Friday, April 24, 2015

Online First: Pushing the City Limits Policy Responsiveness in Municipal Government

Pushing the City Limits

Policy Responsiveness in Municipal Government

  1. Katherine Levine Einstein1
  2. Vladimir Kogan2
  1. 1Boston University, Boston, MA, USA
  2. 2Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA
  1. Katherine Levine Einstein, Department of Political Science, Boston University, 232 Bay State Road, Boston, MA 02215, USA. Email:


Are city governments capable of responding to the preferences of their constituents? Or is the menu of policy options determined by forces beyond their direct control? We answer these questions using a comprehensive cross-sectional database linking voter preferences to local policy outcomes in more than 2,000 midsize cities and a new panel covering cities in two states. Overall, our analysis paints an encouraging picture of democracy in the city: We document substantial variation in local fiscal policy outcomes and provide evidence that voter preferences help explain why cities adopt different policies. As they become more Democratic, cities increase their spending across a number of service areas. In addition, voter sentiment shapes the other side of the ledger, determining the level and precise mix of revenues on which cities rely. In short, we show that cities respond both to competitive pressures and the needs and wants of their constituents.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Online First: Community-Level Engagement in Public Housing Redevelopment

Community-Level Engagement in Public Housing Redevelopment

  1. Laurie A. Walker1
  1. 1University of Montana, Missoula, MT, USA
  1. Laurie A. Walker, School of Social Work, University of Montana, Jeannette Rankin Hall 004, 32 Campus Dr., Missoula, MT 59812, USA. Email:


Community-level engagement of public housing residents and their neighbors may help prepare them for the redevelopment of their neighborhood. The mixed-methods design included a resident survey (n = 386) and in-depth resident interviews (n = 25). Readiness for transit-oriented mixed-income redevelopment (TOMIR) was predicted by neighbor cohesion, organizational collective efficacy, and possessing a transition and/or relocation plan. Resident involvement in local neighborhood organizations was predicted by awareness of neighborhood problems and involvement in activism. As involvement in neighborhood organizations goes up, readiness for TOMIR also goes up. The study structural equation model had adequate model fit (comparative fit index [CFI] = .90, root mean square error of approximation [RMSEA] = .02, Tucker–Lewis index [TLI] = .90). The study developed three new measures that can be used in TOMIR contexts with existing community engagement measures. The study adds to the evidence base for community-level interventions preparing public housing residents for the redevelopment.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Free Sample Copy of Urban Affairs Review

Want to see more of Urban Affairs Review? See a sample copy at SAGE -- our January issue is free and can be viewed here.