PLACE-BASED HYPERLOCAL ENGAGEMENT
Across the United States and Canada, many CUMU member institutions are committed to place-based engagements (Yamamura & Koth, 2018) and value them as a powerful way to connect the resources and investments of the campus to the development of communities in ways that foster mutually beneficial impacts.
A growing number of CUMU member institutions are undertaking hyperlocal engagement—strategically organized community engagement efforts to focus on a bounded area within its larger city or metropolitan region in ways that enhance the institution’s ability to form partnerships and advance community development.
In spring 2019, Lina Dostilio, Ed.D., associate vice chancellor for community engagement at the University of Pittsburgh, was announced as CUMU’s first research fellow. Recognizing hyperlocal engagement as a growing area of practice among CUMU member institutions, Dr. Dostilio completed a benchmarking study, as part of her fellowship, to catalog the diversity of hyperlocal engagement strategies and to investigate which areas of community capacity were of interest to hyperlocal engagements. The research study was supported by the Kresge Foundation.
As an Anchor Institution, we have a shared interest with our neighbors in a safe, vibrant, and healthy Cedar Riverside neighborhood.
The future of our institution is intertwined with the future of our community.
Oceanside is in our University’s service region; we have a guaranteed admission MOU with the Oceanside School District; we are the only public four-year institution in the region. All these factors influenced our decision to participate and engage with the Promise.
Hyperlocal Engagement Profiles
Within this benchmarking study, hyperlocally engaged institutions value partnership and co-creation and feel resident-centered community capacities are highly important. Highlighted below are four place-based hyperlocal engagements from DePaul University, University of Pittsburgh, Simon Fraser University, and University of San Diego.
Mapping Hyperlocal Engagements Across the CUMU Membership
Responses to a survey of CUMU member institutions provided information about 35 engagements across 32 communities within the U.S. and Canada. Of these, 26 were hyperlocal in that they focused on a bounded area within a larger city or metropolitan region. The 26 instances of hyperlocal engagement came from 22
institutions. The interactive map below highlights these engagements.
Click the toggle icon in the upper left of the map to see interactive legend.
About CUMU’s Hyperlocal Research Team
In spring 2019, CUMU created a research fellowship to support inquiry that would identify, implement and evaluate innovative strategies to address regional opportunities, ambitions and needs regarding hyperlocal engagements. This report was produced as part of the project undertaken by the 2019 Research Fellow, Lina Dostilio, Ed.D.
Dr. Lina Dostilio is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Community Engagement at the University of Pittsburgh. She is responsible for supporting community-facing work that includes community relations, cultivating strategic opportunities to advance Pitt’s community engagement agenda, and implementing the University’s place-based community engagement initiative through the development of neighborhood-based community engagement centers.
- Mary L. Ohmer, PhD, Associate Professor, Social Work, University of Pittsburgh
- Kara McFadden, Research and Evaluation Associate, University of Pittsburgh
- Sera Mathew, PhD, Assistant Professor, Point Park University
- Carrie Finkelstein, Graduate Student Assistant, University of Pittsburgh
This research study was supported by The Kresge Foundation.
The Kresge Foundation is a private, national foundation that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and social investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services and community development in Detroit.
The Kresge Foundation’s American Cities program seeks to expand opportunity by promoting effective and inclusive community development practice in American cities. The program invests in three areas: knowledge exchange; surfacing, seeding and scaling effective and/or new approaches to community development; and place-based work in Memphis and New Orleans.