2017

Artists, Temporality, and the Governance of Collaborative Place-making

December 11, 2017 // 0 Comments

Alison Bain and Friederike Landau | Work space for artists is becoming increasingly scarce in the city of Berlin. After the fall of the Berlin wall, artists were often welcomed in formerly run-down neighborhoods in order to creatively upgrade them, but their spatial presence in inner-city areas has undergone a transformation. Even though artists continue to play a crucial role in shaping the image and character of Berlin as a creative and open-minded place that attracts tourists, investors and new businesses, in times where both residential and commercial rent prices are rising and gentrification leaves visible marks all over the city, artists increasingly face the difficulty of finding affordable work and living space to pursue their creative projects. In response, various artist-led and cultural workers’ movements have collectivized to find alternatives to market-oriented models of ownership and tenancy. For example, the initiative AbBA – Allianz bedrohter Berliner Atelierhäuser (Alliance of Endangered Studio Houses) seeks to speak back to artists’ spatial displacement. Read More

Picking Winners: How Political Organizations Influence Local Elections

December 4, 2017 // 0 Comments

Andrea Benjamin and Alexis Miller | Endorsements are a part of most elections.  In the urban and local context, they can come from other elected officials (National, State, and Local), Political Action Committees (PACs), and newspapers.  Regardless of the source of the endorsements, the conventional wisdom is that candidates seek out endorsements because they believe they help voters make informed decisions.  Despite their popularity during campaigns, we know very little about how local elected officials, PACs, and community leaders decide which candidates to endorse. We know even less about the extent to which voters are aware of these endorsements when casting their ballots.  Based on our study, PACs use a combination of questionnaires, interviews, and member deliberation to determine which candidates they endorse and voters are aware of these endorsements as they vote.  In local elections that lack partisan cues, these endorsements may provide voters with useful shortcuts about which candidates to select. Read More

Speculative Charter School Growth in the Case of UNO Charter School Network in Chicago

November 29, 2017 // 0 Comments

Benjamin F. Teresa and Ryan M. Good | The Obama administration emphasized charter schools as a reform strategy; early indications from the Trump administration signal a wholesale drive toward expanded “choice” options. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is now the highest-profile advocate for school choice, arguing alongside other proponents for liberalized regulation and financing for the expansion of charter schools. In their estimation, when parents are empowered to choose the school that best meets their children’s needs, schools are compelled to compete for students, and this marketplace delivers education efficiently and effectively to the public. Read More

Can British Columbia be a Model for US Regional Governance?

November 17, 2017 // 0 Comments

Hal Wolman | Local government fragmentation in US metropolitan regions has been widely recognized as a critical problem with seriously adverse consequences impeding the ability of the region to engage in actions that would be beneficial to the region as a whole.  Despite this recognition, the problem has proven nearly impervious to effective solutions, although partial remedies such as single-purpose regional special districts, inter-local agreements, and planning and discussion forums such as Councils of Government (COGs) and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) abound.  Yet in many other countries – including most proximately Canada in the province of British Columbia – the widespread use of multi-purpose regional special districts provides a possible model for a successful and improved response to regional governance in the U.S.  The Canadian model, in particular, appears to address effectively the major roadblock to regional governance in the U.S., namely the fear of local governments that they will lose their autonomy and not be able to pursue their own interests in the presence of a regional government institution. Read More

Public Service Provision and Urban Stratification in Shanghai

November 13, 2017 // 0 Comments

Huiping Li | The interaction between public service provision of local governments and housing market can reinforce each other and polarize the socioeconomic space in this global city, Shanghai, even though the governance system is centralized instead of fragmented as in the US. Therefore, how to balance between different types of public expenditure within local governments has significant social and economic implications. Read More

Coffee Shops and Street Stops: Policing Gentrifying Neighborhoods

November 9, 2017 // 0 Comments

Ayobami Laniyonu | Readers of this blog are probably familiar with the concept of gentrification and how it has radically transformed neighborhoods and communities throughout America. Generally speaking, gentrification describes the transformation of areas of a city: from areas previously characterized by inadequate public services, low levels of private investment, and occupancy by poor or working class residents, to zones characterized by expanded public services, more private investment, and occupancy by well-educated, middle and upper class residents. Read More

Hurricanes, Climate Change, and Urban Growth Machines

October 20, 2017 // 0 Comments

Richardson Dilworth | During this latest and most brutal of hurricane seasons, the real estate website Zillow.com offered that hurricanes typically had no impact on property values in the coastal areas most often impacted by such storms. Yet the website also cautioned that “Whether or not this holds true in the wake of Harvey and Irma remains to be seen.” Indeed, what ostensibly might affect coastal property values is not hurricanes per se, but rather the fact that increasingly severe storms are just one of the more obvious facets of the multiple impacts climate change will have on coastal communities. Read More

The Local Autonomy of Canada’s Largest Cities

October 11, 2017 // 0 Comments

Alison Smith and Zachary Spicer | Canada has become increasingly urbanized through its history, and yet its system of urban governance have changed very little since Confederation in 1867; provincial controls on local governments in Canada remain among the strongest in the world. It is not inevitable that this situation will change, but it is indeed likely. Big city mayors are powerfully arguing for reforms to the structures of urban governance, and at various points in Canadian history there has been an appetite, or at least openness, to this agenda at the provincial and federal levels.

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Urban Politics Scholars Gather for Mini Conference at APSA 2017

September 26, 2017 // 0 Comments

As an integral part of the 2017 APSA Annual Meeting in San Francisco, September 2nd, the urban section made use of a new program format, an all-day mini-conference.  Titled “The New Urban Politics: Changing Cities and Fresh Perspectives,” the five-session program began at 8:00 a.m. and concluded at 5:30 p.m.  Words alone cannot capture the excitement and energy of the day.  Hailed as an extraordinary “happening,” the event achieved an intellectual intensity rarely seen even in individual panels. 

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Why Urban Politics Should Pay Attention to Sheriffs (and Local Law Enforcement)

September 6, 2017 // 1 Comment

Sheriff Clarke has resigned his position as sheriff of Milwaukee. Clarke is famous for his wild comments and for his association and support of Trump. Clarke is not the only Trump-supporting sheriff to draw national attention. Joe Arpaio, who is a former sheriff, was pardoned by President Trump. Mixed reactions to this pardon have cast the spotlight on the power that sheriffs and law enforcement leaders have at the local level.

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