Neighborhood-focused activism is one way residents enact their vision for their community. This study examines the neighborhood socioeconomic antecedents of participation in neighborhood-focused activism in a diverse sample of residents of Chicago neighborhoods to test three theories of neighborhood socioeconomic context and participation: 1) affluence affords participation, 2) activism addresses neighborhood needs associated with disadvantage, and 3) socioeconomic inequality creates contention that necessitates participation. Measuring neighborhood socioeconomic status as two unique dimensions, neighborhood affluence and neighborhood disadvantage, and accounting for both individual and neighborhood characteristics, I find support for each theory. Neighborhood socioeconomic context matters for participation, regardless of individual socioeconomic characteristics. Only when these three perspectives are considered jointly can they fully capture the socioeconomic context of participation in neighborhood-focused activism.
This study contributes to the debate about tolls' equity impacts by examining the potential economic costs of tolling for low-income and non-low-income households. Using data from the Puget Sound metropolitan region in Washington State and GIS methods to map driving routes from home to work, we examine car ownership and transportation patterns among low-income and non-low-income households. We follow standard practice of estimating tolls' potential impact only on households with workers who would drive on tolled and non-tolled facilities. We then redo the analysis including broader groups of households. We find that the degree of regressivity is quite sensitive to the set of households included in the analysis. The results suggest that distributional analyses of tolls should estimate impacts on all households in the relevant region in addition to impacts on just users of roads that are currently tolled or likely to be tolled.
Although the construction industry has been a tremendous growth industry for black entrepreneurs in recent years, black-owned construction firms, on average, are less than half the size of those owned by nonminorities. Previous findings suggest that limited access to financial capital, particularly bank loans, has restricted the size of black-owned businesses. Examination of nationwide random samples of construction companies reveals that black firms are treated differently than nonminorities when they borrow from commercial banks: they get smaller loans than nonminorities who have otherwise identical traits. Undercapitalization, in turn, is shown to increase the likelihood of firm discontinuance. Alleviation of undercapitalization problems would help promote the development of black-owned businesses in the construction industry.
This study examines the changes in neighborhood quality in communities where low-income buyers have recently purchased homes. Three questions are addressed: Do lower-income buyers buy in higher quality neighborhoods than the ones in which they rented ? Are lower-income buyers locating in higher quality neighborhoods than a comparison group of continuing renters ? Are the neighborhoods of new buyers improving or deteriorating relative to those of continuing renters ? Results of an analysis of a sample of persons who graduated from home buyer education classes in eight cities indicate that home buyers located in neighborhoods that were similar in quality to those in which they rented. Continuing renters in the sample, however, improved the quality of the neighborhoods between the first and second surveys, while home buyers did not. Finally, while the neighborhoods to which new buyers moved are improving, they are doing so at a slower rate than both the neighborhoods from which they moved and those of the continuing renters.
This tribute to Jane Jacobs connects some of her ideas on cities and her work on ethical systems. In particular, I present data suggesting that ethical norms do substantially differ between big cities and small towns. These findings motivate a model showing cities tend to limit the ability of social groups to punish their members. Since the ability to punish is lower in cities, ethical strictures cannot be as tough in cities. I discuss the role of cities in fomenting ethical change. Finally, following Jacobs' distinction between mercantile ethical systems and warrior or guardian ethical systems, I present a model where cities become centers for mercantile ethics.
Community development financial institutions (CDFIs) help to address the financial needs of under‐served, predominantly low‐income communities. CDFIs include community development banks, credit unions, business and microenterprise loan funds, and venture capital funds. Although CDFIs are a rapidly growing and an increasingly important area of community economic development, they have not received proportionate attention from academic researchers. This article begins to address the gap. It outlines the history of the CDFI industry and details how CDFIs are responding to three specific development needs: basic financial services; affordable credit for home purchase, rehabilitation, and maintenance; and loan and equity capital for business development. The article then considers the strengths and limitations of CDFIs, concentrating especially on the relationship between CDFIs and conventional financial institutions. It concludes by examining the impact that these alternative financial institutions realistically can hope to achieve.
