Cities

Facing the Futures: Building Robust Nonprofits in the Pittsburgh Region

Facing the Futures: Building Robust Nonprofits in the Pittsburgh Region
The Forbes Funds,

Light, P.C.
05/01/2005

The Pittsburgh region faces tough questions as it faces the futures ahead. Will it, for example, find a way to stop its young people from leaving or slip further into the profile of a “weak market” city, with all that means for the erosion of jobs and talent? Will it close the gaps between its citizens on education, health, earnings, and poverty, or will it continue to be listed as a city of disadvantage for African Americans? And will it play an aggressive role in helping Pennsylvania rebuild its aging economy or eventually eclipse North Dakota and West Virginia as the state with the slowest growing economy in the nation?

No one knows yet just how these futures will play out. It could be that the Pittsburgh area is on the cusp of a great revival as it continues to make the turn from an industrial-age economy to an “eds and meds” future. It could also be that the area has reached the maximum range of its geographic spread, thereby signaling an end to the hollowing-out of its inner city. It could even be that the area’s young people are starting to see the vibrant opportunities embedded in urban renewal and a low-cost of living, not to mention an expanding arts community, access to some of the nation’s greatest educational institutions, and the chance to revel in the return of the Pittsburgh Steelers and the yellow towel industry that goes with it.

Does the Structure and Composition of the Board Matter? The Case of Nonprofit Organizations

Does the Structure and Composition of the Board Matter? The Case of Nonprofit Organizations
Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Vol. 21, No.1, Spring

O'Regan, K.
04/01/2005

This article discusses some of the key differences in board behavior between nonprofit organizations and for-profit firms using a relatively new dataset from New York City nonprofits. We provide evidence on the broader role that nonprofit boards play for their organizations and then give some suggestive results on the relationship between board structure and composition, and individual board member performance. The results provide some evidence that the executive directors of nonprofits may use their power to push boards toward fundraising in place of monitoring activity. Using a fixed-effects framework, we also find no systematic relationship between board personal demographics and performance, although both tenure on a board and multiple board service do seem to matter.

Choices at a Critical Junction: New York's Mobility and Highway Infrastructure Needs for 2005-2010

Choices at a Critical Junction: New York's Mobility and Highway Infrastructure Needs for 2005-2010
Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management, NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, March

Schaller, B.
03/01/2005

The report is an analysis of the $17.4 billion capital budget currently proposed for the New York State Department of Transportation for the next five years, and in particular the $5.9 billion proposed for the downstate area. In its review of bridge and roadway trends, the study finds that the improvements in roadways and bridges achieved during the 1990's have begun to erode over the last few years, and the capital budget, as it is currently proposed, would fail to reverse the erosion. The report was written by Bruce Schaller, a Visiting Scholar at NYU Wagner's Rudin Center, who has experience in highway, transit and taxi issues in New York and nationally. Schaller has authored reports on East River bridge tolls, suburban transit access to Lower Manhattan, commuting and the growth of non-work travel in New York City, MTA fare policy and bus rapid transit and numerous other topics.

Contextual Competence: Multiple Manifestations Among Urban Adolescents

Contextual Competence: Multiple Manifestations Among Urban Adolescents
American Journal of Community Psychology. Mar Vol. 35, Iss. 1-2; p. 65

Pedersen, S., Seidman, E., Rivera, A., Allen, L. & Aber, J.L.
03/01/2005

The authors develop and validate multidimensional and contextual profiles of competence among low-income, urban, middle adolescents (N = 560). The assessment of contextual competence was based on youth self-reports of involvement, performance, and relationship quality in the peer, school, athletic, employment, religious, and cultural contexts. A principal components analysis of these engagement indices revealed the six expected components with the addition of a component labeled self-in-context. To identify holistic, multidimensional profiles of contextual competence, scores along the seven domains were cluster analyzed. Nine clusters emerged, each representing a distinct constellation of youth experience. Profiles were associated with demographic variables and youth adjustment. Profiles reflecting high engagement in two or more contexts predicted higher self-esteem and lower depression. In contrast, profiles marked by high engagement in the contexts of athletics or employment predicted more serious delinquency. The authors discuss the implications of these findings for future research and intervention.

Mass Transit Infrastructure and Urban Health

Mass Transit Infrastructure and Urban Health
Mass Transit Infrastructure and Urban Health, Journal of Urban Health, Vol. 82 (1) 2005, pp. 21-32.

Zimmerman, R.
03/01/2005

Mass transit is a critical infrastructure of urban environments worldwide. The public uses it extensively, with roughly 9 billion mass transit trips occurring annually in the United States alone according to the U.S. Department of Transportation data. Its benefits per traveler include lower emissions of air pollutants and energy usage and high speeds and safety records relative to many other common modes of transportation that contribute to human health and safety. However, mass transit is vulnerable to intrusions that compromise its use and the realization of the important benefits it brings. These intrusions pertain to physical conditions, security, external environmental conditions, and equity. The state of the physical condition of transit facilities overall has been summarized in the low ratings the American Society of Civil Engineers gives to mass transit, and the large dollar estimates to maintain existing conditions as well as to bring on new improvements, which are, however, many times lower than investments estimated for roadways. Security has become a growing issue, and numerous incidents point to the potential for threats to security in the US. External environmental conditions, such as unexpected inundations of water and electric power outages also make transit vulnerable. Equity issues pose constraints on the use of transit by those who cannot access it. Transit has shown a remarkable ability to rebound after crises, most notably after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, due to a combination of design and operational features of the system. These experiences provide important lessons that must be captured to provide proactive approaches to managing and reducing the consequences of external factors that impinge negatively on transit.

