Urban, rural and regional policies

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    Book Review: Capital City: Gentrification and the Real Estate State by Samuel Stein

Book Review: Capital City: Gentrification and the Real Estate State by Samuel Stein

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In Capital City: Gentrification and the Real Estate State, Samuel Stein approaches the issue of gentrification through the lens of urban planning, arguing for better understanding of the rising political influence of real estate interests within local and national governments. The book shines a light on the underlining political dynamic that lies at the heart of our cities and is essential reading […]

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    Why do transit agencies contract out services? It may be down to how managers view outsourcing.

Why do transit agencies contract out services? It may be down to how managers view outsourcing.

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Public transit managers in America’s towns and cities often face pressure to outsource transport services because of the potential to bring cost savings. But, evidence suggests that these cost-savings rarely occur. In new research which surveys transit managers, Olga Smirnova and Suzanne Leland investigate why contracting-out remains popular despite this apparent lack of cost-savings. They find that managers of […]

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    When it comes to how cities raise and save money, state government policies can often have a big influence  

When it comes to how cities raise and save money, state government policies can often have a big influence  

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Towns and cities in the US are often constrained by rules and regulations about how they can spend and raise money which have been made by the state to which they belong. In new research, Yu Shi, Nisa Aydemir and Yonghong Wu look at how various state-level policies such as fiscal decentralization and tax and expenditure limits affect which revenue […]

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    Evidence shows that more restrictions on municipal budgets could create unintended consequences

Evidence shows that more restrictions on municipal budgets could create unintended consequences

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While the states have a great deal of independence from the US federal government, this freedom is often not extended by state governments to the cities and municipalities within them. In new research, Sungho Park examines the effects of fiscal rules like tax and spending limits, debt limits and balanced-budget requirements on states’ fiscal outcomes. He finds that municipalities […]

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    Why there’s often more to gentrification than meets the eye

Why there’s often more to gentrification than meets the eye

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Most accounts of gentrification in America’s cities center around the idea of well-off outsiders moving into a poorer neighborhood and then largely ignoring local shops and businesses in favor of upscale boutiques or suburban-style chains. In new research which focuses on the Mount Pleasant neighborhood in Washington, DC, Andrew Riely finds that while many gentrifiers are seeking a more […]

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    Eight out of ten mayors in America have experienced violent or psychological abuse

Eight out of ten mayors in America have experienced violent or psychological abuse

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The sad fact of violence and abuse against politicians is nothing new, but the rise of social media now provides new avenues for psychological abuse and threatening behavior towards elected officials. In new research, Sue Thomas, Rebekah Herrick and colleagues use a survey to investigate experiences of violence and psychological abuse among American mayors. They find that 80 percent of […]

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    Portland Public School’s 1970s one-way busing policies continue to influence student enrollment and transfer patterns today

Portland Public School’s 1970s one-way busing policies continue to influence student enrollment and transfer patterns today

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In the 1970s, busing programs in the North, Midwest, and West aimed to overcome school segregation which was mostly linked to residential patterns. Leanne Serbulo charts the impacts of Portland, Oregon’s one-way busing policies which saw the burden of integration fall on black students. When this policy ended, she writes, policies to improve schools in majority-Black neighborhoods, and the […]

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    Book Review: Why Cities Lose: The Deep Roots of the Urban-Rural Political Divide by Jonathan A. Rodden

Book Review: Why Cities Lose: The Deep Roots of the Urban-Rural Political Divide by Jonathan A. Rodden

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Parties of the centre-left in the US, the UK and a number of other countries win legislative power less frequently that their centre-right competitors, relative to the share of the votes they get at elections. This is because of the electoral system deployed in these countries and the geographies of party support. Ron Johnston reviews an important new book, […]

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    Better fiscal policy to help rural communities starts with better defining what rural means

Better fiscal policy to help rural communities starts with better defining what rural means

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What makes a community ‘rural’? Is it its population, or its location compared to urban areas? With the federal government allocating millions to support rural development, these definitions matter. In new research, Geoffrey Propheter tests a new definition of ‘rurality’ which incorporates population, population density, and airport proximity. He finds that depending on which definition is used, the likelihood […]

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    State authorities often argue that they can run airports more cheaply than cities. But the evidence is mixed.

State authorities often argue that they can run airports more cheaply than cities. But the evidence is mixed.

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There are more than 5,000 airports in public use in the United States. Some are run by cities, while others are state-controlled. Zachary Mohr looks at what happens when a state tries to bring a city-run airport into its control. He writes that while states contend that authorities can run airports much more cheaply, the arguments do not always […]

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