All Forum Posts

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

Do Shallow Rental Subsidies Promote Housing Stability? Evidence on Costs and Effects from D.C.’s Flexible Rent Program

By Maria Alva (Georgetown University), Natnaell Mammo (The Lab @ DC), Ryan T. Moore (The Lab @ DC), and Sam Quinney (The Lab @ DC) | The District of Columbia piloted and evaluated a shallow rent subsidy to answer two questions: Do shallow flexible rental subsidies promote housing stability? And, can they be a vehicle to further stretch the existing housing resources to serve more people? These questions are important to growing metropolitan areas like D.C. that face severe challenges in making housing affordable and preventing homelessness. Similar to New York or San Francisco, most D.C. residents are renters, 70% of whom spend more than 30% of their gross income on rent. Approximately 1 out of every 125 residents in D.C. is in emergency shelters, in transitional housing, or is unsheltered. Housing vouchers, representing "deeper subsidies," have historically been in short supply and, necessarily, targeted at the most vulnerable households. In 2017, D.C.'s Department of Human Services (DHS) decided to test a model that could serve more residents by targeting a shallow subsidy to families experiencing housing instability but not homelessness. To this end, DHS began piloting the Flexible Rent Subsidy Program (D.C. Flex). Read More

September 20, 2022 // 0 Comments

UAR Best Paper Award at APSA 2022

Urban Affairs Review is sponsoring a $250 award given by the the Urban and Local Politics Section for the Best Paper in Urban or Regional Politics presented at the 2022 American Political Science Association conference. We encourage chairs of all Urban and Local Politics Section panels to nominate papers. We also welcome self-nominations. Papers presented on any panel associated with the conference are eligible for this award. Read More

September 13, 2022 // 0 Comments

Using Emerging Hot Spot Analysis to Explore Spatiotemporal Patterns of Housing Vacancy in Ohio Metropolitan Statistical Areas

By Victoria Morckel (University of Michigan-Flint) and Noah Durst (Michigan State University) | Sophisticated methods for studying changes in the physical forms of cities that are losing population (i.e. “shrinking cities”) are lacking in the literature. This research highlights the use of a newer method—ArcGIS Pro’s emerging hot spot analysis of space-time cubes from defined locations—to examine the spread of housing vacancy, a common indicator of city shrinkage. The method has existed in ESRI’s ArcGIS Pro since 2017, but has not been previously applied to the study of vacancy. This method differs from traditional hot spot methodologies in that it identifies statistically significant spatiotemporal relationships (i.e. spatial change over time). Read More

September 7, 2022 // 0 Comments

Do Neighborhood Contexts Influence the Prevalence of Neighbor Problems?

By Lynda Cheshire (The University of Queensland, Australia), Siqin Wang (The University of Queensland, Australia) and Yan Liu (The University of Queensland, Australia) | Human beings live in a society embedded by intricate networks and relationships with other people, including their neighbors who offer localized interactions at the day-to-day level. While it is expected that neighbors are generally friendly, helpful and respectful of each other’s privacy, in reality, there is considerable variation in the way neighbors perceive and interact with each other. This suggests that neighboring is not an unproblematic social practice, but can be wrought with tensions and conflicts that arise in the context of living in physical proximity. Neighbor annoyances over noise, pets, parking, fences or trees can undermine one’s sense of home as a place of enjoyment, privacy and autonomy, while disputes can escalate into criminal behavior involving damage to property, intimidating behavior and physical harm. Read More

August 24, 2022 // 0 Comments

Undermining Sanctuary? When Local and National Partisan Cues Diverge

By Loren Collingwood (University of New Mexico), Gabriel Martinez (University of New Mexico), and Kassra A.R. Oskooii (University of Delaware) | In 1982, Tucson, Arizona, birthed the sanctuary movement, with a minister of Southside Presbyterian declaring his church a sanctuary for immigrant refugees fleeing civil conflict in El Salvador and Guatemala. However, in 2019, despite being a broadly progressive city with a 2 to 1 advantage in registered Democrats, Tucson voted down a ballot initiative (Proposition 205) that would have made the city a sanctuary. While no single definition exists, sanctuary cities have two common elements: 1) an ordinance that forbids local law enforcement from inquiring into residents’ immigration status and, 2) limits on local law enforcement’s cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Read More

August 11, 2022 // 0 Comments

Officer-Involved Killings and the Repression of Protest

By Traci Burch (Northwestern University) | It is clear from the news, and perhaps even from personal experience, that many citizens are mobilizing to express outrage and demand justice in the wake of officer-involved killings.  However, despite the fact that officer-involved killings are the focus of such an important social movement, very little work attempts to explain the circumstances that lead the public to protest the deaths of particular victims. In my UAR paper, I leverage my own collection of data on individuals killed by police, combined with the Collaborative Multi-racial Political Survey (CMPS) and demographic data, to show that officer-involved killings can have complex effects on protest. Read More

July 28, 2022 // 0 Comments

Measuring and Explaining Stalled Gentrification in Newark, NJ: The Role of Racial Politics

By Domingo Morel (Rutgers University), Akira Drake Rodriguez (University of Pennsylvania), Mara Sidney (Rutgers University), Nakeefa B. Garay (Rutgers University), and Adam Straub (Rutgers University) | The city of Newark, New Jersey holds an important role in the field of urban politics: its infamous uprisings/rebellions of 1967 spawned the 1968 Kerner Commission, a voluminous report that placed the blame of the emerging “urban crisis” at the feet of policymakers operating on the local, state, and federal level; on the widespread police brutality supported by these policymakers, and on the White-oriented media that provided cover for those in power. Following the uprisings, Newark remained in the shadow of other post-industrial cities that emerged from the moment of crisis stronger than ever: New York, Hoboken, Jersey City, and Philadelphia have seen recent gains in population and economic activity. But Newark also charted another important path in urban politics: beginning in 1970, the city elected the first Black mayor of a major northeastern city and has continued to elect Black mayors into the present. Read More

July 15, 2022 // 0 Comments

Norton E. Long: Public Intellectual Extraordinaire

By Steven P. Erie (adapted from a presentation to the Scholia Club of San Diego on May 10, 2022) | Norton E. Long (1910-1993), through his writings, teaching, mentoring, and extensive public service, was an extraordinary public intellectual. He was committed to understanding and improving governance and the functioning of public bureaucracy in a democratic society; making the public interest and improving the human condition the core missions for civic participation and leadership; and warned of the perils of a racially-segregated metropolis and society. Read More

June 28, 2022 // 0 Comments

Homeowners Saying “Yes, In My Back Yard”: Evidence from Israel

By Tal Alster (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) | Renting or owning an apartment in the world’s most desired cities has become increasingly unaffordable, especially for low-income households and less-skilled workers. One of the main reasons is growing regulatory barriers to new construction. Many blame NIMBYism – opposition to new construction by existing homeowners who adopt a “Not in my back yard” position – as the driver of excessive regulation. Richard Florida calls them the ‘New Urban Luddites’, Edward Glaeser ‘The Entrenched’, and William Fischel ‘Homevoters’. The takeaway is similar: older and more affluent homeowners use their political power to prevent new housing from being built and profit from rising urban rents, and in the process economic growth and the mobility prospects of the poor are stifled. NIMBYism, historically considered a micro phenomenon associated mostly with suburbs, is now considered to have macro effects on entire urban regions. Read More

June 21, 2022 // 0 Comments