The objective of this study is to shed light on whether and how microenterprise programs can be used as an economic development strategy to enable low-income people to achieve self-sufficiency through self-employment. Our findings provide little support for the notion that hard work and a small loan are sufficient ingredients for business success. Viable small firms are usually headed by well-educated owners and/or those possessing specific skills that serve as a basis for successful business creation and operation. Potential entrepreneurs lacking assets, skills, and support networks are unlikely to support themselves through self-employment earnings alone. As a poverty alleviation strategy, microenterprise is not a panacea. Nevertheless, programs targeting the poor who do have skills, resources, and support networks can be useful vehicles for helping some to escape poverty.
Special district structure in US metropolitan areas has not been analyzed, although studies document the growth of special districts and their impact on the coordination and planning activities of local governments. Few estimates have been made of public capital spending in metropolitan areas and none that classify spending by cities and special districts. Thus, there has been no comparison of how metropolitan areas differ in their reliance on special districts. This paper attempts to fill these research voids. The authors studied the 1987 capital spending patterns of 105 metropolitan areas. While the outlays for special districts were significant, city governments were the major force in infrastructure capital spending. Although metropolitan regions with high reliance on special districts had higher incomes, private capital investment was slightly higher. The authors found no evidence that reliance on special districts was associated with higher levels of outstanding debt.
Urban regime analysis emphasizes the role of coalition building in creating a capacity to govern in cities. Through a case study of urban renewal policy in postwar Chicago, this article considers the role played by political institutions. Conceptualizing this historical period as one of regime building, I show how existing political institutions were out of sync with the city's new governing agenda of urban renewal and redevelopment following World War II. Creating a capacity to govern in urban renewal policy required both coalition building and a fundamental reworking of formal governing institutions.
Contemporary urban political economy emphasizes the role of structural factors in explaining the deindustrialization of cities in the post-World War II era. Urban economic restructuring, by most accounts, has left city officials with few choices other than to pursue corporate-centered economic development strategies emphasizing downtown-area commercial and residential growth. In Chicago, however, a corporate-center redevelopment strategy advanced by a coalition of downtown business leaders competed with a production-oriented strategy articulated by a coalition of neighborhood organizations, manufacturers, and labor. Centrally located industrial districts facing gentrification pressures became contested terrain, and manufacturers ultimately benefited from protective measures put in place by a sympathetic administration. This essay argues that urban economic restructuring is open-ended and politically contested. It concludes that a fuller appreciation of the contingency of urban economic development would help uncover viable regime types featuring governing coalitions that include both community-based organizations and neighborhood business establishments.
City charter amendments and revisions in Michigan cities during the last 25 years reflect the shift in local governmental structures away from classical models that posit a separation of professional and political authority, and toward the development of new forms that give greater emphasis to political leadership and representation, while still retaining technical managerial competence. A study of charter revisions and amendments in the 24 Michigan cities which lost 10% or more of their population between 1970 and 1980 found that these political changes have been most prevalent in cities experiencing significant social and economic changes as well The charter changes formed a pattern that created a triangle between the mayor or manager, the council, and the electorate. As the electorate strengthens one to balance the other, it also adopts more voter-controlled checks on both.
During the 1970s, the governing regimes of both Chicago and Seattle were confronted by sharp increases in the number of adult movie theaters, particularly in their central business districts. Since the traditional means of suppressing such businesses had been declared unconstitutional, these regimes were forced to derive new obscenity policies. The central concern of the Chicago regime was to construct policies that would prevent any further economic deterioration of the downtown Loop. Toward this end, the Chicago regime utilized legal harassment, changes in land use ordinances, and property development to force adult theaters from the Loop. The Seattle regime was less concerned about downtown development than with mollifying its traditional constituency in the residential neighborhoods. Thus, the Seattle regime created a policy that concentrated adult establishments downtown. Ultimately, both regimes were successful in achieving their separate policy goals.
This article examines the emergence of community development corporations (CDCs) from a peripheral component of neighborhood-based community development in the late 1960s to a leading role in community development in the 1990s. An emphasis is placed on the historical development of CDCs as they have progressed from neighborhood social movements, to neighborhood-based organizations, to the current emergence of a citywide community development industry system bringing CDCs together with traditional urban institutions such as local government, corporate philanthropy, and the religious establishment. The industry system framework provides an analytical context for a case study of Cleveland's CDCs from the late 1960s through the late 1990s.