School Finance Court Cases and Disparate Racial Impact: The Contribution of Statistical Analysis in New York

School Finance Court Cases and Disparate Racial Impact: The Contribution of Statistical Analysis in New York
Education and Urban Society, February 2005, Vol. 37, No. 2, pp 151-173.

Stiefel, L., Schwartz, A.E., Berne, R. & Chellman, C.
02/01/2005

Although analyses of state school finance systems rarely focus on the distribution of funds to students of different races, the advent of racial discrimination as an issue in school finance court cases may change that situation. In this article, we describe the background, analyses, and results of plaintiffs' testimony regarding racial discrimination in Campaign for Fiscal Equity Inc. v. State of New York. Plaintiffs employed multiple regression and public finance literature to show that New York State's school finance system had a disparate racial impact on New York City students. We review the legal basis for disparate racial impact claims, with particular emphasis on the role of quantitative statistical work, and then describe the model we developed and estimated for the court case. Finally, we discuss the defendants' rebuttal, the Court's decision, and conclude with observations about the role of analysis in judicial decision making in school finance.

Healthy Relationships: A Guide to Forming Partnerships between Health Care Providers and Adult Education Programs

Healthy Relationships: A Guide to Forming Partnerships between Health Care Providers and Adult Education Programs
Literacy Assistance Center.

Kaplan, S.A.
01/01/2005

Simply stated, health literacy is the ability to obtain, understand, and effectively use health-related information. In a recent report entitled "Health Literacy: A Prescription to End Confusion," the Institute of Medicine estimated that 90 million adults may lack the needed literacy skills to effectively use the U.S. health care system. Extrapolating from the National Adult Literacy Survey, approximately 36 percent of New York City adults would not be able to identify the name of a hospital in a short article; an additional 27 percent would not be able to fill out a standard health insurance form. Health care providers and patients typically do not identify low health literacy as a major issue, but both groups are well aware of its consequences. Health care professionals know they need improved communication with their patients so that they can better understand patient concerns and priorities, engage them as active partners in their care, improve their grasp of protocols for care management and the need for preventive care and screening, and ensure that they know when and where to seek care and how to navigate the health care system. Conversely, adults with low literacy skills often feel intimidated by the complexity of the health care system, by the forms and instructions, and by medical terminology. To avoid appearing ignorant, they may be hesitant to ask questions or express concerns, thereby compounding the problem. All of these difficulties are exacerbated when patients do not speak English well and are unfamiliar with the U.S. health care system.

Infant Mortality and Income in 4 world Cities: New York, London, Paris and Tokyo

Infant Mortality and Income in 4 world Cities: New York, London, Paris and Tokyo
American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 95, issue 1, pp. 86-92.

Rodwin, V.G. & Neuberg, L.
01/01/2005

Objective: We investigated the association between average income or deprivation and infant mortality rate across neighborhoods of four world cities.

Methods: Using a maximum likelihood negative binomial regression model that controls for births, we analyzed data for 1988-1992 and 1993-1997.

Results: In Manhattan, during both periods, we found a statistically significant association between income and infant mortality (.05 level) while in Tokyo there was none. In Paris and London, there was no association in period one. In period two, the association just misses statistical significance for Paris while in London association with a deprivation index is significant.

Conclusions: In contrast to Tokyo, Paris and London, the association of income and infant mortality rate is more strongly evident in Manhattan.

The Redevelopment of Lower Manhattan: The Role of the City

The Redevelopment of Lower Manhattan: The Role of the City
The Contentious City: The Politics of Recovery in New York City edited by John Mollenkopf. Sage Foundation,

Moss, M.
01/01/2005

The attack on the World Trade Center reinforced a process of change in lower Manhattan that had been under way for at least the past fifty years. The public and private responses to the destruction wrought on September 11 have provided the funds, organizational capacity, and public commitment to do what a previous generation of municipal planners tried to accomplish, with only partial success: creating a mixed residential and office community in what was once New York City's dominant financial and business district. Federal aid to rebuild lower Manhattan has been the catalyst for modernizing and expanding its mass transit systems and facilities, providing low-cost financing for converting obsolete office buildings into housing, improving pedestrian movement, investing public funds in parks and cultural institutions, and subsidizing the creation of new public schools. This chapter examines the key public and private organizations that have shaped this redevelopment and the implications for the future of lower Manhattan and for office development in the rest of New York City.

Immigrants and the Distribution of Resources within an Urban School District

Immigrants and the Distribution of Resources within an Urban School District
Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Winter 2004, Vol. 26, No. 4. pp- 303-328.

Stiefel, L. & Schwartz, A.E.
12/01/2004

In New York City, where almost 14 percent of elementary school pupils are foreign-born and roughly half of these are "recent immigrants," the impact of immigrant students on school resources may be important. While immigrant advocates worry about inequitable treatment of immigrant students, others worry that immigrants drain resources from native-born students. In this article, we explore the variation in school resources and the relationship to the representation of immigrant students. To what extent are variations in school resources explained by the presence of immigrants per se rather than by differences in student educational needs, such as poverty or language skills, or differences in other characteristics, such as race? Our results indicate that, while schools resources decrease with the representation of immigrants, this relationship largely reflects differences in the educational needs of immigrant students. Although analyses that link resources to the representation of foreign-born students in 12 geographic regions of origin find some disparities, these are again largely driven by differences in educational need. Finally, we find that some resources increase over time when there are large increases in the percentage of immigrants in a school, but these results are less precisely estimated. Thus, elementary schools appear not to be biased either against or for immigrants per se, although differences in the needs of particular groups of immigrant students may lead to more (or fewer) school resources.

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