The Urban Institute at Hampton University is the Department of Architecture's service learning component, consisting of professional projects, workshops and research that contribute to the exploration and development of the local urban environment. The mission of the Urban Institute is to fuse progressive environmental design education and student development with community service and urban environmental action.
The Department of Architecture at Hampton University has sought to continue the efforts to increase and enhance its community design activities with the Urban Institute. The Urban Institute was founded in 1998 with initial support from the Fannie Mae Foundation and is housed within the Bemis Laboratory Building on campus where we often function as a "Community Outreach Partnership Center." As a Partnership Center, we make connections with local and national communities, agencies and professional firms to become a vehicle for citizens, groups and municipalities in collaboration with professors and students to explore and respond to pressing urban environmental design problems. The Urban Institute as the community service arm of the Department of Architecture has focused primarily on three specific environmental design issues: 1) Community design awareness and education (including public outreach and participation); 2) Urban and community revitalization, and preservation (including historic building surveys, neighborhood physical planning and transportation planning); and 3) Assistance in the development of accessible and affordable housing and neighborhoods (including architectural design, specifications and details).