More than a generation after the Civil Rights Act of 1968, fair housing remains an ambiguous and unattained goal in the United States. Entrenched opposition, weakness in the original legislation, racial preferences, and division among proponents help to explain this situation. The author examines the latter two factors and identifies the role of historical change in the persisting weakness of fair housing. Through an analysis of the prointegration movement, he argues that demographic and social change since 1968 have eroded support among both whites and blacks for integration and open housing and exacerbated divisions among proponents of fair housing.
Drawing on scholarly literature, descriptive data, and 142 face-to-face interviews with non-elected local officials, this article examines the relationship among political-economic context, inter-municipal relations, and spatial outcomes in the primary auto regions of the US (Detroit) and Japan (Tokai) between 1969 and 1996. It maintains that Detroit's embedded context promoted inter-municipal relations that can best be termed competitive separatism and apathetic avoidance. It then chronicles how such inter-local relations severely exacerbated existing conditions of uneven development in the region over the past 30 years. Conversely, it demonstrates how Tokai's context encouraged lateral interdependence among communities in its region. It then reveals how inter-local collaboration played a critical role in the relatively balanced metropolitan growth that came to exist there during this time period. It concludes by stating that inter-municipal relations have played a more vital role in metropolitan development than previously has been described in the scholarly literature.
Drawn by the attraction of economic betterment and less oppressive social conditions, over six million black Americans left the South between 1870 and 1970 for the major urban centers of the North and West. Over its course, the great migration transformed the black population from a predominantly southern and rural people into a highly urbanized, more nationally distributed, group. In the receiving cities, blacks were confronted with new forms of segregation and virtually excluded from suburbia.
A number of important changes in black settlement patterns occurred during the 1970's. First, the century-long exodus out of the South came to an end as opportunities there improved and conditions in the North deteriorated. Second, the Northeast, which had been a major destination of southern blacks for over 100 years, itself became subjected to strong black outmigration tendencies. The Midwest experienced similar trends, but on a smaller scale, and the proportion of blacks residing in the region remained virtually unchanged over the decade. The West continued to draw blacks, and was the only region to register a proportional gain in their numbers. Third, there was a marked shift of blacks to suburban residency, the extent of which varied between metropolitan areas. The exodus was broad enough to produce a net outmigration of blacks from the nation's central cities, a number of which experienced an absolute loss of black residents. Nevertheless, because of the continuing white exodus, the number of large cities gaining black majorities more than doubled during the decade. While enhancing the exercise of black political power in both central cities and suburbs, the changes did little to alter existing patterns of segregated living.
The study assesses the impact of the 1970 Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act on residents of four urban renewal projects in Richmond, Virginia. It looks at the impact of the act's provisions from the perspective of adequate compensation to those forcefully displaced by urban renewal and as a housing policy in and of itself. The findings suggest that some of the most objectionable elements of relocation, as it was conducted prior to 1970, were eliminated through compensatory provisions of the Act. Maintenance of high homeownership levels, as well as the addition of numerous renters to that status, greater racial and economic integration, and overall improvement of housing conditions were direct results of the 1970 Act. Nevertheless, costs of replacement housing for renters tended to be substantially higher after relocation, with no provisions for the greater income needed to sustain more expensive housing once the grant ran out. Moreover, failure to blend relocation into a balanced housing approach, including both rehabilitation and clearance efforts, undermined the potentially positive effects of an economically fair method of forced displacement.
Using panel data collected in 1969 and 1973, comparable path models of welfare dependency are developed and estimated. The models represent specifications of an integrated model of welfare dependency derived from human capital, dual labor market and family coping theories of economic behavior. As compared to 1969, 1973 is a depressed labor market year in terms of unemployment and total female employment. Comparative analysis of the models reveals that the quality of past labor market experience is an important determinant of dependency even in a depressed labor market. It is also found that adult or teenage assistance in low income female-headed households is of great benefit in adapting to poor labor market conditions. Based on these and other findings, recommendations for income maintenance policy in the 1980s are discussed in the final section.
