All Forum Posts

Paving A Path Forward for Engaged Scholarship

January 11, 2019 // 0 Comments

By Del Bharath and Hannah Lebovits | Several recent Urban Affairs Review forum pieces have highlighted classroom practices that foster engaged learning by encouraging students, community organizations and policy makers to critically consider and potentially change some of the most complex issues our cities face. But engaged learning, particularly community-based service-learning, can cultivate more than positive communal outcomes. It can be a transformational experience for participants, especially students. In our forthcoming paper at the Journal of Nonprofit and Public Affairs, we lay out a roadmap for designing and executing democratic service-learning courses that generate critical citizenship and social justice advocacy behaviors in public affairs students. Here, we would like to share not only our findings but our process. We hope that we can inspire others to connect over shared interests and collaborate across disciplines, institutions and geographic boundaries! Read More

Changing Neighborhoods and U.S. Arts Institutions

January 4, 2019 // 0 Comments

Justin Reeves Meyer | Arts institutions, defined as organizations that support art production and consumption space (such as performing arts complexes and museums), have been a popular neighborhood amenity in a variety of cities across the United States. They are believed to improve the livability of neighborhoods and to help attract human capital (highly educated and/or wealthy residents) to their locales. But what effect do they have on differently changing neighborhoods? Do new arts institutions help stabilize neighborhoods losing residents? Do they exacerbate the displacement of vulnerable populations in gentrifying neighborhoods? My research, presented in the UAR article "Changing neighborhoods and the effect of U.S. arts institutions on human capital and displacement between 2000 and 2010,” offers evidence and some answers to these questions. Read More

Government Cities in Globalized Interurban Competition

December 10, 2018 // 0 Comments

David Kaufmann | What comes to mind when I tell you that I study “government cities”? Maybe you think about the cliché of Washington, D.C. as a bureaucratic swamp, about the utopian project of Brasilia, about colonial cities such as Pretoria/Tshwane, or about international government cities such as The Hague. Spot on: these are “government cities”. I study these cities under the label of secondary capital cities, defined as capitals that are not the primary economic centers of their nation states. These secondary capital cities can be found on every continent. Famous examples of SCCs exist in Africa (e.g. Pretoria/Tshwane, Abuja), Asia (e.g. Jerusalem, Islamabad), Oceania (e.g. Wellington, Canberra), Europe (e.g. Berlin, The Hague), North America (e.g. Washington, D.C., Ottawa) and South America (e.g. Brasilia, Sucre). Read More

A Tale of Two Neighborhoods

December 4, 2018 // 0 Comments

Mike Craw | Two recent experiences have led me to conclude that we need to go further in analyzing the effect of neighborhood-level institutions on racial segregation across urban neighborhoods. As a board member for the University District Development Corporation (UDDC) in Little Rock, I participated in a decision last year to extend the UDDC’s boundaries to include a neighborhood with significantly lower income and a larger nonwhite population compared to that of the University District. By including this neighborhood within the University District, the UDDC is in a position to organize responses to physical blight and crime that spillover into the University District, improving confidence of homeowners in both communities.  Read More

Changing Laws for Credit

November 27, 2018 // 0 Comments

By Joseph Mead | “Your homework: Change public policy.” This was the daunting task I gave to the aspiring public and nonprofit leaders enrolled in my graduate policy course at Cleveland State University’s Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs. This wasn’t simply a pep talk; this task was their main assignment for the course. All semester long, the students were charged to work in groups to lobby for some state or local legislative or administrative change. Read More

Ada County, Idaho is Growing and so is the Role of Women in its Governance

November 15, 2018 // 1 Comment

By Jaclyn J. Kettler | A major story following the 2018 midterm elections is the impressive gains women made in the U.S. Congress and in state races. National media, however, has largely overlooked key victories for women running for local office. For example, in Harris County in Texas, 17 African-American women won their races for local judgeships. Here in Idaho, voters elected two women to the 3-member Ada County Commission. It appears to be the first time women will hold a majority of seats on the Ada County Commission. Ada County includes Boise, the state capital and one of the fastest growing metro areas in the country. Read More

Predicting School Closures in an Era of Austerity: The Case of Chicago

November 13, 2018 // 0 Comments

Rachel Weber (University of Illinois at Chicago), Stephanie Farmer (Roosevelt University) and Mary Donoghue | In 2013 the City of Chicago undertook the largest mass school closure in recent history, declaring that the school district’s budget required shuttering 49 of its most underutilized buildings. The city erupted in protest, with the Chicago Teachers Union leading a charge of angry parents, students, and teachers. Read More

Making the Economic Development Process Accessible to Students

November 2, 2018 // 0 Comments

By Davia Cox Downey | Economic development is a complex process by which local entities compete for development projects. Theory development in this area has ranged from descriptions of the economies of corporate clustering, transportation cost networks, central place theory, growth machine theory, and transaction cost theories to name a few.  While these theoretical perspectives provide a basis for understanding "why" cities need economic development to survive in a highly competitive, fractured metropolitan space, these theories do little to show students the "how" of economic development decision-making.  I use a classroom exercise to illustrate the process of economic development. Traditionally, I have used the city of East Lansing, a small midwestern city with issues of town and gown relations, but this assignment can be retrofitted to a city of any size. Read More

Thorny Property Politics: Cook County’s 2018 Democratic Primary for Assessor

October 30, 2018 // 1 Comment

By Amanda Kass | Assessors play an important role in the property tax process in the United States. A homeowner’s taxes are based on the estimated value of their home, and that estimate is made by the assessor. If an assessor over- or under-values a property, then the homeowner will be over- or under-taxed. Over-taxation can produce a cascade of negative consequences, including foreclosure for failure to pay property taxes, while cities want to maintain high collection rates. Read More