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    As a leader in using community-engaged research methods, Urban brings deep experience in collaborating with communities at the center of our research, policy analysis, and technical assistance. This approach addresses local needs and challenges, nurtures community assets and strengths, and advances equity and inclusion. 

    Contact us today to learn how Urban centers community members’ lived experiences to shape more relevant, effective, respectful, and sustainable solutions to local needs and challenges.


    Urban Helps Federal Reserve Bank Improve Citizens’ Internet Access

    Allen Scott, with Blue Lightning, works on a hole to join fiber optic cable, for high speed internet,

    The Changemakers

    Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s Community Development Department

    The Challenge

    The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City wanted to understand why some neighborhoods have low broadband subscription rates.

    The Work

    Over the course of one year, experts with Urban’s Community Engagement Resource Center—a leader in participatory research methods—advised the Kansas City Fed on how to collaborate with communities to analyze data and draw conclusions and recommendations. This included holding a data walk, a method that brings data to life for residents and allows them to use data to inform the policies and programs that affect their everyday lives. Kansas City’s data walk [PDF] focused on discussing broadband access data with residents, who analyzed the information, suggested next steps, and offered solutions.

    The Impact

    The insights were timely: Over the next several years, states will receive an influx of federal funding to expand high-speed internet access, ensure it’s affordable, and provide people with the skills and support needed to use it.

    Involving residents in designing solutions based on their experiences and recommendations makes it more likely that Missouri will reach its digital equity goals and that 100,000 households in the state currently without internet access will be able to subscribe to this critical service, opening a world of opportunity.

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