Systematic information about the extent and character of neighborhood revitalization in the inner city is rare. In this paper we measure overall and relative improvements in Manhattan neighborhoods by using various population and housing statistics gathered in 1970 and the mid-1970s. Only a few cases of neighborhood revitalization are found but they confirm hypotheses that three distinct types of revitalization may occur: upper strata revitalization, upgrading and lower strata revitalization. The utility of this approach, in comparison with methods now in use, is discussed.
The 1972 Equal Employment Opportunity Act extended federal prohibitions against discrimination in hiring, firing, promotion, compensation, and other conditions of employment to state and local governments. This research examines the increase in the number of women and minorities employed by state and local governments between 1973 and 1980. It also examines the increase in the salaries of minorities and women during the same period. The total number of minorities and women in state and local government increased by 20 percent during this period. Most of this increase resulted from the hiring of women, particularly white women. Although the salaries of minorities and women increased more than 50 percent, the salaries of white males increased similarly. The salary gap between white males and minorities and women was not decreased significantly.
What causes urban decline andfiscal crises in American cities? Continued debate has genemted several theoretical explanations: bureaucratic ineffciency and corruption, product life cycle, manker-oriented investment, and capital mobility. A case study analysis of a city in crisis reveals the processes of crisis formation and resolution and enables us to examine the utility of these models. None of these models suflciently explains Cleveland's defbult in 1978 This case is explained best by a political economic analysis of the power offinance capital and its ability to shape local urban policy. me structural processes of elite coalescence and bank hegemony empowered the banking community to socially construct Cleveland's crisis and to strongly influence the resolution of that crisis.
The argument is advanced that rental affordability problems are the key symptom of the rental housing crisis. These problems may be measured by the rent-to-income ratio as reported by the 1980 census for five different income groups. Of special significance is that these data are available in a standardized form for every county, city and census tract in the nation. To demonstrate the use of these data, a rent burden indicator is constructed from these data and then applied to all counties in Texas with at least 100,000 population. One county, Travis, stands out with a particularly high incidence of rent burden, and this incidence is only slightly reduced when the rent burden indicator is adjusted to a standardized income distribution. This provides clear evidence of an unusually severe rental housing crisis.
Recent third sector housing research contends that community-based housing organizations can successfully balance social and financial objectives by simultaneously involving and building communities while developing and managing long-term affordable housing. This article analyzes the impact of the federal housing policies of the 1980s and 1990s on the ability of community-based housing organizations to meet this “double bottom line” (Bratt et al, 1994). It builds upon Salomon's (1989; 1993) thesis that an increased commercialization and marketization of the nonprofit sector occurred in response to the post-1980 federal social policies by arguing further that such a commercialization threatens the nonprofits' ability to prioritize standards of participation, neighborhood control, community building, and long-term affordability. I argue that federal housing policies need to be more closely allied with these standards in order to ensure their long-term viability.
Two policies of the Reagan administration threaten the traditional role of cities both as basic elements in the nation's governing structure and as socio-economic communities. The long-standing belief that an important criterion for judging both public and private action is its contribution to the welfare of the city has been abandoned. Under what may be called the New Privatism the existence or creation of any community is now primarily justified by its capacity to serve the locational needs of private firms in a technology-driven national market. To continue Federal development aid to economically declining cities would contribute to inefficiency in the national spatial economy and cannot be justified. The Reagan version of the New Federalism calls for devolving greater power to the state and local levels. For cities, the opposite effect is more likely. The ending or reduction of most federal programs relating to cities and their residents has put many cities in a double bind. They must choose between using scarce local resources to compete with other communities to lure or hold job-generating firms and attempting to meet the needs of large numbers of their citizens who formerly received federal social and welfare aid. Further, much of the national money which is still available for economic development and social needs is now administered by state governments under block grants. States have seldom been responsive to such needs in urban areas. If our assessment of the negative effects of these policies on the viability of cities as governing units is correct, then the question that must be addressed is: what is to replace local government as the primary means for citizens to act collectively below the state level?
