The CEC Story

“…social inequalities are partially spatially constructed and are, therefore, malleable.”

Our team includes students, faculty, organizations, institutions, and advocates who believe that Culturally Enriched Communities, healthy and connected communities in which everyone can thrive, are central to Minnesota’s ability to continue to prosper and flourish in the future. 

Guiding our work is the premise that social inequalities are partially spatially constructed and are, therefore, malleable. My research with Hmong, Somali, Mexicans, Ojibwe, and African Americans in Minnesota exposed how design characteristics of homes can support or suppress individuals’ attempts to create meaning in their lives, which in turn, impacts well-being and delineates the production of health, income and educational disparities.

As home is more than housing, we expanded the study beyond residential environments. By connecting with mayors, planners, service providers, organizations, and institutions from urban and rural Minnesota as well as Copenhagen (one of the world’s healthiest and happiest cities), we gathered best practices that can be used in the creation of Culturally Enriched Communities.

Search for best practices by exploring the Minnesota map or by using the search buttons on the upper right hand corner of the website. We hope you will use this broad base of solutions and interventions to raise awareness about the role the built environment can play in reducing disparities and discover new ways to shape your community’s economic and cultural vitality.

Tasoulla Hadjiyanni, Ph.D.
Professor of Interior Design
College of Design
University of Minnesota