The Center for Urban and Regional Studies is both a research center and a Think-Tank. It is affiliated with the Graduate Program for Urban and Regional Planning in the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology. The Center was established in 1969 by the late Professor Moshe (Morris) Hill, and was the first of its kind in Israel. Since 1989 the Center has benefited from the generous support of Mr. and Mrs. Philip M. Klutznick, former US ambassador to the United Nations and president of Bnei Brith organization.
The Center’s mission is to contribute to the understanding of urban and regional development processes and to assist policymaking at the national, regional and local levels. Two principles guide work at the Center: research excellence at an international standard and contribution to the enhancement of quality of life in Israel.
The Center's researchers have high-level expertise and substantial experience in the following fields: land use planning, economic development, social planning, environmental psychology, planning law, environmental aspects in planning, housing, transportation, urban renewal and regeneration, regional planning, real estate development, landscape planning and design, planning informatics, public participation, conflict resolution, and planning for specific groups: women, elderly, children, Arab population, and immigrants. The Center’s researchers collaborate with other research institutions at the Technion and with research universities in Israel and abroad.
Research work at the Center is funded by international and national foundations and institutions, by the majority of Israel's government ministries, the local authorities and other public and semi-public bodies, primarily in Israel. The Center uses various channels to disseminate its research among decision makers, planning practitioners and the general public. One main channel is through the publication of books, research reports and position papers, in Hebrew and English. In addition, the Center initiates and hosts local, national and international seminars, workshops and symposia. Members of the Center often serve on public committees, both national and local and they frequently participate in scientific and professional conferences around the world.