This study examines the implications of President Reagan's domestic agenda, the New Federalism, for America's cities. The finance officers of all U.S. cities with populations more than 50,000 were surveyed about the fiscal impacts of the Reagan administration. Specific issues considered are: (1) the impacts of New Federalism initiatives on the changing sources of municipal general revenue, (2) the programmatic and service delivery consequences of these changes, and (3) the effect of New Federalism policies on the changing relationships between cities and states. Cities have turned primarily to local revenue sources to compensate for losses of federal aid. For the most part, the newly developed administrative relationships between cities and states are working satisfactorily. Finally, cities generally are considerably less dependent on aid from Washington today than prior to the Reagan years. Cities have paid a high price for their new independence: They have had to significantly reduce service deliveries to urban residents and significantly expand regressive taxing policies. Some of the implications are considered for intergovernmental relations in the coming years.
This research describes the distribution of changes in labor market outcomes for individuals in a region disrupted by severe economic restructuring. We use data from western Pennsylvania to compare individuals' 1990 labor market outcomes with those they would have expected had the economic characteristics of the region remained unchanged for the previous 10 years. The comparison between these outcomes provides a measure of the cumulative effect of all labor market changes. We compare the average differences across subgroups of the population to explore how various demographic groups of workers fared. Our analysis suggests that the dynamic forces of economic change have a cumulative effect that differs greatly across subgroups of the population. In particular, older and less educated workers face the largest losses in wages and earnings. As expected, dislocation from a job adds to these economic losses, but the results indicate that age and education have larger negative effects, regardless of dislocation status.
This study indicates that newspaper coverage of gentrification is far more diverse than the gentrification literature predicts. Our analysis of 4,445 articles published between 1986 and 2006 in nine papers in seven U.S. cities with a population of one million or greater suggests that newspaper frames of gentrification range from those that are wholly supportive of gentrification to those that are strictly critical. Papers also regularly publish accounts of gentrification that reference both its perceived “costs” and “benefits.” We find that coverage changes over time and that newspaper frames vary in relation to depictions of place characteristics, gentrifiers, and long-timers. As a result, this paper addresses questions in the gentrification literature about the content and tone of representations of gentrification, speaks to urban studies scholarship on culture's role in urban change processes, and reveals the mutability of the meaning and use of the term “gentrification.” Finally, it serves as a call for further studies of representations of gentrification, as well as future analyses of their influence.
Since the early 1980s, scholars have debated whether or not the converging forces of globalization have disembedded city-regions from their national contexts. This study explored this question through a comparison of post-1990 growth trends in the Detroit and Greater Toronto Area–Hamilton regions (GTAH), two urban areas within the same natural region and closely linked by industrial production flows, yet politically situated within two separate Federalist states. Guided by Nested City Theory, it reveals how their dissimilar contexts for race, local autonomy, and multilocal planning have helped foster divergent spatial patterns in the two regions. In particular, provincial controls governing municipal fragmentation, Ontario's Planning Act, and subregional/microregional planning have been key embedded structures helping to limit population decline and disinvestment in GTAH core cities. In the process, this article shows how urban trajectories have remained nested within multilevel spatial and institutional configurations. Its findings also call for greater consideration of nested state/provincial factors in cross-national comparisons of cities within Federal states. Finally, its conclusion offers a starting point toward a more nuanced specific version of Nested Theory to be called the Contextualized Model of Urban–Regional Development.
The degrees to which poor populations are spatially concentrated within metropolitan areas are influenced by two sets of forces. In this article, I refer to the first set of forces as redistributive forces, which includes intrametropolitan forces that redistribute populations among different neighborhoods. The second set of forces includes metropolitan-wide processes that alter the relative poverty composition of the overall metropolitan population. These latter processes are referred to here as compositional forces. This research investigates the degrees to which these two sets of forces impacted poverty concentration among racial and ethnic groups within Los Angeles County, CA from 1990 to 2000. Both forces generally functioned to increase poverty concentration among all groups considered, with compositional forces having the stronger effect. Evidence suggests that the residential experiences of poor whites, African Americans, and Hispanics were strongly influenced by the migratory behavior of the nonpoor in Los Angeles. The Asian population, however, exhibited some evidence of ethnic (or racial) “self-selectivity,” as this population exhibited less interclass segregation over time. Despite increased poverty concentration, findings demonstrate that Los Angeles became slightly less segregated by race and ethnicity during the 1990s.
