students working on designs at desk

The Presidential Initiative is intended to foster excellence and preeminence in urban and place-based research and creative work at CU Denver through offering funding, coordinating faculty across campus, communicating outcomes, enabling connections with partners in the community, and serving as a resource for sharing data and best practices. In so doing, it is intended to both increase the impact of CU Denver’s urban and place-based research and creative work, and to attract and fund faculty and students interested in this domain. While focused on urban issues generally, the Initiative emphasizes work relevant to the Front Range, particularly when it has implications nationally or internationally.

The Initiative funds projects that address critical and timely topics related to cities, such as:  Social and Environmental Justice, Equity and Inclusion, Affordable Housing, Plan Making, Public Spaces, Global Cities, Smart Cities, Urban Informatics, Artificial Intelligence for Cities, Infrastructure, Transportation and Mobility, Climate Adaptation, Green Infrastructure, Air and Water Quality, Urban Ecology, Biomimicry, Green Real Estate Development, Public Health, Water and Energy Use, Natural Hazards Mitigation, Environmental Policy, Public Finance, Historic Preservation, Creative Industries, Placemaking, Community Development, Arts and Urban Revitalization, Healthcare Access, Economic Development, Behavioral Economics, Education Policy and Practice, Public Policy and Governance, Public Safety, Public Engagement, Entrepreneurship, Urban Design, Construction Management, and much more.

The 2021 Request for Proposals for seed grants  is now closed. Full descriptions of the projects awarded in the 2020 round of funding are given from the links below.

2021 Award Recipients

Educational and Labor Market Outcomes of Place-Based Scholarship Programs: Evidence from the Denver Scholarship Foundation

Date: 11/1/2021
Principal Researchers: Hani Mansour and Brian Duncan

Unit: Department of Economics

Project Abstract: This project will evaluate the effects of a place-based scholarship program, administered by the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF), on post-secondary educational and labor market outcomes. Eligibility for the DSF scholarships are based on residency, merit, and financial need. Administrative student records from DSF and Denver Public Schools will be used to establish eligibility and identify key socioeconomic student characteristics. These data will then be combined with college enrollment and completion data from the National Students Clearinghouse, and with labor market outcomes drawn from Colorado’s unemployment insurance system. 

mansour-editedHani Mansour Bio: Hani Mansour is a professor of economics at the University of Colorado Denver. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Barbara . His research lies at the intersection of labor economics, development economics, and the economics of gender.  Specifically, his recent research examines the labor market effects of U.S immigration enforcement policies, and the career progression of female politicians. Professor Mansour is an IZA Research Fellow and an Associate Editor of the Journal of Population Economics.

duncan-brian-editedBrian Duncan Bio:
Brian Duncan is a professor of economics at the University of Colorado Denver.  His research focuses on the economics of generosity, specifically examining the conflicting motives individuals have for contributing to charitable causes.  Professor Duncan has also written on the economic incentives of foster care and adoption, and on the intergenerational progress of the descendants of Mexican immigrants.  He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Photo Credit: Denver Scholarship Foundation

2020 Award Recipients