April 2020

Governing Without Government

April 24, 2020 // 0 Comments

By Davia Downey (Grand Valley State University), Sarah Reckhow (Michigan State University), and Joshua Sapotichne (Michigan State University) | In 2018, the City of Detroit kicked off fundraising for the Strategic Neighborhood Fund, an effort to attract private funds to support infrastructure improvements in city neighborhoods. This initiative came five years after Detroit went through the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. Based on major media accounts, this bankruptcy was a rousing success, ushering in the rebirth of a great American city. As a feature article in National Geographic put it: “Tough, real, and cheap, Detroit, with the nation’s largest municipal bankruptcy behind it, is suddenly attractive to investors, innovators, and would-be fixers, especially young adventurers.” The credit ratings agencies seemed to agree; by February 2019 the city’s bond rating had made considerable progress towards regaining investment grade status. Yet the city’s Strategic Neighborhood Fund points to another element of Detroit’s story. Underlying the signs of progress, the city’s recovery is incomplete, narrowly distributed, and heavily dependent on the support of private philanthropy and nonprofits in the city. Read More

Disasters and Economic Shocks Virtual Issue

April 16, 2020 // 0 Comments

In advance of the research that will soon be coming forth about the varied impacts of COVID-19 on our lives, UAR Co-Editor Peter Burns has identified several UAR articles that engage issues he thinks will receive a lot of attention from urban scholars. This “virtual” issue on Disasters and Economic Shocks highlights previously published articles on emergency management networks, inequities in public services, public health, immigration policy, and city responses to economic shocks. Read More

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