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About CityWork


CityWork’s founding question is "what does it mean to live well in the city together?" Through public, free, research on affordable housing, gun violence, incarceration, and more, we are reshaping social and political narratives in order to challenge the status quo of urban inequality.

See our work
About CityWork

Critical geography and data

We believe that the financialization of cities has created extreme poverty. Many policies enacted to alleviate poverty simply end up re-enforcing poverty. But it doesn’t have to be this way. By working at the intersection of critical geography and data we reimagine what a just city looks like, and are empowering others to do so as well. In short, we believe another city is possible.

Our Idea
What We Believe

Hampton roads atlas

Attending to the multiple histories of poverty, segregation, and injustice in the region.

Mapping Rent in Hampton Roads.

We are making real-time rent data in Norfolk publicly available and free. Normally, data like this sits behind hefty paywalls at property tech companies.

By opening it up to the public, we are supporting activist and research efforts to track the growing crisis of unaffordable housing and its intersections with poverty, gun violence, food access, and more.

Click here to access it


This interactive dashboard looks at gun violence in Hampton Roads from 2018 - 2022 alongside a number of social and economic correlates.

Part of the Hampton Roads Atlas, this work begins attending to the multiple histories of poverty, segregation, and injustice that converge around violence in the region.

Click here to access it

Incarceration in hampton roads

Newly released data on incarceration in Hampton Roads paints a sobering picture.

Data on incarceration rates have not always been easy to access, especially in Virginia. Until now. Publicly available for this first time in decades, incarceration is hitting poor and majority-Black communities hard in Hampton Roads.

Click here to access it

cOMING sOON: Liquid Cities

Why is the rent so high?

Across Hampton Roads, financial firms are buying up thousands of apartments. They’re raising rents, making risky speculative bets on housing, and dramatically altering our cities. Coming soon.

About CityWork

Data for the community

A mockup of a project
Learn More About Us

CityWork empowers nonprofits and activists with the research and data they need to advance their mission.  

With over 7 years of nonprofit experience, working with changemakers at the forefront of social betterment is our forte.

Whether its for your next grant or your next address to the state senate, we've worked with organizations at every level to make sure your next project is as well researched as it is impactful.

Stay up to date with all Hampton Roads research.

Donate Here
About CityWork

By democratizing data back into the hands of communities, we are equipping them with tools to advocate on issues that matter most.

Alex Fella, Director
What We can do for you


Data Collection

We identify and gather the data needed to support your project. Whether you have a collection of surveys, oversized spreadsheets, or you don't know where to begin, we find and transform data into meaningful insight and actionable information.

mapping & gis

Using Geographic Information System (GIS) we quickly build and deploy scalable digital maps that capture the imagination and advance change in the region. Whether it's a single map, narrative StoryMaps, or interactive dashboards, we are changing the way we think about what's possible in our cities.

community-focused analysis & Research

We've worked on everything from wearable biotech to gun violence to affordable housing to food deserts to criminal justice reform. We have a robust and diverse research background that allows us to build in-depth research that is always community-focused, easy to understand, and readily shareable with a broad audience.
tHE Latest On Our Research

In The nEWS

Climate Change


Rental data shows housing affordability is concentrated in some Hampton Roads cities

July 28th, 2023
Drew Cano
11 Jan 2022
5 min read

ABC News 13

CityWork director Alex Fella   interviewed about the rising cost of housing in Norfolk

Februry 28th, 2023
Phoenix Baker
11 Jan 2022
5 min read


Shedding light on Norfolk’s rising rental costs...Activists use data to explore community burdens

December 18, 2022
Olivia Rhye
11 Jan 2022
5 min read

What Our Team Has Done

Previous Work

Criminal Justice Reform

For: Virginia State Senator Jackie Hope Glass

Virginia, uNITED sTATES
Virginia Delegate Jackie Glass wanted to advance legislation on criminal justice reform. She enlisted CityWork's expertise to provide the data and research to bolster her legislative agenda.

Every year across Virginia millions of dollars in property are seized as part of criminal investigations. For those found not guilty, much of that property is never returned. By mapping out every property seizure and reimbursement in Virginia since 2018, we built a comprehensive research project for Glass to advance change in neighborhoods across Virginia.


For: Priscilla queen, Virginia Beach

Norfolk, Virginia
A local food access activist and restaurant owner, Priscilla Queen, wanted to launched a Community Fridge program in Norfolk's food deserts.

Using GIS, we ran scenarios on where fridges would have the highest impact and reach the most amount of people within a .25 mile walking distance. We ran this analysis alongside an analysis of current food banks measured by the volume of food distributed and neighborhood transportation access to ensure widest community access.


Empowering Nonprofits with Data and Urban Geography
Let's Talk

advocatING for change

See an example of hOW WE WORK



Who We are

Agile. passionate. innovative.  

CityWork is a micro-research firm that helps nonprofits and activists advance their mission. Our nimble consulting structure allows us to work fast, so you can too.

We empower nonprofits through data, research, and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) to help changemakers see their city in new light.

Through a collaborative approach and the immaginative application of art and research, we design scalable digital services that capture the immagintation and hep advance change in the region.

We empower activists to make meaningful change to cities.

Our Services
Our Services
That's It!
Hope this makes sense. If not, please let me know in the comments.
The Idea
Delegate Jackie Glass' team approached us about helping them pass criminal justice reform in the upcoming Virginia assembly.
We sat down for an attentive listening session, getting to know the scope of the project and the research they needed for their goals, their audience, and the story they wanted to tell.
The Discussion
Stepping into Glass' vision, we provided a detailed outline of exactly how we were going to help support their efforts, what kind of maps we were going to build, and how this data can be used to support state wide reform.
With the state assembly fast approaching, we knew we needed to work fast. In 10 days we analyzed over 20,000 data points across every county in Virginia going back to 2018. We built code to break the data down county by county, then visualized it using interactive maps and charts. We then ran multiple regression analyses to find patterns in the data across the state.

Equipped with the research, Glass and her team can pinpoint their legislative efforts and bring a diverse coalition on board for state-wide reform.

Plus, we'll be making this data public to empower neighborhoods across Virginia.

CityWork in the News

We scrape together rental data across the region, map it out, and make it available for free in order to empower activists to fight against rising rents and the financialization of housing.

Director Alex Fella was recently interveiwed by ABC News13 on this work and rental costs in the region.

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