Article

Five Decades of Research on Urban Poverty: Main Research Communities, Core Knowledge Producers, and Emerging Thematic Areas

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Abstract

Urban poverty represents one of the greatest and most urgent challenges that modern society is facing. The criticality of this global issue is represented by a rapidly growing body of academic literature which aims to explain the dynamics of urban poverty and promote effective and enduring solutions. However, despite many years of research, no studies have been conducted yet which reveal and analyze the overall intellectual structure of the urban poverty research field. In light of this gap, a bibliometric study was undertaken of 52 years of scientific literature on urban poverty (1965-2017). The bibliometric study combines author citation analysis and text-mining techniques to map the main research communities and core knowledge producers which are shaping the urban poverty research field and to identify the thematic areas that these communities are focusing attention on. The results of this investigation reveal a significant growth in the volume of academic literature produced post-1990, which is mainly driven by the collaborative efforts of five research communities, each of whom are seen to focus attention on a specific thematic area: (A) Policy-oriented research; (B) Urban poverty concentration; (C) The rise of poverty in Chinese cities; (D) Youth-behavioral and mental-health aspects of urban poverty; and (E) Urban poverty and health in the Sub-Saharan and Asian slum areas. The practical relevance and scientific contribution of this study is evidenced in its capacity to assist those actors working to alleviate urban poverty, in particular research communities, governmental and inter-governmental institutions, and funding bodies. In addition to help them grasp the overall intellectual structure of the urban poverty research field, the insight offered by this study is instrumental in supporting the articulation of a global, action-oriented agenda for future interdisciplinary research on urban poverty.

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... Urban poverty is considered one of the most critical challenges of modern societies (Panori, Mora, & Reid, 2019). The definition of urban poverty is not fundamentally more than the phenomenon of poorness in urban areas, but it presents various issues that are different from general poverty. ...
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Bibliometrics is a powerful tool for analyzing knowledge domains and revealing their cognitive-epistemological structure. Different mathematical models and statistical techniques have been proposed and tested to carry out bibliometric analyses and demonstrate their effectiveness in uncovering how fields of research are intellectually structured. These include two hybrid techniques that allow clusters of related documents obtained from a co-citation analysis to be labeled using textual data. This paper reports on the findings of a bibliometric study in which these hybrid techniques are combined to: (1) build and visualize the network of publications shaping the intellectual structure of the smart city research field by considering the first two decades of literature dealing with this subject; (2) map the clusters of thematically-related publications; and (3) reveal the emerging development paths of smart cities that each thematic cluster represents and the strategic principles they embody. The five development paths which the analysis uncovers and the strategic principles each stands on are then compared by reviewing the most recent literature on smart cities. Overall, this bibliometric study offers a systematic review of the research on smart cities produced since 1992 and helps bridge the division affecting this research area, demonstrating that it is caused by the dichotomous nature of the development paths of smart cities that each thematic cluster relates to and the strategic principles they in turn support
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As Google Scholar (GS) gains more ground as free scholarly literature retrieval source it’s becoming important to understand its quality and reliability in terms of scope and content. Studies comparing GS to controlled databases such as Scopus, Web of Science (WOS) and others have been published almost since GS inception. These studies focus on its coverage, quality and ability to replace controlled databases as a source of reliable scientific literature. In addition, GS introduction of citations tracking and journal metrics have spurred a body of literature focusing on its ability to produce reliable metrics. In this article we aimed to review some studies in these areas in an effort to provide insights into GS ability to replace controlled databases in various subject areas. We reviewed 91 comparative articles from 2005 until 2016 which compared GS to various databases and especially Web of Science (WOS) and Scopus in an effort to determine whether GS can be used as a suitable source of scientific information and as a source of data for scientific evaluation. Our results show that GS has significantly expanded its coverage through the years which makes it a powerful database of scholarly literature. However, the quality of resources indexed and overall policy still remains known. Caution should be exercised when relying on GS for citations and metrics mainly because it can be easily manipulated and its indexing quality still remains a challenge.