Suburbanization is changing the face of urban America. A common claim is that suburban sprawl has contributed to increasing levels of economic segregation, but few studies have directly tested this hypothesis. Using U.S. Census data for 1990 and 2000, this paper examines the trends in and the relationship between suburban development patterns and economic segregation in U.S. metropolitan areas. We find that economic segregation, as measured by the Neighborhood Sorting Index (NSI), declined during the 1990s, reversing the earlier trend. However, results from cross-sectional and fixed-effects regression models at the metropolitan level suggest that suburbanization, as measured by five different indicators, was a countervailing influence during the decade. Metropolitan areas that were suburbanizing more rapidly had smaller declines in economic segregation than comparable metropolitan areas.
Effective and democratic local self-governance is the basic building block of the federal system. It allows citizens to make and carry out important decisions affecting their day-to-day lives. To further this capacity, an agenda is needed that calls for: a sphere of relative fiscal and policy autonomy for localities in relation to the state and national government; equality of status and broad expansion of citizen participation in formal governing processes; legitimizing opportunities for nonhierarchical, open, and spontaneous forms of collective action; incorporating voluntary and nonprofit organizations and private firms as valuable resources and participants in the local polity; and building democratic and functional governing structures at the neighborhood and metropolitan levels.
Millions of Americans have cast their urban agenda ballots by voting with their feet and moving out of the core of the nation's cities. Suburbanization has weakened the urban and social and economic fabric; the problems of metropolitan America are spread and not arrested. As the nation divides, it reduces its capacity to address the fundamental requirements of national aspirations for a just and economically equitable society. The Los Angeles riots were a vivid reflection of the flawed logic of current urban policy that increases social, economic, and physical distance. The authors offer an explanation of the problems and a set of recommendations for urban planning and policy to address the issues of urban decline. There are no panaceas in their prescriptions. Only a total rethinking of the nation's priorities and a reinvestment in social and human capital can transform urban life. Due to the momentary public concern over Los Angeles and other big cities, the next Administration will face perhaps the best and last chance to alter the fortunes of the nation's urban areas.
The urban landscape in the United States has been characterized by sprawl for decades. Despite arguments in favor of sprawl or its component attributes, it is widely believed that sprawl leads to many contemporary United States urban and environmental problems. Since 1961, 15 states in the United States have adopted state growth management programs (SGMPs) with various goals, including curtailing sprawl. This article, among a few previous studies, examines the effectiveness of SGMPs on containing sprawl. We create sprawl indices for 294 metropolitan areas in 1990 and 2000, measuring two major dimensions of sprawl: density and land-use mixture. Our examination of SGMPs involves not only a dummy variable indicating whether a SGPM exists or not, but a score system measuring the degree of state involvement in local growth management and three variables measuring three major attributes of SGMPs. With the refined measurements for both sprawl and SGMPs, we examine the impacts of SGMPs on the sprawl measures in the 1990s of the selected metropolitan areas in the United States. Our statistical results show that SGMPs effectively promoted compact development in terms of population density and land-use mixture. However, the statistical results do not support the claim that SGMPs with a higher degree of state involvement in local growth management, on average, worked better at curtailing sprawl than those with a lower-degree involvement in the 1990s. This article suggests that state governments in the United States should more fully exercise their responsibilities to control urban sprawl rather than just leave this issue to local devices.
This paper presents a review and analysis of current drug policy in the United States. The review incorporates analysis and assessments of the drug using population, the societal consequences of drug use, aspects of treatment of compulsive drug taking, treatment efficacy and treatment modalities, funding drug research and drug treatment programs, and lastly an evaluation of punitive and nonpunitive approaches to drug policy.
Affordable housing is a serious problem in many American cities. This paper discusses some of the findings of a 1989 housing linkage study that was intended to provide policy options to Florida local governments. The study examined 15 linkage programs in US cities. The issues of community characteristics as they relate to linkage programs and essential ingredients for successful programs are considered. Economic and legal impacts are outlined and important court decisions are citied.
