Project Areas

Students working in the field

Community and Economic Development

The vitality of our communities relies on economic opportunities and strong local services. The Institute for Policy Research and Engagement (IPRE, formerly the Community Service Center) works to enhance this vitality by engaging communities, businesses, trade associations, and nonprofit partners in planning for vibrant, sustainable local economies.

Students jumping

Parks, Recreation, and Open Spaces

Public recreational spaces provide opportunities for people to develop more active lifestyles and gain access to healthier environments. IPRE partners with communities and park districts across the state to develop parks and open space plans that will best serve local residents and visitors.

Students looking at blueprints

Natural Hazards and Community Resilience

Communities are threatened by numerous hazards, from chronic floods and storms to potentially catastrophic earthquakes and tsunamis. IPRE helps local governments plan ahead for such events, reducing their impact and speeding recovery.

Students working with recycling and garbage

Community Involvement

Engaging people in planning and public policy is central to the democratic process. IPRE assists communities in developing appropriate strategies to engage community members in planning and public policy issues.

Students standing


As technology, policy, and resources shift, so must our strategies for transporting people and goods. IPRE develops plans to expand and enhance transportation systems to include more sustainable options.

Student standing in front of a Food Bank sign

Food Systems

Food is an essential need for all communities, and the systems that generate and distribute that food are becoming increasingly complicated. IPRE brings expertise to planning for innovative food systems that serve the needs of local communities sustainably.

Solar panels

Natural Resources

Oregon’s unique natural resources are important for local economies and quality of life. IPRE works with communities to develop strategies for sustainable use and conservation of natural resources.

Students holding a project poster

Equity and Human Rights

Communities are responsible for serving all residents equitably. IPRE designs projects to incorporate public input and address human rights issues directly.