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Based on a dataset on Astronomy and Astrophysics, hybrid cluster analyses have been conducted. In order to obtain an optimum solution and to analyse possible issues resulting from the bibliometric methodologies used, we have systematically studied three models and, within these models, two scenarios each. The hybrid clustering was based on a combination of bibliographic coupling and textual similarities using the Louvain method at two resolution levels. The procedure resulted in three clearly hierarchical structures with six and thirteen, seven and thirteen and finally five and eleven clusters, respectively. These structures are analysed with the help of a concordance table. The statistics reflect a high quality of classification. The results of these three models are presented, discussed and compared with each other. For labelling and interpreting clusters, core documents representing the obtained clusters are used. Furthermore, these core documents help depict the internal structure of the complete network and the clusters. This work has been done as part of the international project ‘Measuring the Diversity of Research’ and in the framework a special workshop on the comparative analysis of algorithms for the identification of topics in science organised in Berlin in August 2014.
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Lawrence Haddad, Corinna Hawkes and colleagues propose ten ways to shift the focus from feeding people to nourishing them.
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In the light of recent research debates on computational social science and Digital Humanities (DH) as meanwhile adolescent disciplines dealing with big data (Reichert, 2014), I strove for answering in which ways Text Mining (TM) applications are able to support Qualitative Data Analysis (QDA) in the social sciences in a manner that fruitfully integrates a qualitative with a quantitative perspective. The guiding assumption was, the more modern Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning (ML) algorithms enable us to identify patterns of `meaning’ from global contexts of mass data collections, while at the same time preserving opportunities to retrieve identified patterns again in local contexts of single documents, the more they allow for a fruitful integration of qualitative and quantitative text analysis. By combining extraction of qualitative knowledge from text to buttress understanding of social reality with quantification of extracted knowledge structures to infer on their relevancy, utilizing TM for QDA is inherently a mixed method research design.
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Background The relationship between HIV and poverty is complex and recent studies reveal an urban–rural divide that is not well understood. This paper examines the urban–rural disparity in the relationship between poverty and HIV infection in Kenya, with particular reference to possible explanations relating to social cohesion/capital and other moderating factors. Methods Multilevel logistic regression models are applied to nationally-representative samples of 13 094 men and women of reproductive age from recent Kenya Demographic and Health Surveys. Results The results confirm a disproportionate higher risk of HIV infection among the urban poor, despite a general negative association between poverty and HIV infection among rural residents. Estimates of intra-community correlations suggest lower social cohesion in urban than rural communities. This, combined with marked socio-economic inequalities in urban areas is likely to result in the urban poor being particularly vulnerable. The results further reveal interesting cultural variations and trends. In particular, recent declines in HIV prevalence among urban residents in Kenya have been predominantly confined to those of higher socio-economic status. Conclusion With current rapid urbanization patterns and increasing urban poverty, these trends have important implications for the future of the HIV epidemic in Kenya and similar settings across the sub-Saharan Africa region.
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How to react to rapid expansion has become an essential issue for most large cities in not only the US, but also in the developing countries like China and India. The authors consider how these Urban Sprawl affect, and are affected by, the rapid population decline of the city center region and consequently followed by urban poverty; and attempt to understand how social and economic changes affect urban poverty and homelessness. Since homelessness is largely about poverty, we can attribute some of its structural causes to this late 20th century capitalist economic predicament. But what are the specific economic reasons for the rise in homelessness within the framework of these general contemporary conditions of poverty, especially in the process of modernization? And what additional structural problems account for homelessness in America today? © 2015 by World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Between 2000 and 2012, the Santa Isabel area of the Santiago-Centro comuna (municipal district) saw increasing capital concentration in middle-income-oriented, new-build real estate. Whilst large developers devised several ways to pay low land prices to original owner-residents, the average sale price of new apartments rose, reducing the amount of housing options in the area by at least 50% for original low-income residents—a form of exclusionary displacement. In parallel, state regulations intensified the Floor Area Ratio in order to anchor real-estate investment to their territories, substantively leading to development projects with much higher density rates, higher rents, and smaller living spaces. In this article, I draw upon an analysis of 262 land plots that were redeveloped into 65 new high-rise projects and a survey of 195 original households who lived in the still non-redeveloped properties inside the case study area, in order to analyze how Santiago’s high-rise urban renewal (usually) means new-build gentrification led by the state and monopolized by large-scale developers.
