How do we inform regional change...



Drawing on inter-disciplinary expertise, the CRC produces cutting edge research on critical dimensions of regional change, including civic engagement, economic development, environmental justice, regional equity, and youth health & well-being.



The CRC work is founded on the principle of collaboration, and the belief that regional change is catalyzed by diverse groups of individuals and organizations engaged in a process of mutual inquiry and action.



Field-shaping research methods and data tools, such as socio-spatial mapping, multi-indicator indices of well-being and vulnerability and participatory action research provide unique contributions to scholarship and practices of regional change.



The CRC’s research is solutions oriented and intended to inform public policy, community advocacy, economic development, and human/ social service sectors in their work to build healthy, prosperous, sustainable, and equitable communities and regions.



Clear and visually compelling designs and creative use of multiple media ensure that the CRC’s research reaches and informs its intended audiences.

Latest CRC News

Latest CRC News

Finding a Unified Vision for the Future of the Sacramento Waterfront

July 2017

The Sacramento River acts as a natural barrier between the cities of Sacramento and West Sacramento, but members of the local district council are exploring how to transform the waterfront so the river serves as a destination that connects rather than divides the metro area…Nearly $1 billion in infrastructure and public improvements have been made along the river by both [cities] in the past decade, yet the riverfront has yet to emerge as a distinctive place or as a true economic engine for the region….[Both cities] have a history of collaboration on regional solutions in the form of joint powers authorities (JPAs). Recently, a JPA was set up to oversee the implementation of a new streetcar that will serve both cities…“In Sacramento, we have several precedents for a similar type of organization, and I think the idea of a precedent is compelling,” said workshop co-chair Bernadette Austin, a member of the ULI Sacramento riverfront development committee and associate director of the Center for Regional Change at the University of California, Davis. “An existing JPA between the two cities could take on the role of guiding riverfront development,” Austin said. READ MORE


Weaving Community-University Research and Action Partnerships for Environmental Justice

June 2017

This article is a case study of one Community-University Research and Action Partnership (CURAP) focused on soil lead, urban gardening, and environmental justice in Sacramento, California.  We argue that creating and sustaining CURAPs requires a process of weaving together diverse strands of knowledge, resources, and lines of accountability that connect all parties involved.  Like the physical process of weaving fabric, weaving CURAPs involve creative and collaborative uses and responses to tension between all elements of a partnership.  This is especially true in long-term partnerships intended to address systemic environmental injustices.  This case highlights the power relationships and challenges associated with such partnerships and presents several lessons to enrich the scholarship and practices of action research.  READ MORE


Keeping Our Promise: A Guide to Evaluation in Sacramento's Promise Zone

April 2017

In April 2015, Sacramento received the federal Promise Zone designation awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which created a 10-year partnership between federal, state, and local agencies to address the needs of distressed communities. This places the City of Sacramento among 22 jurisdictions nationwide awarded the federal Promise Zone designation. In support of these efforts, the Center for Regional Change partnered with the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency (SHRA) and Converge Consulting, Research & Training to develop an evaluation guide for the work being conducted within the Promise Zone.

Taking into consideration the varying levels of capacity and resources among Promise Zone partners, this guidebook provides evaluation options, tools and resources, and guidance on “next steps” to track progress over the life of the initiative. With a focus on continuous learning and improvement, evaluation can strengthen the effectiveness of Promise Zone activities and understand how to create positive change for residents living in Sacramento.  READ MORE

Equity Summit Looks at Stress on Child Development

April 2017

The 2016-2017 Yolo County Education and Equity Summit Series Presents: “Effects of Social Conditions and Stress on Child Development” on Wednesday, from 3 to 4:30 the Yolo County Office of Education Conference Center in Woodland.  The keynote speaker is Ross A. Thompson, Ph.D., a distinguished professor of psychology at UC Davis, and director of the Social & Emotional Development Lab.  “Dr. Thompson’s expertise and research in understanding young children’s development will benefit all participants” says Dr. Jesse Ortiz, Yolo County superintendent of schools.  The event is free and open to the public. Registration at is recommended.  For additional information, including resources from prior presentations, please visit:  This event is sponsored by the Yolo County Office of Education and UC Davis Center for Regional Change.  READ MORE

$3M Coming to to the Valley; Where Will it Go?

April 2017

A San Joaquin Valley-based health foundation is investing $3 million in 70 regional nonprofits with the ambitious goal of improving health outcomes through policy work, but there are varying levels of detail as to how the money will be used.  Some groups have very specific plans for the funds; others not so much. Creating a better life for those living in the San Joaquin Valley is at the heart of the campaign. It’s among the most economically depressed regions in the state, boasts one of the lowest national rates of higher educational attainment and is home to 400,000 kids living in poverty, according to a report the organization compiled in January in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the UC Davis Center for Regional Change.  READ MORE