All Forum Posts

UAR Seeks Proposals for the Editorship of UAR Term beginning July 1, 2022

Urban Affairs Review (UAR) has been a leading scholarly journal focused on urban politics, policy, and governance for fifty years. Submissions reflecting different scholarly disciplines and methodological perspectives are welcome when the research advances theory and improves our understanding of political processes, policy impacts, and approaches to governance in urban, regional, and metropolitan settings. The Urban Affairs Review is affiliated with American Political Science Association’s section on Urban Politics. Read More

April 4, 2022 // 0 Comments

An Introduction to the Forum on the State of the Cities: India Report (SOCR)

By Bharat Punjabi (University of Toronto) | Om Mathur and his colleagues have done us a great service by publishing the State of the Cities: India Report (SOCR) where they have developed a grounded empirical framework to answer some of the most interesting puzzles around India`s urbanization in the last three decades. The SOCR has answered questions that have been around for some time but had to wait for the authors’ deft combination of experience in the Indian urban policy context, their knowledge of census data sources and the depth of understanding of India’s urban trajectory to provide us with insightful answers to some very interesting but complicated questions on India’s urban system. Read More

March 15, 2022 // 7 Comments

Revisiting Medellin’s Governance Arrangement After the Dust Settled

By John J. Betancur (University of Illinois at Chicago) and Peter Brand (Universidad Nacional de Colombia) | When the world is dark, any ray of light feels like the sun. Emerging from the profound crises that decimated the economy and social fabric of Colombia’s second city Medellin in the period 1980-2000, a grassroots movement and a powerful corporate group (GEA) formed a governing alliance that assured the world that the city had risen from the ashes. The new millennium saw strategic signature interventions in the poorest and most violent sectors of the city which captured the attention of the world while a public-private partnership consolidated the interests of the corporate group. This followed in the wake of a shadowy partnership of national government and paramilitary forces which produced the violent expulsion of urban militias of the left. An ensuing national amnesty and local pacts allowed control of large parts of the city by narco-paramilitary organizations in exchange for drastically reduced homicide rates – an essential component of some formidable city marketing which sold to the world the idea of the Medellin ‘miracle’ based on its social programs and progressive urbanism. This myth earned the city 21 national and 30 international awards (Mazo, 2016) but ignored critical works characterizing it as smoke and mirrors (see Hylton, 2007; Brand, 2013; MacLean, 2015). After the dust settled, this study spoke to 40 of the protagonists of the Medellin model and examined documents, reports, and archives to reexamine the coalition behind this experience. Read More

May 17, 2022 // 0 Comments

Where in Los Angeles Do Homeless People Sleep? The Neighborhood Distribution of Unsheltered Homelessness and Its Changes Over Time

By Eun Jin Shin (Sungkyunkwan University) | Homelessness has been one of the most critical issues facing major US cities in recent decades. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s latest Annual Homeless Assessment Report (2020), about 0.57 million people in the United States experienced homelessness on a single night in January 2019. Although some cities, like Chicago, have witnessed a general downward trend in homelessness in recent years, numbers have risen dramatically in Los Angeles—an area known for long-standing high homelessness rates. Read More

May 12, 2022 // 0 Comments

Metamorphic Metropolises: What’s at Stake in Chinese Cities’ “Administrative Division Adjustments”?

By Kyle Jaros (University of Notre Dame) | Imagine that residents of New York City awoke tomorrow to reports that the governor of New York State had authorized, without public consultation, a far-reaching change to the city’s territorial map: Brooklyn would be split into two boroughs and the Bronx would merge with newly annexed Westchester County to form a northern mega-borough. This would be huge and highly contentious news for New Yorkers, with far-reaching implications for business, housing, infrastructure, public services, and governmental operations across the metropolis. Read More

April 19, 2022 // 0 Comments

Mapping Racial Capital: Gentrification, Race and Value in Three Chicago Neighborhoods

By Jesse Mumm (DePaul University) and Carolina Sternberg (DePaul University) | “Every one of you that comes into this neighborhood, it ups our property rate ten thousand dollars,” one Black woman on the West Side of Chicago tells two white newcomers walking by where she sits on her front porch. How is gentrification racial? In our new UAR article, we look at race and gentrification in three Chicago neighborhoods: Garfield Park, Pilsen and Humboldt Park, where we map changes in demographics, property value, and material conditions. Garfield Park lies at the heart of the supermajority Black West Side; Pilsen has been called the cultural center of Mexican Chicago, and Humboldt Park hosts Paseo Boricua—the Puerto Rican Promenade. We know that gentrification is not always linear, and its multiple causes not universal, but enacted through urban phenomena as disparate as toxic loans, planned gallery districts, and subway restoration. Yet this does not diminish their meanings as racial projects, and our findings here destabilize the notion that material improvement in the built environment largely determines increases in property values. While urban scholars generally recognize today that abandonment and disinvestment were socially produced and politically organized racial projects of midcentury capitalism, we owe the same critical assessment to gentrification – the major urban racial project of the present day. Read More

April 14, 2022 // 0 Comments

Does an Increased Share of Black Police Officers Decrease Racial Discrimination in Law Enforcement?

By Sunyoung Pyo (Catholic University of Korea) | The police force’s discriminatory treatment toward Black residents has long been a significant social issue in the U.S. (Gaston 2019; Homes, Painter II and Smith 2019). There is substantial empirical evidence showing that Black people are more likely than White people to be stopped-and-frisked and to be arrested for minor offenses (Cooley et al. 2020; Gelman, Fagan and Kiss 2007). The issue of discriminatory policing has become more publicly salient over the last few years following several high-profile police-involved deaths of Black residents. Read More

April 11, 2022 // 0 Comments

Neighborhood-Based Business Improvement Districts (BIDs): A New Milestone of Neoliberal Urbanism in Sweden?

By Dragan Kusevski, Maja Stalevska (Uppsala University), and Chiara Valli (Malmö University) | In September 2020, the Swedish government commissioned the National Board of Housing, Building and Planning to “review any obstacles for using the [Business Improvement District] method” to help address socio-economic exclusion in struggling urban areas. Stressing BIDs’ putative success in dealing with similar issues in other parts of the world, the government has argued that coalitions of local property owners, together with residents and public actors, could help “lift” socio-economically challenged neighborhoods out of poverty through real estate investments, crime prevention, and security measures (Regeringen 2020a). Read More

March 25, 2022 // 0 Comments

Beyond Urban Displacement: Suburban Poverty and Eviction

By Peter Hepburn (Rutgers University-Newark), Devin Q. Rutan (Princeton University), and Matthew Desmond (Princeton University) | Eviction is often seen as a city problem. We tend to think of the eviction crisis as playing out in urban neighborhoods, both in high-poverty places where eviction is a constant threat and in gentrifying neighborhoods where long-term residents may be at growing risk of being forced out. This overlooks what's going on outside of inner cities, leaving us blind to eviction patterns in suburban areas. Read More

March 24, 2022 // 0 Comments

State of the Cities: India Report

By Om Prakash Mathur (University of Toronto) | The State of the Cities: India Report (SOCR) has come in at a time when the world is close to 55 percent urban and is projected to be 68 percent by the 2050 year. This transition, observed across the developing and developed world, is accompanied by an extraordinarily important shift in the world’s vision and perspective on the phenomenon of urbanization. Read More

March 15, 2022 // 7 Comments