Center for Urban and Regional Analysis at VCU

Richmond skyline

The Center for Urban and Regional Analysis (CURA) serves business, government and nonprofit organizations at the local and regional levels. The General Assembly established CURA as the Virginia Center for Urban Development in 1992.

What we do

Policy and program evaluation – We analyze economic, social and fiscal impacts that show what has changed as the result of a policy or program, do best-practice case studies that show why things work well when they do and how to replicate success, and set benchmarks and metrics that help organizations and communities stay on track and show future impacts.

Decision support systems – We construct decision models that help organizations determine where and how to allocate resources, we develop information systems that help communities and regions understand the lay of the land, how things are changing and how they are likely to change, and we build indicator systems to monitor critical changes in community and regional economies that may require new policies.

Strategic planning – We conduct economic development studies for towns, cities and regions to identify new economic uses that bring vitality to communities. We work with mature commercial corridors, Main Streets and downtowns, conducting competitive market studies and creating development strategies to make these areas viable for the 21st century.

How we work

Focus on implementation and practice – We are academics and our work is grounded in sound methods and analysis, but we don’t live in an ivory tower. We take pride in work that is focused on the practical action steps that our clients can take to get the job done.

After-market service – We are consultants, but we don’t run off after we’ve finished a study or service. We remain on call to help organizations work through policy implications and action steps.