Urban

How Local Contexts Matter for Local Immigrant Policies

By Heather Khan Welsh (Eastern Michigan University), Laura Reese (Michigan State University), and Teagan Reese (Federal Emergency Management Agency) | Local policies related to immigrant attraction and settlement include efforts to attract and support immigrants for economic development purposes (entrepreneurialism and business start-up support, credentialing), smooth transitions (multi-lingual services, ESL, citizenship support), embracing diversity (multi-cultural community events), and providing assistance in accessing needed local services (housing, health care, employment support). Given the lack of consistent national policies, the variety of policy positions at the local level indeed represents a patchwork raising questions about what kinds of local governments are focusing on policies supportive of immigrants. By testing alternate explanations of local immigration policy, the research contributes to the development of theory related to policymaking in this area. Based on a national survey of municipalities across the US there is little evidence that racial threat theory limits local immigrant supportive policies, i.e., greater diversity appears to drive local immigrant attraction and support policies generally and for welcoming and entrepreneurial policies in particular. However, policy determinants differ by the type of immigrant attraction and support policy examined. Read More

November 10, 2022 // 0 Comments

Why Political Scientists Should Study Smaller Cities

By Tanu Kumar (Claremont Graduate University) and Matthew Stenberg (University of California, Berkeley) | The United Nations estimates more than half of the global population currently lives in cities, and 68% of the world’s population is projected to live in urban areas by 2050 (United Nations 2018). A large portion of this growing urban population lives outside of major metropolitan areas. Yet much of our knowledge about urban politics comes from studying the largest cities, and smaller cities are systematically understudied relative to their share of the population. In our article, “Why Political Scientists Should Study Smaller Cities,” we examine what an insufficient focus on small cities might lead scholars to miss. We explore many policy areas where we might expect smaller cities to be different than larger ones and we offer strategies to study smaller cities. Read More

October 11, 2022 // 0 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

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