Our Research

What’s Special About Our Research

Because we know that the questions that get asked are the questions that get answered, community advocates and residents drive our research. We ask and answer the questions that matter most to them in their work for equitable development. Our study is uniquely designed to be:

Collaborative (partners working together across sectors, disciplines, and levels of community)
Community-led (led by the needs, insights, and vision of community partner)
Mixed-method (stories and numbers from residents and big data sets)
Multi-site (focused on trends in each community and across the region)
Longitudinal (learning over a decade)
Action-oriented (makes changes in and across communities)
Advances racial justice, health equity, and research justice

In recent decades, researchers have learned a lot about neighborhood features that support community health and wellbeing. 

We know things like clean air and water, green spaces, safe, quality affordable housing are good for community health in general. However, planners, developers, and municipalities have yet to figure out how not to price out, displace, or harm long-standing residents of disinvested communities when development, investment, and new populations pour in. 

HNS uses Participatory Action Research (PAR). Residents’ expertise is recognized and informs rigorous examination of the connections between development practices that change their neighborhoods and health. PAR produces reliable evidence and usable action strategies that can move communities from gentrification to equitable development.