Institute for Urban & Regional Infrastructure Finance

Founded in 2017, Institute for Urban & Regional Infrastructure Finance (IURIF) aims to advance research and engagement on strategic issues of infrastructure investment across urban and rural areas. It promotes and amplifies the scholarship in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs in multiple areas of expertise. This includes state and local public finance, infrastructure sustainability, and urban and regional affairs.

IURIF's goal is to address critical challenges we face in the collective provision of infrastructure. The challenges are both immediate and long-term, across geography and beyond national boundaries. With IURIF as a platform, we will contribute to the policy discourse by:

  • Demystifying the system of infrastructure finance and capital budget decisions
  • Enhancing the understanding about value creation through infrastructure development
  • Raising the awareness of urgent infrastructure needs and the associated consequences
  • Facilitating informed decision-making with data, analyses, and the exchange of ideas 
  • Engaging the public and communities in collaborative knowledge building and deliberative problem solving

The research scope of IURIF includes not only physical infrastructure assets such as transportation, water, environmental facilities, or other utilities, but also social infrastructure assets that include education, public housing, and public safety. Building on our faculty's scholarship and previous experiences, the institute is currently working on projects such as:

  • Minnesota Transportation Finance Database
  • Long-term Transportation Investment and Employment Growth in Minnesota Counties 
  • Institutional Arrangements for the Provision of Public Transit
  • Economic and Social Benefits of Human Services Volunteer Driver Programs
  • Innovative Stormwater Finance
  • Truth and Integrity in State Budgeting
  • Inter-local Police Contracts and Collaboration in the Twin Cities Metro
  • Infrastructure Finance, Capital Structure, and Fiscal Sustainability in China

Zhirong (Jerry) Zhao, director | zrzhao@umn.edu | 612-625-7318

Institute for Urban and Regional Infrastructure Finance

Humphrey School of Public Affairs
246 Humphrey School
301 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455

612-625-7318