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Economic crises are often associated with increasing levels of income segregation and income polarization. Poor neighborhoods generally hit more severely, with unemployment levels increasing and income levels dropping more than in better-off neighborhoods. In this article, we study the correlation between economic recession and income segregation in Malmö, Sweden, with focus on development in the regions’ poorest neighborhoods. We compare and contrast these areas’ development during a period of economic crisis (1990–1995) with development during a period characterized by relative economic stability. Our findings suggest that (1) income segregation and income polarization indeed increased during the period of economic crisis; (2) neighborhoods that were already poor before the crisis fared worse than the region in general; and (3) this development was due to both in situ changes and to residential sorting, where the differences in income and employment status between people moving into a neighborhood, those moving out, and those who remained in place were greater during the period of recession compared to the more stable period.
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The study analyzed four urban communities in four very different regions: Chawama, in Lusaka, Zambia; Cisne Dos, in Guayaquil, Ecuador; Commonwealth, in Metro Manila, the Philippines; and Angyalfold, in Budapest, Hungary. Although these four case studies revealed interesting contrasts, they also showed important similarities. The findings show that a community's ability to cope with the stress of economic difficulties, is largely affected by its material well-being, as expected. But they also show that a community's coping ability is influenced by its social capital - the trust, reciprocal arrangements, and social networks linking people in the community. Not surprisingly, the study's findings bring out the role of women in vivid relief. Their networks are therefore extremely important as a defense against increased vulnerability and as a basis for action to overcome the conditions of extreme poverty.
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The aim of this article is to illustrate the links between daily travel and spatial segregation in Sub-Saharan Africa cities. In a context of rapid demographic growth, unplanned urban sprawl and increasing poverty of the public sector and the population, in Dar Es Salaam and Dakar, like in other large African cities, trips between distant districts are problematic. The case studies highlight differential access to the urban space between the "confirmed pedestrians" and the users of motorised means of transport, and between the residents from the well-off planned and accessible districts and those from the poor unplanned and inaccessible ones. Deficiencies in the supply of basic facilities and in the accessibility to the neighbourhoods reinforce the negative impact of low incomes on daily travel, and encourage the confinement of populations in their neighbourhood with the risk of increasing urban poverty and segregation.
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It has been nearly a half century since President Lyndon Johnson declared war on poverty. Back in the 1960s tackling poverty “in place” meant focusing resources in the inner city and in rural areas. The suburbs were seen as home to middle- and upper-class families affluent commuters and homeowners looking for good schools and safe communities in which to raise their kids. But today’s America is a very different place. Poverty is no longer just an urban or rural problem, but increasingly a suburban one as well. In Confronting Suburban Poverty in America, Elizabeth Kneebone and Alan Berube take on the new reality of metropolitan poverty and opportunity in America. After decades in which suburbs added poor residents at a faster pace than cities, the 2000s marked a tipping point. Suburbia is now home to the largest and fastest-growing poor population in the country and more than half of the metropolitan poor. However, the antipoverty infrastructure built over the past several decades does not fit this rapidly changing geography. As Kneebone and Berube cogently demonstrate, the solution no longer fits the problem. The spread of suburban poverty has many causes, including shifts in affordable housing and jobs, population dynamics, immigration, and a struggling economy. The phenomenon raises several daunting challenges, such as the need for more (and better) transportation options, services, and financial resources. But necessity also produces opportunity in this case, the opportunity to rethink and modernize services, structures, and procedures so that they work in more scaled, cross-cutting, and resource-efficient ways to address widespread need. This book embraces that opportunity. Kneebone and Berube paint a new picture of poverty in America as well as the best ways to combat it. Confronting Suburban Poverty in America offers a series of workable recommendations for public, private, and nonprofit leaders seeking to modernize poverty alleviation and community development strategies and connect residents with economic opportunity. The authors highlight efforts in metro areas where local leaders are learning how to do more with less and adjusting their approaches to address the metropolitan scale of poverty for example, integrating services and service delivery, collaborating across sectors and jurisdictions, and using data-driven and flexible funding strategies. “We believe the goal of public policy must be to provide all families with access to communities, whether in cities or suburbs, that offer a high quality of life and solid platform for upward mobility over time. Understanding the new reality of poverty in metropolitan America is a critical step toward realizing that goal.”.
