Urban Problems and Community Development

Brookings Institution Press
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In recent years, concerned governments, businesses, and civic groups have launched ambitious programs of community development designed to halt, and even reverse, decades of urban decline. But while massive amounts of effort and money are being dedicated to improving the inner-cities, two important questions have gone unanswered: Can community development actually help solve long-standing urban problems? And, based on social science analyses, what kinds of initiatives can make a difference? This book surveys what we currently know and what we need to know about community development's past, current, and potential contributions. The authors--economists, sociologists, political scientists, and a historian--define community development broadly to include all capacity building (including social, intellectual, physical, financial, and political assets) aimed at improving the quality of life in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods. The book addresses the history of urban development strategies, the politics of resource allocation, business and workforce development, housing, community development corporations, informal social organizations, schooling, and public security.
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About the author

William T. Dickens, a senior fellow in the Economics Studies program at the Brookings Institution, was previously a senior economist on the President's Council of Economic Advisers and professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley. Ronald F. Ferguson has taught at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government since 1983 and is senior research associate at Harvard's Wiener Center for Social Policy.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Brookings Institution Press
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Published on
Jan 1, 2011
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Pages
642
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ISBN
9780815719816
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Urban & Regional
Political Science / Public Policy / City Planning & Urban Development
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Since the demise of urban renewal in the early 1970s, the politics of large-scale public investment in and around major American cities has received little scholarly attention. In MEGA-PROJECTS, Alan Altshuler and David Luberoff analyze the unprecedented wave of large-scale (mega-) public investments that occurred in American cities during the 1950s and 1960s; the social upheavals they triggered, which derailed large numbers of projects during the late 1960s and early 1970s; and the political impulses that have shaped a new generation of urban mega-projects in the decades since. They also appraise the most important consequences of policy shifts over this half-century and draw out common themes from the rich variety of programmatic and project developments that they chronicle. The authors integrate narratives of national as well as state and local policymaking, and of mobilization by (mainly local) project advocates, with a profound examination of how well leading theories of urban politics explain the observed realities. The specific cases they analyze include a wide mix of transportation and downtown revitalization projects, drawn from numerous regions—most notably Boston, Denver, Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, Portland, and Seattle. While their original research focuses on highway, airport, and rail transit programs and projects, they draw as well on the work of others to analyze the politics of public investment in urban renewal, downtown retailing, convention centers, and professional sports facilities. In comparing their findings with leading theories of urban and American politics, Altshuler and Luberoff arrive at some surprising findings about which perform best and also reveal some important gaps in the literature as a whole. In a concluding chapter, they examine the potential effects of new fiscal pressures, business mobilization to relax environmental constraints, and security concerns in the wake of September 11. And they make clear their own views about how best to achieve a balance between developmental, environmental, and democratic values in public investment decisionmaking. Integrating fifty years of urban development history with leading theories of urban and American politics, MEGA-PROJECTS provides significant new insights into urban and intergovernmental politics.
This completely updated and revised edition of Levy's highly regarded work examines the important changes in the economic world faced by communities since publication of the first edition in 1981. Much new material has been added to reflect the increasingly important role of state government, heightened intermunicipal competition, rising foreign investment, the diminished availability of federal development funds, and more. Like the previous edition, this is designed as a how-to book for the practitioner as well as a resource for students of public administration, planning, and development economics. The author provides a general framework for considering the pros and cons of various economic development approaches, offers an overview of the new federal role in local economic development and the rationale for national economic development policy, and presents a systematic discussion of local economic development techniques, strategy, financing and tax abatement, federal and state programs, and marketing and promotion.

Following a general introduction, Levy looks at the political context of economic development, local government organizations and personnel, and recent economic changes-- including the deindustrialization issue and foreign trade-related matters. Chapters on the role of the states, reasonable expectations, and local economic development in the national context are new to this edition, as is a chapter that surveys actual practitioner experience in order to identify what does and does not work in local economic development. Subsequent discussions focus on the use of public relations, advertising and marketing in local government; assessing economic development potential; development planning and financing; and labor markets and fiscal impacts. An important addition to this edition is the inclusion of a simple, generic PC-based fiscal impact model. Indispensable for anyone involved in local economic development, this new edition offers a comprehensive look at the development situation faced by communities as we move into the 1990s.

We all want our children to reach their fullest potential—to be smart and well adjusted, and to make a difference in the world. We wonder why, for some people, success seems to come so naturally.

Could the secret be how they were parented?

This book unveils how parenting helped shape some of the most fascinating people you will ever encounter, by doing things that almost any parent can do. You don't have to be wealthy or influential to ensure your child reaches their greatest potential. What you do need is commitment—and the strategies outlined in this book.

In The Formula: Unlocking the Secrets to Raising Highly Successful Children, Harvard economist Ronald Ferguson, named in a New York Times profile as the foremost expert on the US educational "achievement gap," along with award-winning journalist Tatsha Robertson, reveal an intriguing blueprint for helping children from all types of backgrounds become successful adults.

Informed by hundreds of interviews, the book includes never-before-published insights from the "How I was Parented Project" at Harvard University, which draws on the varying life experiences of 120 Harvard students. Ferguson and Robertson have isolated a pattern with eight roles of the "Master Parent" that make up the Formula: the Early Learning Partner, the Flight Engineer, the Fixer, the Revealer, the Philosopher, the Model, the Negotiator, and the GPS Navigational Voice.

