ⓘ Center for Urban and Regional Analysis The Center for Urban & Regional Analysis is an interdisciplinary research organization of The Ohio State University. CURA ..


ⓘ Center for Urban and Regional Analysis

Center for Urban and Regional Analysis The Center for Urban & Regional Analysis is an interdisciplinary research organization of The Ohio State University. CURAs mission is to serve as a bridge across academia, industry, and the policy sector by providing spatial analysis of economic, social, environmental, and health issues in urban and regional settings in Ohio and beyond. The organization explores various social, political, economic, geographic, economic, and public health issues using Geographic Information Systems and other spatial analysis techniques. CURA also offers a speaker series which brings a wide range of speakers to campus each semester.


1. History

The movement for an urban center began in 1995 with a recommendation from the Committee on Applied Social and Public Policy. Funding followed three years later in 1998. CURA then was formed at The Ohio State University in 1999 as the Urban and Regional Analysis Initiative URAI. Two years later, in April 2001, the organization officially renamed itself the Center for Urban & Regional Analysis and was given final approval by the Board of Trustees. The change was announced in the Universitys newspaper, The Lantern. The organization was projected to receive $240.000 per year in funding from the state of Ohio along with an additional $150.000 from the Office of Academic Affairs.


2. Research

CURA has conducted extensive research and analysis on various topics such as air traffic, urban growth, land use, food accessibility, crime, housing, and data mapping through GIS technology. It is one of just eight Ohio Urban University Program UUP research institutes. The center provides a place for researchers from many fields to collaborate on critical urban issues.


The Center for Urban and Regional Analysis is closely associated with Ohio States Austin E. Knowlton School of Architecture and the Geography Department but collaborates with a wide range of departments and centers at Ohio State including:

  • The Center for Aviation Studies
  • The Food Innovation Center
  • The Kirwan Institute
  • The Center for Human Resource Research CHRR
  • Ohio State Facilities Operations and Development
  • Chadwick Arboretum and Learning Gardens

3. Projects


In partnership with the Kirwan Institute of Ohio State, CURA is working to digitize Ohios redlining maps from the 1930s.

Spatial Analysis

Ohio States Food Innovation Center and the Mid-Ohio Foodbank are working with CURA and using GIS to find ways to increase the equity of fresh food distribution.


3.1. Projects Data Hosting

In June 2013, CURA, in collaboration with the Chadwick Arboretum and Learning Gardens, completed a web-based Tree Tour of Ohio States historic Oval. The Story Map, hosted on ArcGIS.com, provides the user with a guided walking tour of 32 significant and historic trees along with information about each trees environmental and financial benefits.


3.2. Projects Cartography

In partnership with the Kirwan Institute of Ohio State, CURA is working to digitize Ohios redlining maps from the 1930s.


3.3. Projects Data Visualization

CURA partnered with Center for Aviation Studies at OSU to create maps displaying the accessibility of domestic air service in the United States. The maps show data for over 400 airports with an index describing the level of air service of a given region. The project requires the continued input of data to show how the accessibility of given airports changes over time. Graduate Affiliate Kejing Peng created a detailed web application displaying the results of the air traffic analysis. The T100 Airport Traffic Analysis is both interactive and informative to users, providing a great deal of information on individual airports across the country.

With Ohio States Facilities Operations and Development, CURA Graduate Associate Shaun Fontanella is planning to develop digital signs for central buildings on campus. The signs will display and track energy consumption of each building in order to encourage decreased consumption.

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