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Rice University’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research conducts scientific research, sponsors educational programs, and engages in public outreach that advances understanding of pressing urban issues and fosters the development of more humane and sustainable cities.

The Kinder Institute supports new and innovative academic research and outreach programs that offer multi-disciplinary frames to study particular urban issues. Programs are designed to further ongoing research initiatives at the Rice University and serve as catalysts to stimulate informed action within the wider Houston community and beyond.

Programs address particular urban themes, focus on more specific problems or provide a framework for the multi-disciplinary comparative study of urban issues across several metropolitan areas.

Community Bridges

Community Bridges is a program designed to strengthen the relationship between Rice University and the Fifth Ward of Houston. The program fosters cooperation between Rice University students and leaders from several organizations in the community for the development of long-term projects throughout the academic year and summer.

Houston Education Research Consortium (HERC)

The Houston Education Research Consortium (HERC) is a partnership between Rice University and the Houston Independent School District (HISD) which aims to produce rigorous research for the purpose of closing the socioeconomic gaps in educational achievement and attainment in Houston. The main goal is to produce research findings that will lead to more effective and meaningful school programs so that all students, regardless of their background and socioeconomic status, have equal opportunities in the classroom.

Center for Local Elections in America Politics (LEAP)

The Local Elections in American Project (LEAP) database provides unparalleled opportunities for learning about local elections and the political, racial and socio-demographic features of American cities.

Program for the Study of Ethnicity, Race and Culture (PSERC)

The Program for the Study of Ethnicity, Race, and Culture (PSERC) is a campus-wide program of Rice University's Kinder Institute for Urban Research. Our program’s core aim is to explore the meaning of living race in an increasingly complex racial world. We enact this vision through conducting research projects under this larger theme, convening conversations amongst academics and the public at large, and providing various “tools” to advance understanding of what race.

Urban Development, Transportation and Placemaking

The Urban Development, Transportation, and Placemaking Program (DT&P), will address issues associated with the growth and development of the Houston region on both a large scale and a small, "placemaking" scale. It will be the primary vehicle through which the Kinder Institute will address the vibrancy of Houston and its neighborhoods.

Urban Health Program (UHP) 

The Urban Health Program (UHP) is dedicated to fostering community and academic partnerships surrounding issues of health, health care, education, and community planning by highlighting how urban areas can create barriers as well as opportunities for the health of their citizens.

Urban and Municipal Governance (U&MG)

The Urban and Metropolitan Governance (U&MG) Program will conduct research on emerging governance issues, convene stakeholders in the region to discuss this research, and then work to implement the most promising solutions.

The Center for Engaged Research and Collaborative Learning (CERCL)

Through innovative research, engaged pedagogy, and creative approaches to application, the Center for Engaged Research and Collaborative Learning seeks to promote and advance creative models and practices of leadership of benefit to new generations of leaders.