Who We Are

Polis (po·​lis | \ ˈpä-ləs \): a state or society especially when characterized by a sense of community; city (Greek) — Merriam-Webster Dictionary

The Polis Center is an applied research unit at IUPUI committed to linking university and community knowledge. By combining data and information technologies, wisdom, and proficiency effectively across a variety of domains, we support research and analysis for better decision-making and to help improve policy for the greater benefit of communities.

From inception, The Polis Center has been guided by core values that include: making a difference, collaboration, developing creative solutions to real-world problems, accountability, integrity, respect, and stewardship.

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Healthy Communities

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Knowledgeable Communities

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Resilient Communities

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Community & Culture

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Spatial Humanities

Further Information

Encyclopedia of Indianapolis

In 1994, we published a 1,600-page encyclopedia that provides a comprehensive social, cultural, economic, historical, political, and physical description of Indianapolis. It is hailed as a national model for urban encyclopedias.

Project on Religion and Urban Culture

From 1996 to 2002, we used a community-academic collaboration to explore and understand the ways in which religion and community have shaped each other in Greater Indianapolis. In the process, we compiled the largest collection of meaningful religious data ever gathered on one American city. Working through community-based partnerships, we cultivated public inquiry and civic conversation about the role of religion in this exemplar metropolitan community. This seven-year study of religion and community in Indianapolis was funded by grants from Lilly Endowment, Inc.