Urban

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

Housing Vouchers Can Reduce Children’s Exposure to Neighborhood Disadvantage and Be a Tool to Reduce Racial and Ethnic Inequality in Neighborhood Attainment

By Andrew Fenelon (Penn State University), Natalie Slopen (Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health), and Sandra J. Newman (Johns Hopkins University) | American cities are heavily segregated by race and income, reflecting a legacy of racism and a housing policy heavily tilted toward white suburban homeowners. Recent research suggests that the economic impact of growing up in a poor neighborhood is significant – children can experience reduced rates of economic mobility, which reduces adult earnings and employment. For very poor children, moving to a high-opportunity neighborhood early in life can significantly affect future economic outcomes. Read More

June 15, 2022 // 0 Comments

“Building Together” in Baltimore? Corporate Mega-Development and Coalitions for Community Power

By P. Nicole King (University of Maryland Baltimore County) and Meghan Ashlin Rich (University of Scranton) | Hudson Yards in New York City. L.A. Live in Los Angeles. Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia. The Amazon HQ2 in Crystal City, Virginia. Cities in the U.S. are competing with each other for corporate investment and population growth, and mega-developments are an increasingly popular way to redevelop distressed urban areas. But can multi-million dollar mega-development projects serve as revitalization engines for cities while building partnerships and neighborhood capacities for economically struggling communities? Our research explores what happens when local neighborhoods organize to build community power and demand community benefits from private developers who make claims of “inclusive” redevelopment. Read More

June 1, 2022 // 0 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 // 1 Comment

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

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

Neighborhood Economic Change in an Era of Metropolitan Divergence

By Jared N. Schachner (University of Chicago) | Why do some neighborhoods change rapidly in race and class composition, while others do not? Despite a growing consensus among scholars that neighborhood sociodemographics shape residents’ life chances and societal inequities, the key drivers of neighborhood change – especially gentrification – remain hotly contested. Most research examines salient neighborhood characteristics rather than metropolitan area characteristics, precluding a complete picture of neighborhood change from emerging. Read More

March 7, 2022 // 0 Comments