In the spotlight

UAR Article Featured on NPR

Megan Rubado and Jay Jennings recent Urban Affairs Review article was featured this weekend on NPR's Morning Edition.  Rubado was interviewed by Scott Simon about their article which shows that decline in expert local news coverage is having negative consequences on the quality of local elections. Read More
  • By Elizabeth A. Craigg Walker | Teaching Political Science can be extremely content heavy, so it is a struggle to “flip the classroom,” in which the students complete the content material at home in order to have a hands-on experience within the class.  I created a group project where the students participate in a mock-political campaign.  While this focused on a National Campaign, this could be adapted to a local election context as well.  This project aligns with the Student Learning Outcome of students will understand the political process.  In order for this group project to be effective, I used weekly scaffolding activities to hold the students accountable.  In addition, you should create weekly Student Learning Outcomes that would align with the student understanding a segment of the political process. Read More
  • Yonah Freemark | Upzoning—a policy that increases the allowed scale of new construction—has recently attracted considerable attention from policymakers. States from California to Utah are considering legal changes that would require municipalities to increase the amount of new housing allowed to be built in certain neighborhoods. In Minneapolis, local officials have done what was previously thought politically impossible: Allow the construction of multi-family apartments in neighborhoods formerly zoned only for single-family homes. Read More
  • J. Celeste Lay and Anna Bauman | Charter schools now operate in 43 states and the District of Columbia and their numbers have grown significantly. In most school districts, there are only a handful of charter schools that operate alongside traditional neighborhood-based public schools. However, in 14 urban districts, over 30 percent of the students are enrolled in a charter school. At 93 percent of its public school students in charters, New Orleans tops this list. Read More
  • Plan your conference! Adam Dynes, 2019 MPSA Urban and Local Politics Section Chair previews some of this year's panels and round tables. Read More
  • Deirdre Pfeiffer, Jake Wegmann, and Alex Schafran | The election of President Trump in November 2016 came as a surprise to many. Analysts attributed Trump’s election to various factors, such as hostility towards immigrants and racial minorities in white, working class communities that formerly supported Obama and Russian meddling in the election. However, an underexplored factor is the role that the recent housing downturn may have played in the election. There is research showing that Midwestern and Rustbelt counties with a higher percentage of underwater homes (i.e., owing more than the home is worth) were more likely to vote for Trump in 2016 than Romney in 2012. Read More
  • Melody Crowder-Meyer, Shana Kushner Gadarian , and Jessica Trounstine | How do voters make decisions about which candidates to support? This isn’t just a question we study as political scientists – it’s a question we confront as voters as well. In 2016, one of us had to vote for a presidential nominee by picking convention delegates on a ballot that did not clearly indicate which presidential candidate each delegate supported. In 2017, another one of us was asked to select 5 names from a list of 13 candidates for town board on a ballot with no additional information about the candidates – not even their party affiliations. In contrast, in both of those years, the one of us living in California chose among candidates – in both partisan and non-partisan races – on ballots including not just names but also “ballot designations” indicating candidate occupations and past experience in the office. Read More
  • Cali Curley, Rachel Krause, Richard Feiock, and Chris Hawkins | In our UAR article, we seek to raise awareness about how to treat missing data in urban studies research. A large proportion of the empirical research on urban politics and policy relies on data collected through surveys of local government or community organization leaders. Surveys provide a relatively efficient way to collect large amounts of consistently measured individual or organizational information needed to conduct comprehensive and accurate statistical analysis. This is particularly important if the aim of research is to produce generalizable findings and contribute to understanding a particular phenomenon by testing theory. However, missing data is a common and significant challenge in survey-based research. It often influences the selection of a statistical method of analysis, and, depending on its severity, can undermine the confidence of analysis. Nonetheless, the problems associated with missing data are among the least acknowledged issues when conducting and reporting analysis. Read More
  • David Switzer | Early on in the Trump administration, it was clear that the role of the federal government in environmental protection would be lessened, with then Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Scott Pruitt, suggesting that the Trump administration would focus on “cooperative federalism,” emphasizing the role of states in environmental regulation. The developments at the federal level have led scholars and journalists alike to question how this prioritization of state administration in environmental policy will impact implementation. Read More
  • By Jack Santucci | Cambridge (MA) is the last of 24 U.S. cities to elect its assembly with the single transferable vote (STV). The point of this system is for a group with, say, 30 percent of votes to end up winning 30 percent of seats — if voters sort into groups. But are voters actually sorting into groups under this STV system? Seventy, fifty, or even thirty years ago, those groups were political parties. As the city became overwhelmingly Democratic, that party system collapsed. Read More
  • By Ashley E Nickels, PhD and Leslie Bowser, MPA Candidate | There are many benefits to community-engaged scholarship. As academics, we have the opportunity to use higher education as a tool for democracy and a mechanism for enhancing social equity. As educators, community-engaged scholarship can give students “hands-on” experiences and practical skills development. As more programs move toward online curricula, community-engaged scholarship becomes more challenging. It is time consuming, and, if done poorly, might reinforce inequalities rather than promote social equity. Online students come from diverse locations, often work full-time jobs and have family responsibilities, and attend asynchronous classes, none of which lends itself to engaging in community projects. Read More
  • Yang Yu | There is an increasing tension between the land development regime and the grassroots anti-growth coalition in Hong Kong, where public spaces have played a critical role. After the transfer of sovereignty in 1997, Hong Kong's society seemed to decline from prosperous to turbulent, which has aroused public concern in recent years. Many attribute the current dilemma to the regime transition from the British Hong Kong Government to the Hong Kong Autonomous Government and thus conclude that the transitional process of regime change is driven by exogenous factors. Read More
  • By Del Bharath and Hannah Lebovits | Several recent Urban Affairs Review forum pieces have highlighted classroom practices that foster engaged learning by encouraging students, community organizations and policy makers to critically consider and potentially change some of the most complex issues our cities face. But engaged learning, particularly community-based service-learning, can cultivate more than positive communal outcomes. It can be a transformational experience for participants, especially students. In our forthcoming paper at the Journal of Nonprofit and Public Affairs, we lay out a roadmap for designing and executing democratic service-learning courses that generate critical citizenship and social justice advocacy behaviors in public affairs students. Here, we would like to share not only our findings but our process. We hope that we can inspire others to connect over shared interests and collaborate across disciplines, institutions and geographic boundaries! Read More
  • Justin Reeves Meyer | Arts institutions, defined as organizations that support art production and consumption space (such as performing arts complexes and museums), have been a popular neighborhood amenity in a variety of cities across the United States. They are believed to improve the livability of neighborhoods and to help attract human capital (highly educated and/or wealthy residents) to their locales. But what effect do they have on differently changing neighborhoods? Do new arts institutions help stabilize neighborhoods losing residents? Do they exacerbate the displacement of vulnerable populations in gentrifying neighborhoods? My research, presented in the UAR article "Changing neighborhoods and the effect of U.S. arts institutions on human capital and displacement between 2000 and 2010,” offers evidence and some answers to these questions. Read More
  • David Kaufmann | What comes to mind when I tell you that I study “government cities”? Maybe you think about the cliché of Washington, D.C. as a bureaucratic swamp, about the utopian project of Brasilia, about colonial cities such as Pretoria/Tshwane, or about international government cities such as The Hague. Spot on: these are “government cities”. I study these cities under the label of secondary capital cities, defined as capitals that are not the primary economic centers of their nation states. These secondary capital cities can be found on every continent. Famous examples of SCCs exist in Africa (e.g. Pretoria/Tshwane, Abuja), Asia (e.g. Jerusalem, Islamabad), Oceania (e.g. Wellington, Canberra), Europe (e.g. Berlin, The Hague), North America (e.g. Washington, D.C., Ottawa) and South America (e.g. Brasilia, Sucre). Read More
  • A Tale of Two Neighborhoods