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Although poverty in India remains disproportionately rural at the aggregate level, urban poverty is growing in importance. Efforts to address urban poverty should note its spatial distribution. This paper shows that the incidence of poverty in India’s small towns is markedly higher than in large metropolitan areas. It is also in small and medium-sized towns that a large majority of the urban poor reside. Moreover, access to key services and institutions in small towns lags behind the larger cities. Agglomeration externalities are found to arise at the level of individual towns and cities and likely provide part of the explanation of the city-size poverty relationship, but inequalities in infrastructure access and proximity to a dominant metropolitan area also play a role. Efforts to combat poverty in India’s small towns may also contribute to rural poverty reduction. A small but growing literature points to a causal link from urban to rural poverty reduction. Evidence suggests that the association is stronger if the urban center is a small town than if it is a large city. There is thus an instrumental case for special attention to small towns in urban poverty reduction efforts, alongside the strong intrinsic interest in such a focus.
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'Market reform has brought new forms of poverty to urban China, even while the standard of living of most urban residents has greatly improved. This research uses interviews with people in six cities to document their situation and to show how poverty is rooted in the failure of support systems in their neighborhoods and communities. It offers a stark evaluation of a system of inequalities that is only beginning to be addressed by state policy.' © Fulong Wu, Chris Webster, Shenjing He and Yuting Liu 2010. All rights reserved.
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Although there is now a large body of empirical research on neighbourhood effects, we know relatively little about the causal mechanisms responsible for relationships between neighbourhood attributes and individual outcomes. A list of 15 potential causal pathways which may lead to neighbourhood effects is given, grouped into four categories: social-interactive mechanisms, environmental mechanisms, geographical mechanisms, and institutional mechanisms. The ultimate goal of neighbourhood effects research is not only to identify which mechanisms are responsible for neighbourhood effects, but also to quantitatively ascertain their relative contributions to the outcome under investigation. A pharmacological metaphor of dosage-response is used to understand how the theoretical mechanisms could be causally linked to individual outcomes. This metaphor refers to questions regarding the composition and the administration of the neighbourhood dosage, and the neighbourhood dosage-response relationship. This chapter concludes that despite the ever growing literature on neighbourhood effects, there is far too little scholarship to make many claims about which causal links dominate for which outcomes for which people in which national contexts and any conclusions on the existence of such effects should be treated as provisional at best. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. All rights reserved.
Article
In determining whether a country's higher education system should be expanded, it is important for policymakers first to determine the extent to which high private returns to post-secondary education are an indication of the scarcity of graduates instead of the high unobserved ability of students who choose to attend post-secondary education. To this end, the paper identifies the returns to schooling in urban China using individual-level variation in educational attainment caused by exogenous city-wide disruptions to education during the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976. For city-cohorts who experienced greater disruptions, children's educational attainment became less correlated with that of their fathers and more influenced by whether their fathers held administrative positions. The analysis calculates returns to college education using data from the China Urban Labor Survey conducted in five large cities in 2001. The results are consistent with the selection of high-ability students into higher education. The analysis also demonstrates that these results are unlikely to be driven by sample selection bias associated with migration, or by alternative pathways through which the Cultural Revolution could have affected adult productivity.