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Project Navigation
  • Research and Data Analysis
  • Data Tools and Modeling
  • Program Evaluation
  • Convening
  • Strategic Advising and Assistance
  • Community Engagement


  • Strategic Advising and Assistance
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    Urban draws on research evidence to advise governments, nonprofits, foundations, and practitioners on strategies for widening opportunity, advancing racial equity, and using resources effectively to best serve people and communities in need. Our efforts range from advising on successful investment strategies by offering evidence-based guidance on promising trends to providing trainings, consultations, testimonies, and technical assistance that use data to better target interventions. 

    Contact us today to learn how Urban’s evidence-based strategic advice can help strengthen investment strategies, program outcomes, and policy decisions.

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    Urban Expert’s Research Informs Federal Legislation

    A black plume rises over East Palestine, Ohio, as a result of a controlled detonation of a portion of the derailed Norfolk Southern train
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    The Changemakers

    Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and J.D. Vance (R-OH)

    The Challenge

    After a Norfolk Southern train derailed, exploded, and spilled toxic chemicals into the 5,000-resident town of East Palestine, Ohio, federal legislators sought expert guidance on how to ensure communities across the country can remain safe from railway disasters.

    The Work

    After the East Palestine train derailment, one of Urban’s experts mobilized to offer recommendations on rail safety. Urban published the researcher’s evidence-based suggestions for reducing the incidence and effects of catastrophic derailments, which were then widely shared on social media. The work caught the attention of legislators and the media, which prompted invitations to meet with the staff of Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and J.D. Vance (R-OH) as they developed the bipartisan bill to tackle railway safety.

    The Impact

    The Railway Safety Act of 2023 passed out of committee. The legislation reflected many recommendations from Urban’s expert, including requiring that railroads fund training for emergency responders in rural communities and that rail carriers notify each state in advance if they are carrying hazardous materials.


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