June 2018

Shifting Agendas: Private Consultants and Public Planning Policy

June 27, 2018 // 0 Comments

Orly Linovski | Urban planning is often thought of as a public sector activity, despite the increasing role and influence of private-sector consultants. Consultants are involved in many stages of the planning process, including undertaking policy reviews; creating long-range plans and strategies; and, designing and implementing public engagement strategies. Planning consultants often straddle the private and public spheres, working for both government and private clients. This raises questions about how private-sector planners balance competing goals, as well as the democratic legitimacy and accountability of the planning processes they undertake. While consultants have been involved in planning since the early days of the profession, the reduced capacity that many municipalities currently face makes it critical to examine the impacts that outsourcing and privatization may have on planning processes. For local governments that have traditionally seen planning as a public-sector activity, these changes can undermine both the public interest and the relationship between citizens and decision-makers. Read More

Running Local: Gender Stereotyping & Female Candidates in Local Elections

June 19, 2018 // 0 Comments

Nichole Bauer | The 2018 mid-term elections will be a banner year for women in politics. In fact, as many as 421 women could launch a campaign for a seat in the U.S. House. Even more women will run for office at the local level. In research recently published in Urban Affairs Review, I examined whether female candidates running in local elections will face a gender bias or a gender advantage among voters. Using two original survey experiments, I find that female candidates do not necessarily have an automatic advantage in a local election. Female candidates, however, will have an advantage when they emphasize positive masculine traits that voters value in political leaders. Read More

Public Housing Participation in Superstorm Sandy Recovery

June 5, 2018 // 1 Comment

Leigh Graham | In February in New York City, the Citywide Council of Presidents, an elected body representing over 400,000 tenants of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), took the unprecedented step of suing the agency. Resident leaders sought an independent monitor for the Authority, pointing to high-profile health and safety failures including a lapse in lead paint inspections with fraudulent reports to the contrary from the Chairwoman, Shola Olatoye, and sporadic heat and hot water during a frigid winter.   Read More