Research Products

Research Products

Development, ownership, and displacement at the Upper Harbor Terminal

Minneapolis, MN

Through relationships with Policy Think Tank members from Hope Communities, Inc. and Pillsbury United Communities, CREATE has worked to resource organizers and facilitators committed to an equitable vision for the planned Upper Harbor Terminal redevelopment in North Minneapolis. Along with CREATE staff, 2019 CREATE Scholars Natalie Warren, Bach Nguyen, and Rebecca Walker co-produced a series of materials to advance the organizational work of these partners. 

  1. This timeline contextualizes the site and its development history in order to wrap our heads around how we got to where we are – in all its messiness.
  2. Here, a short video about the Upper Harbor highlights community expertise and local activism with a focus on re-framing development through the lens of community ownership. Videography credits: Ryan Stopera 
  3. series of maps illustrate the relationship between park investment, property values, and displacement across Minneapolis. The Upper Harbor is just one city site where these dynamics are playing out. 
  4. Coming soon: a digital tool modeling changes in Minneapolis property values and rent over time. Using a neural-network model, this application not only analyzes current conditions, but offers a first pass at spatially predicting future changes.

Health and recreation along urban streams

Quito, Ecuador

In January 2019, CREATE’s co-director Bonnie Keeler and researcher Kelly Meza Prado traveled to Ecuador to meet with community organizations, university researchers and local environmental leaders from Quito’s water fund and The Nature Conservancy Latin American regional office. Working with local expert Marta Chavez as a CREATE Fellows, we collaborated to explore potential partnerships with community organizations of Quito working on issues related to green space, water, and equity. A storymap of our findings can be viewed here

Our visit illuminated dimensions of work related to water and equity that expanded the scope of topics we address including access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services for people living in source water protection areas as well as the impacts of degraded urban creeks on public health, safe recreation, and housing. These and other lessons can be found in our blog CREATE in Quito, Ecuador: Five stories at the center of water and equity

Land disposession in the Gullah/Geechee Nation

Nassau County, FL

During summer and fall 2019, CREATE Scholars Nfamara K. Dampha and Emma DeVries worked with Gullah/Geechee Nation Representative Glenda Simmons Jenkins to examine historical and ongoing racialized dispossession of Gullah/Geechee lands. You can read more about their collaborative research process in this blog post. This work builds on a longstanding research partnership between Gullah/Geechee Chieftess Queen Quet, Representative Jenkins, and CREATE co-director Kate Derickson, with significant contributions from CREATE Program Coordinator Kaleigh Swift. 

  1. Stormwater Retention Ponds in Nassau County: Towards a Mixed-methods Analysis of Pond Impacts on Gullah-Geechee Residents
    This report launches a collaborative research process into the economic, cultural, and environmental  impacts of stormwater retention ponds (a common side effect of development) on Gullah-Geechee lands in Nassau County, FL. It emerged as a result of initial data gathering through remote geospatial data analysis, policy research, as well as site visits and consultation with community members on a trip to Nassau County in July 2019.  
  2. Home Value: Social & Economic Analysis of Black Wealth in Florida
    Using a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) approach to assess and quantify the net present values of several homeownership scenarios, this report presents findings on the social and economic value of black (Gullah/Geechee) wealth in homeownership in Nassau County, FL. Data were mainly derived from the American Community Survey, Zillow, and relevant websites. Gullah residents were also consulted through survey administrated during a community meeting held in July 2019. CBA findings estimate total black wealth in Nassau County homeownership at US$1.2 billion by 2050. 
  3. This video offers a synopsis of findings from the Home Value report above, assessing Gullah/Geechee land wealth on the eastern coast of the United States in South Carolina and North Florida. Here, Nfamara K. Dampha reflects back important wisdom shared by Gullah/Geechee members on the importance of land to self-determination and identity. In doing so, he contextualizes land loss and explains the mechanism through which the state and corporate interests have systematically expropriated this land.


Mni Sóta Maḳoce curriculum project

Dakota Territories (Greater Twin Cities Region, MN)

In the summer and fall of 2019, CREATE scholars Phil Rooney, Keira Leneman, and Amani Mrutu partnered with Iyekiyapiwiƞ Darlene St. Clair of St. Cloud State University and Dakota Wicohan to support the Mni Sóta Maḳoce Curriculum. 

The curriculum was developed by a team of Dakota scholars and educators, led by Iyekiyapiwiƞ Darlene St. Clair, and meets multiple standards for sixth grade social studies. The curriculum goal is that Minnesota learners will understand the significant Dakota relationship to Mni Sóta Maḳoce and explore how certain Dakota worldviews and values can help create more balance and respect among the different communities who call Mni Sóta Maḳoce home. Read more in this blog post where Rooney, Leneman, and Mrutu reflect on interdisciplinary research, decolonizing educational institutions, and anti-racist pedagogy and community epistomology. 

  1. Infographic on impact of 2019 curriculum teacher trainings
  2. Mni Sóta Maḳoce summer 2019 Teacher Feedback Summary 
  3. Mni Sóta Maḳoce Curriculum Logic Model
  4. Mni Sóta Maḳoce Training Flowchart
  5. Mni Sóta Maḳoce Promotion Flowchart
  6. Webinar (coming soon)

Anti-green gentrification as "placekeeping"

Atlanta, GA

With persistent flood problems, a history of inadequate infrastructural maintenance, and a recent spike in high-profile green infrastructure investments like the Belt Line, green gentrification in Atlanta looks different than in park-rich Minneapolis. CREATE Scholars Vishal Jamkar and Aislyn Keyes, together with undergraduate research assistant Jillian Cady, worked with the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance to put together a StoryMap as a visual tool to capture stories that interrupt and reshape local narratives that characterize these investments as a universal good. Using a framework of “placekeeping,” this StoryMap examines changing landscapes particularly in historically Black and underinvested areas of West Atlanta in order to forefront an approach to environmental stewardship that bolsters the rich natural beauty that already exists.  

Green Gentrification in Atlanta uses ArcGIS StoryMap as an interactive training tool to better understand green gentrification processes unfolding in the city through local case studies, policies, and organizations.  

Visualizing the intersections of environmental investments and housing access for popular education

Minneapolis, MN

Green gentrification research inevitably touches the day-to-day experience of local history, the emotional charge of changing neighborhoods, and the power of communal storytelling. While addressing environmental and housing justice fears through policy analysis is important, making resources available for political mobilization and community-building at the neighborhood level is another necessary layer of the work. In fall 2019, CREATE partnered with a group of students in a graduate course on Neighborhood Revitalization  Theories and Strategies to explore this layer grounded in the ideologies of popular education. 

Tasked with generating a framework popular education mapping tool through CREATE’s existing body of work in consultation with neighborhood-level partner organizations, graduate students Kelsey Poljacik, Stefan Hankerson, Rebecca Walker, Alexander Webb, and Aaron Westling produced the following report available for download: Popular Education for Racial and Environmental Justice in Minneapolis

CREATE PhD student Rebecca Walker and Mapping Prejudice partner Kevin Ehrman-Solberg built upon this groundwork to produce a series of maps that are available both digitally and in physical form. Digital copies can be accessed here. To request borrowing a physical copy please email

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