Director's Message

Dear Faculty, Students, Visiting Scholars and Colleagues,

Welcome to IURD.

IURD is one of America’s first research centers to focus on urban and regional research. Established in 1962, the Institute, through the work of its faculty associates, graduate students and visiting scholars, has provided intellectual and policy leadership to decision makers in California, the United States, and countries around the globe. Allow me to introduce IURD’s strategic initiatives and centers:

  • The Center for Cities and Schools (CC&S) promotes high-quality education as an essential component of urban and metropolitan vitality. Through interdisciplinary research, professional education and collaborative practice, the center bridges the fields of education and urban policy to create equitable, diverse, and livable cities and schools. Directed by Dr. Deb McKoy, CC&S research activities flourish with grant support from a wide range of foundations, school districts, and non-profits.
  • The Center for Community Innovation (CCI) drives IURD’s interests in community-based economic development, diversifying housing options, and strengthening connection to place. Directed by Professor Karen Chapple, CCI is engaged in a wide range of local and regional research and community development assistance projects. 
  • IURD is home to the Center for Global Metropolitan Studies (GMS), a new multidisciplinary teaching and research initiative launched by the university. Directed by Professor Ananya Roy and Professor Richard Walker, the interdisciplinary faculty will work together to better understand the implications of worldwide growth in metropolitan areas and to develop strategies for better managing urbanization processes and outcomes. The GMS Center holds faculty seminars and lectures and initiates multidisciplinary research on urban regions worldwide.
  • IURD convenes a lively and diverse Visiting Scholars Program. Each year approximately 15 – 20 scholars from around the world spend time at the Institute. The program organizes visitor arrangements and hosts frequent seminars and lectures offered by visitors.

Beyond these activities, IURD staff is committed to working with faculty and graduate students to prepare research proposals, search for and secure funding, and provide ongoing project management support to Principal Investigators. Feel free to contact me if you have suggestions on how to make what IURD does even better.


Best regards,


Robert Cervero
Institute Director, Professor, City and Regional Planning, Carmel P. Friesen Chair in Urban Studies