Our Beliefs


To advance policies, practices, and programs that are kind to urban people and environments.

The UrbanKind Difference

UrbanKind Institute is a think-and-do tank. Rooted in a commitment to equity and social justice, we work at the interface of community experiences, public policy, and academic research. By bridging the gap between the three, we bring people and ideas together that would not likely otherwise meet. 

Informed by a diverse set of experiences and a critical, interdisciplinary lens, we undertake research, community building, and equity-based facilitation. We seek to expand equitable and just outcomes, strengthen the voices of often-excluded populations, and improve youth outcomes. Our work spans several areas, including: education, environment, housing, jobs, neighborhoods, public safety, and transportation.

Our success is rooted in our belief in asking critical questions. Acknowledging, understanding, and discussing contentious or uncomfortable issues is necessary to address problems and create effective solutions. Positive change--change that benefits all parties--doesn't happen without honest and sometimes tough conversations.


Our Guiding Principles

  • Cities should be built with people for people. Cities will prosper when lived experiences of urban life are central to urban planning, design, and decision-making processes.
  • Everyone should live in a healthy home and neighborhood. 
  • Residents who have stuck it out through tough times in their neighborhoods should be able to stay when the neighborhood changes for the better. 
  • Lived experience and book smarts are both forms of knowledge. Each is an important part of understanding.
  • The voices and experiences of long-term and low-wealth residents should be involved from the beginning and throughout any urban or community development project.
  • Young people matter. They should be respected, not feared or dismissed. Their voices should be heard, supported, and empowered to make the changes that they seek.
  • Publicly-held land should benefit the public first.

Learn more about our work