    December 4, 2018

    Mike Craw | Two recent experiences have led me to conclude that we need to go further in analyzing the effect of neighborhood-level institutions on racial segregation across urban neighborhoods. As a board member for the University District Development Corporation (UDDC) in Little Rock, I participated in a decision last year to extend the UDDC’s boundaries to include a neighborhood with significantly lower income and a larger nonwhite population compared to that of the University District. By including this neighborhood within the University District, the UDDC is in a position to organize responses to physical blight and crime that spillover into the University District, improving confidence of homeowners in both communities.  Read More

About the Forum

Urban Affairs Review is a peer-reviewed, bi-monthly journal focused on questions of politics, governance, and public policy specifically as they relate to cities and/or their regions. The Urban Affairs Forum is a space for leading thinkers about urban issues to share their research, ideas, and experiences. Visit us for insights on local and regional politics, urban governance, and public policy that are based in the research findings of our diverse community of scholars and practitioners. You can learn more about the Forum here.

 

We are interested in Forum contributions about urban, local, and regional topics. If you would like to contribute, email Scott Minkoff at minkoffs@newpaltz.edu.

 

Join the Urban Affairs Email List for occasional email updates from us about what is going on at Urban Affairs Review and the Urban Affairs Forum.  We won’t email you too often and it is easy to unsubscribe if you need to.  Sign-up here.

Forum Podcasts