2020

Women in Spanish Municipal Councils and Budgetary Policies

April 7, 2020 // 0 Comments

By Roberto Cabaleiro and Enrique Buch | The public sphere is a sector in which women have been scarce in elected political positions until very recent times. There are global and country-specific factors explaining the difficulties women face in trying to attain political office: cultural norms, gender roles, party practices, lack of financial support, and a traditionally masculine work environment. Analyzing 174 countries, the average proportion of women in parliaments nearly doubled between 1995 and 2015. In many cases, gender quota systems were applied to increase the participation of women in political chambers. Read More

Roles and Motivations of Planning Professionals Who Promote Public Participation in Urban Planning Practice: Two Case Studies from Beijing, China

March 26, 2020 // 0 Comments

By Lin Zhang, Pieter Hooimeijer, Yanliu Lin, and Stan Geertman | Public participation in urban planning is a contested issue in China. Despite the official rhetoric of a harmonious society and changes in the legal framework that formalize the involvement of citizens in planning processes, many hold that the current practice is highly symbolic and aimed at placating the population rather than at empowering it. External forcing of the current system by environmental threats, social change and technological innovation may be more pertinent than the desire to change the system from within. However, this might overlook the role of the professionals. We expect our study to contribute to the international debates on the management of urban affairs in general and on public participation in urban planning in particular by exploring these in an authoritarian context. Read More

Fear of the Unknown: Examining Neighborhood Stigma’s Effect on Urban Greenway Use and Surrounding Communities

March 16, 2020 // 0 Comments

By Brandon Harris | A study conducted by park and recreation researchers at the universities of Arizona, Utah, North Carolina State and Clemson on the effects of neighborhood stigma on greenway use recently found that when greenways are located in neighborhoods occupied by residents of color, stigma may lead to avoidance, discrimination, and exclusion. Read More

Ethno-Racial Appeals and the Production of Political Capital: Evidence from Chicago and Toronto

March 10, 2020 // 0 Comments

By Jan Doering | Donald Trump’s election has renewed our attention to the use of racial appeals in electoral campaigning. Among other things, Trump infamously referred to Latino immigrants as “bad hombres,” murderers, and rapists. Since then, numerous candidates have followed his lead. In the 2018 campaign for the Florida governorship, for example, the Republican candidate Ron DeSantis called on voters not to “monkey this up” by voting for the Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum, the African-American mayor of Tallahassee. For social scientists, Trump and DeSantis’s appeals are remarkable because they are so blunt and explicit. Read More

From Progressive Cities to Resilient Cities: Lessons from History for New Debates in Equitable Adaptation to Climate Change

March 3, 2020 // 0 Comments

By Linda Shi (Cornell University) | Advocates for a Green New Deal forcibly argue that climate action must be racially just and transform institutions that govern social welfare. However, these proposals have focused on cutting carbon emissions and been vague on how the country should adapt to an already changing climate. Early proposals suggest that a Green New Deal for adaptation should emphasize large-scale investments in infrastructure for marginalized communities. But evidence suggests that adaptation infrastructure projects can worsen the well-being of the most vulnerable. For instance, cities tend to prioritize investments for high value real estate or enforce land use and other regulations more stringently on those with less political voice. There also isn’t enough money to protect everyone and every place. Given the prevailing dynamics of urban development, an adaptation moon-shot must go far beyond giving the poor a sea wall or sand dune. Read More

Does Inter-municipal Cooperation Really Reduce Delivery Costs?

February 27, 2020 // 0 Comments

By Germà Bel (Universitat de Barcelona) and Marianna Sebő (Universitat de Barcelona) | Growing skepticism expressed by local governments towards private-sector participation in public service provision has led many local authorities to experiment with new forms of public service delivery. In recent decades, one of the alternatives most frequently adopted has been inter-municipal cooperation (IMC). IMC is seen as a tool that can lower costs by exploiting economies of scale, while maintaining greater government control over production, something that is not readily achievable with privatization. Further benefits of IMCs include the enhanced cross-jurisdictional coordination, service quality and inter-municipal reciprocity. Concerns over stability, equity and universality may also stimulate cooperation. Read More

Old Policies and New Presidents: Promise Zones and the Trump Administration

February 21, 2020 // 0 Comments

Robert P. Stoker (George Washington University) and Michael J. Rich (Emory University) | Our recent Urban Affairs Review article (Stoker and Rich 2019) examined President Obama's urban legacy. We described the distribution of selected place-based urban assistance grants provided by the administration to the fifty largest U.S. cities. That analysis emphasized the complexity and fragility of Obama-era urban policy, which required multiple local mobilizations to win competitive federal grants. Few cities won multiple grants and those that did often had difficulties coordinating projects to create synergistic local initiatives. Read More

Arguing over Transportation Sales Taxes: An Analysis of Equity Debates in Transportation Ballot Measures

February 12, 2020 // 0 Comments

Jaimee Lederman (UCLA), Anne Brown (University of Oregon), Brian D. Taylor (UCLA), and Martin Wachs (UCLA) | Voter-approved local option sales tax (LOST) measures for transportation increasingly fill gaps between falling fuel tax revenues and growing transportation investment needs. There are concerns, however, over whether LOSTs are an equitable transportation finance mechanism. Equity is a critical concept in public policy and finance, and debates over resource distribution on fairness grounds are often contentious. Sales taxes are typically regressive—disproportionately burdening low-income residents—and disconnected from transportation system usage. Read More