Credit: David Schalliol

Neighborhood Science

Neighborhood Science is our name for CORNERS’ unique approach to research. Working closely with our community and civic partners, we collect and analyze a wide range of data on the complex networks of residents, institutions, and organizations. These make up the “connective tissue” of communities and – by extension – our cities.

We seek to include the knowledge, experiences, and voices of communities and community members in the scientific process. We then integrate it with data from agencies and organizations to help us better understand and develop solutions to neighborhood challenges.

Our research illustrates how social relationships shape what happens across entire communities, and how the power of networks can be leveraged to improve health and safety for more equitable neighborhoods.

Collaborate + Create

The CORNERS research process begins with deep engagement and relationship-building with our community and civic partners. Together, we identify those questions that are most important to our partners and develop ways to answer them. We then collect all kinds of data about cities, communities, and residents to understand neighborhood patterns.

Analyze + Interpret

Next, our research team analyzes data and applies network science to understand how social relationships shape neighborhoods and communities. Our collaborative, hands-on approach involves ongoing engagement with our partners to ensure our analyses and interpretations make sense. Co developed analytical tools can be used on the ground to help build their capacity and enhance their work.

Reflect + Act

Finally, community and civic organizations use our research to further improve the health and safety of neighborhoods. Our findings help practitioners enhance the effectiveness of their programs and civic leaders can use our evidence to develop more equitable policies.

The Corners Process
Here’s how it works

Credit: Barbara Kinney/Emerson Collective

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The Center for Neighborhood Engaged Research & Science (CORNERS) is housed at Northwestern University’s Institute for Policy Research. We develop transformative research projects with community and civic partners aimed at improving health and safety for more equitable neighborhoods.
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