Running the Numbers: A Practical Guide to Regional Economic and Social Analysis

M.E. Sharpe
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Through use of practical examples and a plainspoken narrative style that minimizes the use of math, this book demystifies data concepts, sources, and methods for public service professionals interested in understanding economic and social issues at the regional level.
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Publisher
M.E. Sharpe
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Published on
Dec 8, 2013
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9780765641076
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Development / Economic Development
Political Science / Public Policy / City Planning & Urban Development
Political Science / Public Policy / Regional Planning
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Andrew Ross
Phoenix, Arizona is one of America's fastest growing metropolitan regions. It is also its least sustainable one, sprawling over a thousand square miles, with a population of four and a half million, minimal rainfall, scorching heat, and an insatiable appetite for unrestrained growth and unrestricted property rights. In Bird on Fire, eminent social and cultural analyst Andrew Ross focuses on the prospects for sustainability in Phoenix--a city in the bull's eye of global warming--and also the obstacles that stand in the way. Most authors writing on sustainable cities look at places that have excellent public transit systems and relatively high density, such as Portland, Seattle, or New York. But Ross contends that if we can't change the game in fast-growing, low-density cities like Phoenix, the whole movement has a major problem. Drawing on interviews with 200 influential residents--from state legislators, urban planners, developers, and green business advocates to civil rights champions, energy lobbyists, solar entrepreneurs, and community activists--Ross argues that if Phoenix is ever to become sustainable, it will occur more through political and social change than through technological fixes. Ross explains how Arizona's increasingly xenophobic immigration laws, science-denying legislature, and growth-at-all-costs business ethic have perpetuated social injustice and environmental degradation. But he also highlights the positive changes happening in Phoenix, in particular the Gila River Indian Community's successful struggle to win back its water rights, potentially shifting resources away from new housing developments to producing healthy local food for the people of the Phoenix Basin. Ross argues that this victory may serve as a new model for how green democracy can work, redressing the claims of those who have been aggrieved in a way that creates long-term benefits for all. Bird on Fire offers a compelling take on one of the pressing issues of our time--finding pathways to sustainability at a time when governments are dismally failing in their responsibility to address climate change.
Bruce Katz
Academics, community activists, and politicians have rediscovered regionalism, insisting that regions are critical functional units in a world-wide economy and, just as important, critical functional units in individual American lives. More and more of us travel across city, county, even state borders every morning on our way to work. Our television, radio, and print media rely on a regional marketplace. Our businesses, large and small, depend on suppliers, workers, and customers who rarely reside in a single jurisdiction. The parks, riverfronts, stadiums, and museums we visit draw from, and provide an identity to, an area much larger than a single city. The fumes, gases, chemicals, and run-off that pollute our air and water have no regard for municipal boundaries.

This book lays out a variety of opinions on regionalism, its history and its future. While the essays do not comprise a debate, pro and con, about regionalism, they do provide a wide array of perspectives, based on the authors' diverse backgrounds and experience. Some contributors have made close academic studies of how regional action occurs, in various states like Minnesota, California, and Oregon; others give an historical account of a particular region like that surrounding New York City; and yet others point out aspects of regionalism--race, especially-- that should not be ignored.

Why did past efforts at regional collaboration fall apart? What did regionalist efforts of decades ago leave undone, and what new goals should regionalists set? Without an understanding of these questions, policymakers and advocates may find themselves "reinventing the region." This book provides an important understanding of how regionalism has played out in the past, how policies shape places, and the possibilities and limits of regional action.

Bruce J. Katz, director of the Brookings Institution Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy, was formerly chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Amy Liu
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005. Commentary and analysis typically focused on what went wrong in the post-disaster emergency response. This forward-looking book, however, presents a more cautiously optimistic view about the region's ability to bounce back after multiple disasters.

Catastrophes come in different forms—hurricanes, recessions, and oil spills, to name a few. It is imperative that we learn how best to rebuild in the wake of disasters and what capacities and conditions are needed to improve future resilience. Since the devastating summer of 2005, leaders have made important inroads to restoring communities in more prosperous ways. Resilience and Opportunity is an important contribution to our collective learning from a teachable moment.

Contributors: Ivye Allen, Foundation for the Mid South; Lance Buhl, Duke University; Ann Carpenter, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta; Robert A. Collins, Dillard University; Mark S. Davis, Tulane University Law School; Breonne DeDecker, Brandeis University; Karen B. DeSalvo, Tulane University School of Medicine; Kathryn A. Foster, University at Buffalo Regional Institute, SUNY; Linetta Gilbert, The Declaration Initiative; Ambassador James Joseph, Duke University; Mukesh Kumar, Jackson State University; Luceia LeDoux, Baptist Communities Ministries; Silas Lee III, Xavier University of Louisiana; David A. Marcello, Tulane University; Richard McCline, Southern University; Nancy T. Montoya, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta; Reilly Morse, Mississippi Center for Justice; Elaine Ortiz, Greater New Orleans Community Data Center; Andre Perry, Loyola University, New Orleans; John L. Renne, University of New Orleans; Kalima Rose, PolicyLink; Michael Schwam-Baird, Tulane University; Jasmine M. Waddell, Brandeis University; Nadiene Van Dyke, New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation; Alandra Washington, W. K. Kellogg Foundation; Frederick Weil, Louisiana State University; Leslie Willams, LeaderShift Consulting; Jon Wool, Vera Institute of Justice.

Jacque Fresco & Roxanne Meadows
FEW TECHNOLOGICAL ACHIEVEMENTS are as impressive as the ability to see our own planet from outer space. The beautiful sphere suspended against the black void of space makes plain the bond that the billions of us on Earth have in common.

This global consciousness inspires space travellers who then provide emotional and spiritual observations. Their views from outer space awaken them to a grand realization that all who share our planet make up a single community. They think this viewpoint will help unite the nations of the world in order to build a peaceful future for the present generation and the ones that follow.

Many poets, philosophers, and writers have criticized the artificial borders that separate people preoccupied with the notion of nationhood. Despite the visions and hopes of astronauts, poets, writers, and visionaries, the reality is that nations are continuously at war with one another, and poverty and hunger prevail in many places throughout the world, including the United States.

So far, no astronaut arriving back on Earth with this new social consciousness has pro- posed to transcend the world's limitations with a world where no national boundaries exist. Each remains loyal to his/her particular nation-state, and doesn’t venture beyond patriotism - "my country, right or wrong" – because doing so may risk their positions.

Most problems we face in the world today are of our own making. We must accept that the future depends upon us. Interventions by mythical or divine characters in white robes descending from the clouds, or by visitors from other worlds, are illusions that cannot solve the problems of our modern world. The future of the world is our responsibility and depends upon decisions we make today. We are our own salvation or damnation. The shape and solutions of the future depend totally on the collective effort of all people working together.


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