This paper argues that economic restructuring is best analyzed as potentially a two-way relationship between global forces and local actors. The research and concepts in the literature on growth machines, governing coalitions, and urban regimes are central to that two-way relationship, but the focus on political coalitions must be broadened. Two changes are proposed: (1) the focus on coalitions must be accompanied by analysis of the mobility of local capital and the degree to which governments can influence that mobility and (2) analysis of coalitions must include investigating the ability of coalitions to implement the policies they enact.
A crisis of housing affordability confronts US Cities. The authors outline a plan for federal investment for cities. Specific proposals include creation of a National Housing Investment Corporation to provide equity for homeowner ship project development: new laws to encourage pension fund investment in urban housing and to encourage employer-assisted housing, enhanced rental production programs for neighborhood-based nonprofit corporations, a national homelessness prevention law, a new transitional housing program for the homeless, and “housing with needed services” programs for the elderly, handicapped, and homeless. The authors outline how urban governments can better enforce property maintenance codes, take over abandoned property, adopt planning processes that enhance housing affordability, encourage historic preservation, and invest additional city funds in housing.
This paper identifies a range of gentrification research topics meriting further attention in the 1990s. These topics are situated in the theoretical contexts stressing the primacy of production of gentrifiable spaces and consumption of housing by renovators. The complementarity of consensus and conflict in community formation is also noted. Five hypotheses that could be tested with 1990 census data are proposed. They deal with: the role of young households, gender, the proximity of home and workplace, residential segregation, and urban/rural similarities in community conflict. The paper ends with an acknowledgment of the need for continued theoretical and methodological diversity in the field.
Growth machine theorists argue that metropolitan development patterns represent the concerted activities of powerful growth coalitions who manipulate public agendas and guide local development, devoid of public accountability. This article investigates the organization and activities of the Chicago growth coalition which promoted a large development project—the 1992 World's Fair. Using interlocking directorates, it examines the corporate and institutional networks among coalition members and shows the constellation of interests that established this development agenda. As indicated by the extent of connections, this coalition is shown to be a corporate, civic, and social community. Although holding the potential for power as represented by the highly linked interests believed to hold sway in development issues, this coalition is unsuccessful in bringing this project to fruition. Changing political structures and dynamics diminished the power of the resources held by Chicago's growth coalition to bring in this project and altered the business-as-usual framework for growth coalition governance. A more open development politics combined with incompetent elite leadership and faulty project design contributed to this failure. This case study suggests that interlocking directorates and static studies of power are insufficient for understanding development outcomes and pro-growth strategy, success and failure. Studies of the resources held by those at the top must account for the politics that maintain local quiescence, support participation, or instigate local opposition This article also shows the large role that changing local political structures and government can play in mitigating power inequities over development and growth issues in urban areas.
Theory suggests that in the long term, gentrification—which I define as the phenomenon where wealthier individuals move into lower-income areas—should decrease neighborhood crime. In the short term, however, anecdotal evidence indicates that gentrification actually increases crime, perhaps due to the relative difference in status between newcomers and existing residents, and to increased opportunities for criminal behavior. Further, consumers’ choice of residential location depends on crime rates, creating simultaneity that likely biases estimates that overlook this concern. I exploit the 1994 Northridge earthquake in Los Angeles and subsequent short-term government-sponsored home financing incentives as an instrument to control for this endogeneity. The exogenous event induced middle- and upper-income individuals to purchase homes in earthquake-affected low and moderate-income neighborhoods, which I argue is independent of the influence of crime. The results show that in the short term, gentrification increases assaults, robberies, automobile thefts, and thefts from automobiles.
Through an analysis of the 1996 Dade County, Florida mayoral election, this article explains which is more important in vote choice in a racially-diverse polity—ethnicity or partisanship. We directly test this question in a metropolitan local election that constitutes a unique natural experiment. In September 1996, Dade County held a mayoral election with four major candidates whose partisan and ethnic interactions were not normal for the political history of the area: a Black Republican, a Puerto Rican Democrat, a Cuban American Democrat, and a Cuban American Independent. There was no non-Hispanic White (Anglo) candidate, even though Anglos constituted the bare plurality of the county's registered voters. In the October runoff, the Black Republican challenged the Cuban American Democrat in a county where over 80% of registered Black voters are Democrats, and over 60% of registered Hispanic voters are Republicans. As such, this election gives scholars a unique opportunity to untangle the effects of ethnicity and partisanship on vote choice. Using a three-wave survey of Dade County voters in 1996, we find that ethnicity was an overwhelmingly more powerful predictor of vote choice than partisanship. We assess the implications of how this study can be generalized to other multi-ethnic polities.
