, as well as their interaction with political participation, civic engagement, and the role of government.
The Center’s research and policy analyses focus primarily within the areas of demographics, immigration, community organization, economic and workforce development, educational equity and access, labor markets, crime, and political participation. We work at scales ranging from individuals, their households, and their neighborhoods to cities and metropolitan regions, often with a national or international comparative perspective.
Our Research Units
The New York City Labor Market Information Service (LMIS) is a CUNY-affiliated labor market research and consulting nonprofit. We are dedicated to connecting individuals and communities to economic opportunity. We help the institutions, organizations, and programs who share in this goal harness labor market information for maximum impact.
The CUNY Mapping Service engages with foundations, government agencies, businesses, nonprofits, and other CUNY researchers to use spatial information and analysis techniques to develop and execute applied research projects. It specializes in developing online applications that provide intuitive access to powerful data sets, displayed visually through interactive maps and in other formats. Such applications have yielded new insights about neighborhood change and environmental challenges in New York City, patterns of electoral participation, and racial change in major metropolitan areas. It has also assisted many New York City agencies in better targeting their operations.
The CUNY Data Service, the first local affiliate of the New York State Data Center in the Census Bureau's local affiliate program, maintains and analyzes complex data sets from the federal government and elsewhere, including geographic and microdata from the 1970 - 2000 decennial Censuses and subsequent data from the American Community Survey and Current Population Survey. It makes these powerful sources of information available to faculty and students and conducts detailed analysis on important topics such as the changing demographics of the city’s neighborhoods and its labor market.
Projects and Initiatives
Critical Research for New York City
We specialize in analyzing large data sets, especially the Census data sets, visualizing spatial patterns through maps, synthesizing this information through reports and other written materials, and developing online applications to provide access to our results. Each of our constituent units undertakes distinct projects but also collaborates together and with CUR's research team to bring their areas of expertise to bear on our work.Explore Research Projects
Books and Publications
The Results of Our Work
Research efforts undertaken by CUR have yielded award-winning books and studies on topics ranging from the life trajectories of young people from immigrant and native minority backgrounds to the determinants of political participation in New York and other large cities to the changing nature of the urban labor force to mapping metropolitan demographic change at a national scale.Books, Publications and Presentations
Aug 23, 2021
New York’s first citywide election using ranked choice voting has now been mapped in detail by the Center for Urban Research (CUR) at The Graduate...
Jun 22, 2021
Professor John Mollenkopf was a friend of artist Alice Neel, whose retrospective is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and her portrait of him is now at Brown University.
- Faculty News
Aug 5, 2020
The director of the CUNY Mapping Service tracks areas of the country that have low census response rates. He shares his expertise on the Census Bureau's recent decision.
Apr 30, 2020
Richard Alba Elected to National Academy of Sciences in Recognition of Work on Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration
Alba, a distinguished professor of sociology, received one of the highest honors in academia for his vast body of work.
- Faculty News