The District of Columbia and the surrounding suburbs face complex, interconnected problems within a rapidly evolving region. The Urban Institute conducts research on a variety of policy challenges facing the Washington region, including work on child well-being, education reform, affordable housing, homelessness, poverty, crime, and health care. Through these projects, the Institute helps policymakers understand Washington's unique needs and develop practical strategies to meet those needs.
Research areas include:
Crime and Justice
District of Columbia Crime Policy Institute Focused on crime and justice policy in Washington, D.C., DCPI’s mission is to support improvements in the administration of justice and public safety policies through evidence-based research.
NeighborhoodInfo DC Focused on supporting community organizations, neighborhood leadership, residents, and government through providing a wide-range of data indicators about D.C. neighborhoods.
Publications on Washington D.C. Region
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DC test scores are rising across the board, even after accounting for changing demographics. The mayor should channel this progress by ensuring stability for all students and equity for DC’s poorest students.
Open data—data that can be freely used, modified, and shared by anyone for any purpose—is key to creating an accountable and effective government. Mayor Bowser and her staff will need to firmly establish the policy and practice of open data, catalog current data assets, build a supportive culture, and engage external stakeholders
This report is the first part of an affordable housing needs assessment for the DC Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. We examined the District of Columbia’s Inclusionary Zoning (IZ) program through interviews, document review, and data analysis. The IZ program has great potential to help expand the city’s supply of affordable housing, particularly in neighborhoods undergoing rapid development. While the overall design of DC’s IZ program seems sound, we believe that adopting the proposed IZ administrative regulations will help developers, renters, and owners save time and improve their understanding of the program and its requirements.
This report presents baseline and process study findings of an evaluation of the Urban Alliance high school internship program, which provides training, mentoring, and work experience to high school seniors from distressed communities in Washington, DC, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, and Chicago. The report, which focuses on the program's operations in DC and Baltimore in the 2011–12 and 2012–13 program years, explains the internship program model and its various components; describes the characteristics of youth participants; and presents findings from dozens of interviews and focus groups with program staff, youth, job mentors, and other stakeholders.