An examination of mayoral recruitment in 19 major American cities from 1820 to 1995 finds that mayors are now more likely to have prior political experience, serve longer in office, and have previously served on city councils. They are also less likely to come from business backgrounds, and those mayors who are still in business are less likely to have big business and manufacturing backgrounds. A multivariate analysis of mayors serving between 1870 and 1995 indicates that mayors from business backgrounds are less likely to be selected when their cities have partisan elections, when their cities have a large African American population, and when mayors are machine candidates. This analysis also finds that the number of mayors with business backgrounds declines as the number of college graduates increases, even though (after 1896) political machines disappeared and more cities adopted reform (council manager and commission) governments.
In November 2002 the voters of Los Angeles soundly rejected Proposition F which, if approved, would have authorized the secession of the San Fernando Valley in order to constitute a city independent of Los Angeles. This article attempts to delineate the interplay of social, economic, and political conditions related to support for secession by examining the results of a Los Angeles Times survey conducted one week prior to the vote. Because an exit poll was not taken following the vote, these data provide the most proximate evidence for the views of voters shortly before casting their ballots. The analysis of the data identifies distinctive social bases of support for secession in the San Fernando Valley that contrast with those outside the region. The results are interpreted in the context of Sonenshein's discussion of the role of coalition formation in urban politics.
This study examines the relationship between architecture and nation building in the age of globalization, with an analysis of the debates and controversies about the National Stadium, the main sports venue for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. The article argues that nationalism, along with the cultural ideology of global consumerism, drives the production of flagship architectural projects in China. The dilemma between nationalism and global consumerism has led state politicians and bureaucrats to opt for a global architectural language to narrate national ambitions. The study reveals the rationale underlying the search for global architecture among political elites in China, as well as its mixed consequences for local cultural discourses and politics.
The financial success of the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games, coupled with the dramatic increase in the revenues from the sale of television broadcasting rights and the sponsorship by international companies, have brought about a growing interest by cities to host the Games. This article contends that it is possible to identify the beginning of a new phase in the development of the Olympic Games. The question asked is why are cities like New York and London so interested in hosting the Olympic Games. In the case of those world cities, the emphasis appears more on strengthening their global status in an era of growing inter–urban competition and to finance large–scale planned construction projects in those cities.
The Olympic Park being developed in east London for the 2012 Games is one large urban renewal project among many in the city. The impact of the Games on urban development may be of less significance than the impact on city politics. Bidding for and delivering the Games has contributed to a reassessment of the recent experiment with mayoral government. The article examines these changing representations of the structures of London government that are now seen as a success. Much of the literature on Olympic cities is highly critical of the impact of the games, but the (current) substantial support for London 2012 also needs to be explained. We examine how London has created opportunities for support, and moments and spaces for celebration when political leaders and Londoners can come together around particular representations of themselves and the city.
“Community” in the twenty-first century seems to be everywhere and nowhere. On the one hand, the rhetoric of community is omnipresent, as nonprofit organizations, civic associations, government agencies, and even multinational corporate entities routinely describe their activities to be community-oriented. On the other hand, community in the broader sense of shared interests or solidarities appears to be under unrelenting attack, challenged by sociopolitical forces and intellectual currents that point toward more fragmented social orders. Locating community as a particular field of practice poses similar dilemmas. This article summarizes the broad outlines of the history of “community organization” in the United States, emphasizing both its multiple traditions and the enduring nature of its practical and strategic dilemmas. It provides an analysis of the key intellectual and social challenges facing the field and the different kinds of pressures they may be exerting on the different traditions of community action. Finally, it suggests four “boundary-crossing” areas of activity that cut across the inherited traditions and may represent emerging sources of innovation for community-based action.