August 2017

Cashing In On Distress: The Expansion of Fringe Financial Institutions during the Great Recession

August 30, 2017 // 0 Comments

The finance industry plays an important role in shaping inequality. Private financial institutions determine, often in partnership with government, where to invest in housing, economic development, and infrastructure. These investments are often drastically uneven, fostering job growth and housing value appreciation in some areas and economic decline in others. One manifestation of this disparity is dramatic differences in access to services. While the affluent are able to build home equity and retirement accounts via access to “mainstream” financial services, the poor are disproportionately reliant on “alternative” or “fringe” services, such as check cashing outlets (CCOs), payday lending, and subprime mortgages.

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What is “Neoliberalism”? How is it Implicated in Urban Political Development?

August 14, 2017 // 0 Comments

In the early 1980s, with the election of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, urban policy and politics in the U.K. and the U.S. took a sharp turn towards markets, competition, and privatization. But while both the Thatcher government and the Reagan administration shared similar ideas about the causes of urban problems and about how best to tackle them, the differing institutional settings in which they operated shaped the timing, extent, and character of the changes they were able to introduce.

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Is ‘Gaytrification’ a Real Phenomena?

August 10, 2017 // 0 Comments

City leaders have often suggested attracting gays to neighborhoods within their cities as a remedy for urban blight. A 2013 Slate column discusses the CEO and president of the Detroit Economic Growth Corp who explicitly suggested that city leaders try to attract gays to Detroit to spur gentrification of decaying areas. The research literature suggests a few reasons why gays may act as “urban pioneers” who revitalize run-down areas close to downtowns. One proposed reason is that gays and lesbians may be willing to invest and reside in run-down areas to create welcoming communities in the presence of perceived discrimination elsewhere. In creating these enclaves, gays and lesbians renovate the aging housing stock and provide additional amenities to the region.

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Welcoming Cities: Immigration Policy at the Local Government Level

August 7, 2017 // 1 Comment

Against the backdrop of increasing immigration dispersion and ongoing stalemate over federal immigration reform, many local governments have taken immigration matters into their own hands. While opposing approaches to undocumented immigrants (anti-immigrant policies versus sanctuary ordinances) are observed in many municipalities, a new type of local immigration policy has emerged recently, which shifts from a focus on the basic rights of undocumented immigrants to a recognition of immigrant contributions to community development: welcoming cities

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Donald Trump is from America’s Most Diverse Neighborhood, How Did That Happen?

August 1, 2017 // 0 Comments

By Max Holleran and Sam Holleran | Queens, New York City’s second largest borough with nearly 2.3 inhabitants, is known as the beating heart of the city’s many immigrant communities. Once a collection of splintered garden districts, public housing estates, and industrial areas, the borough has grown enormously in the last fifty years. It is arguably the most diverse place on earth and the American torchbearer for tolerance and multiculturalism. It is also the place that brought the world Donald Trump. Read More