The Formula combines the latest scientific research on child development, learning, and brain growth and illustrates with life stories of extraordinary individuals—from the Harvard-educated Ghanian entrepreneur who, as the young child of a rural doctor, was welcomed in his father's secretive late-night political meetings; to the nation's youngest state-wide elected official, whose hardworking father taught him math and science during grueling days on the family farm in Kentucky; to the DREAMer immigration lawyer whose low-wage mother pawned her wedding ring to buy her academically outstanding child a special flute.

The Formula reveals strategies on how you—regardless of race, class, or background—can help your children become the best they can be and shows ways to maximize their chances for happy and purposeful lives.

For decades, the federal government's failure to provide decent and affordable housing to very low-income families has given rise to severely distressed urban neighborhoods that defeat the best hopes of both residents and local officials. Now, however, there is cause for optimism. From Despair to Hope documents the evolution of HOPE VI, a federal program that promotes mixed-income housing integrated with services and amenities to replace the economically and socially isolated public housing complexes of the past. As one of the most ambitious urban development initiatives in the last half century, HOPE VI has transformed the landscape in Atlanta, Baltimore, Louisville, Seattle, and other cities, providing vivid examples of a true federal-urban partnership and offering lessons for policy innovators.

In From Despair to Hope, Henry Cisneros and Lora Engdahl collaborate with public and private sector leaders who were on the scene in the early 1990s when the intolerable conditions in the nation's worst public housing projects—and their devastating impact on inhabitants, neighborhoods, and cities—called for drastic action. These eyewitnesses from the policymaking, housing development, and architecture fields reveal how a program conceived to address one specific problem revolutionized the entire public housing system and solidified a set of principles that guide urban policy today.

This vibrant, full-color exploration of HOPE VI details the fate of residents, neighborhoods, cities, and public housing systems through personal testimony, interviews, case studies, data analyses, research summaries, photographs, and more. Contributors examine what HOPE VI has accomplished as it brings disadvantaged families into more economically mixed communities. They also turn a critical eye on where the program falls short of its ideals. This important book continues the national conversation on poverty, race, and opportunity as the country moves ahead under a new president.

Contributors: Richard D. Baron (McCormack Baron Salazar), Peter Calthorpe (Calthorpe Associates), Sheila Crowley (National Low-Income Housing Coalition), Mary K. Cunningham (Urban Institute), Richard C. Gentry (San Diego Housing Commission), Renée Lewis Glover (Atlanta Housing Authority), Bruce Katz (Brookings Institution), G. Thomas Kingsley (Urban Institute), Alexander Polikoff (Business and Professional People for the Public Interest), Susan J. Popkin (Urban Institute), Margery Austin Turner (Urban Institute), and Ronald D. Utt (Heritage Foundation). Poverty & Race

As the European Community moves toward full integration of its members' economies, one of the most far-reaching changes will be in the European labor market. Nontariff barriers to trade between the member countries will be removed, and workers will become free to seek employment anywhere in the Community. As these changes take place, individual markets stand to lose their national identities while workers and employers face profound challenges.

In this book, a group of leading labor economists and social scientists address an array of concerns about economic integration and provide insight into labor's likely response. They identify the challenges of the Single Market Program and explore the implications of western European integration for European industrial relations, European labor mobility, and economies and labor markets in the rest of the world.

The contributors assess the impact of economic unification on European trade unions, wage-bargaining, work rules, training programs, and benefits. They draw on U.S. experiences in the centralization and more recent decentralization of the work force, consider the German system of industrial relations as a model for power sharing between workers and managers, and explore current efforts of labor market restructuring and privatization in central and eastern Europe. They address such questions as: Will pension and health insurance arrangements constrain worker mobility? Will cross-country wage differences within the EC narrow? And will exchange rates and monetary unification exacerbate unemployment problems? They also examine the impact of unification on immigration policy, capital markets, and trade.

Labor and an Integrated Europe provides a much needed background for developing a coherent plan that deals with these crucial labor issues.

PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST

An epic, riveting history of New York City on the edge of disaster—and an anatomy of the austerity politics that continue to shape the world today

When the news broke in 1975 that New York City was on the brink of fiscal collapse, few believed it was possible. How could the country’s largest metropolis fail? How could the capital of the financial world go bankrupt? Yet the city was indeed billions of dollars in the red, with no way to pay back its debts. Bankers and politicians alike seized upon the situation as evidence that social liberalism, which New York famously exemplified, was unworkable. The city had to slash services, freeze wages, and fire thousands of workers, they insisted, or financial apocalypse would ensue.

In this vivid account, historian Kim Phillips-Fein tells the remarkable story of the crisis that engulfed the city. With unions and ordinary citizens refusing to accept retrenchment, the budget crunch became a struggle over the soul of New York, pitting fundamentally opposing visions of the city against each other. Drawing on never-before-used archival sources and interviews with key players in the crisis, Fear City shows how the brush with bankruptcy permanently transformed New York—and reshaped ideas about government across America.

At once a sweeping history of some of the most tumultuous times in New York's past, a gripping narrative of last-minute machinations and backroom deals, and an origin story of the politics of austerity, Fear City is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the resurgent fiscal conservatism of today.

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