Thriving Cities Lab

The Thriving Cities Lab is an ongoing research initiative at the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Virginia to advance and engage leading-edge research around human and community thriving.

Approach: The Human Ecology


Current Lab Research:

Henry Luce Foundation Grant

Thriving Cities Lab is conducting a year-long research study on university-community partnerships funded by the Henry Luce Foundation. This study is working to 1) understand the current state of the field nationally, 2) illustrate work happening across the country through brief case studies, and 3) uncover and illuminate the necessary civic infrastructure for universities and local communities to establish lasting, effective and collaborative partnerships. This work will be shared and workshopped at the Coalition for Urban Metropolitan Universities Annual Conference in October. The tentatively titled "Field Guide for Urban University-Community Partnerships" will be available online in early 2019.

Collaborative Lab Research:

Surdna Foundation Grant

Thriving Cities Lab is working with Barbara Wilson, Assistant Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning and Liz Ogbu, social impact designer to design a community-engaged approach to pre-development social impact analysis, funded by the Surdna Foundation. Three facilitated design-thinking workshops, a series of expert interviews, and student supported research are being used to gather a variety of methods to assess the social impacts of design and redevelopment. This work will develop a set of social impact metrics intended to be used in other settings both locally in Charlottesville and beyond.


Project Partners: