"This is a spectacular resource for practitioners, policymakers, researchers, and students interested in improving the lives and health of individuals and families in urban settings. This book provides the most current frameworks, research, and approaches for understanding how unique features of the urban physical and social environments that shape the health of over half of the world's population that is already residing in large cities. Its interdisciplinary research and practice focus is a welcome innovation."
—Hortensia Amaro, associate dean, Urban Health Research; Distinguished Professor, Bouve College of Health Sciences; and director, Institute on Urban Health Research, Northeastern University
"Urban Health and Society: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Research and Practice provides students in public health, urban planning, social work, and other professions with the critical knowledge and practical guidance they need to work as effective members of interdisciplinary teams aimed at studying and addressing urban health problems. Throughout the chapters, the book's attention to community participation, social justice, and equity as well as interdisciplinary research methods make it an invaluable resource."
—Barbara A. Israel, professor, Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health, University of Michigan
"The book will be of great interest to academics, politicians, planners, and public health professionals attempting to understand or reduce urban health risks, create safe urban environments, and deliver effective and sustainable health services and programs to urban populations."
—Stephen Lepore, professor and PhD program director, Department of Public Health, Temple University
Nicholas Freudenberg is Distinguished Professor of Urban Public Health at Hunter College and of Social Psychology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York where he directs the CUNY Doctor of Public Health Program.
Susan Klitzman is professor of Environmental Health and director of the Urban Public Health Program, Hunter College. She currently serves on the New York City Board of Health.
Susan Saegert is professor of Human and Organizational Development and director of the Center of Community Studies at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. She is the former director of the Center for Human Environments and professor of Environmental Psychology at the CUNY Graduate Center.
Social Capital and Poor Communities examines civic initiatives that have built affordable housing, fostered small businesses, promoted neighborhood safety, and increased political participation. At the core of each initiative lie local institutions—church congregations, parent-teacher groups, tenant associations, and community improvement alliances. The contributors explore how such groups build networks of leaders and followers and how the social power they cultivate can be successfully transferred from smaller goals to broader political advocacy. For example, community-based groups often become platforms for leaders hoping to run for local office. Church-based groups and interfaith organizations can lobby for affordable housing, job training programs, and school improvement.
Social Capital and Poor Communities convincingly demonstrates why building social capital is so important in enabling the poor to seek greater access to financial resources and public services. As the contributors make clear, this task is neither automatic nor easy. The book's frank discussions of both successes and failures illustrate the pitfalls—conflicts of interest, resistance from power elites, and racial exclusion—that can threaten even the most promising initiatives. The impressive evidence in this volume offers valuable insights into how goal formation, leadership, and cooperation can be effectively cultivated, resulting in a remarkable force for change and a rich public life even for those communities mired in seemingly hopeless poverty.
A Volume in the Ford Foundation Series on Asset Building
Providing an essential resource for students of urban studies, geography, sociology and many other areas, this book brings together important but, till now, widely dispersed writings across many inter-related disciplines. Introductions from the editors precede each section; introducing the texts, demonstrating their significance, and outlining the key issues surrounding the topic. A companion website, PeoplePlaceSpace.org, extends the work even further by providing an on-going series of additional reading lists that cover issues ranging from food security to foreclosure, psychiatric spaces to the environments of predator animals.