Cities

At Capacity: The Need for More Rail Access to the Manhattan CBD

At Capacity: The Need for More Rail Access to the Manhattan CBD
Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management, NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, November

Scanlon, R. & Seeley, E.
11/01/2004

This report examines the relationship between proposed transit system capacity improvements in the downstate metropolitan area, the updated post 9-11 job projections for the Manhattan Central Business District, and regional economic growth. It further explores a number of key issues Ed Seeley first covered in a highly publicized report on these topics for the New York City Department of Transportation in 1997. The findings of this report are relevant to the current discussions concerning the next MTA Five Year program. Ensuring that the MTA maintains a state of good repair and normal replacement is the highest priority of most, if not all transportation policy experts for the next 5 year capital program. Nonetheless, as historians and planners have frequently asserted, New York's growth and prosperity has consistently been tied to additions and improvements to its transportation network and this report suggests this is likely to be the case in the foreseeable future.

Attitudinal and contextual factors associated with discussion of sexual issues during adolescent health visits

Attitudinal and contextual factors associated with discussion of sexual issues during adolescent health visits
Journal of Adolescent Health 2004:35(2)108-115.

Merzel, C.R., Van Devanter, N., Middlestadt, S.E., Bleakley, A., Ledsky, R. & Messeri, P.A.
08/01/2004

The purpose was to examine attitudinal and contextual factors associated with the occurrence of sexual health assessments during adolescent primary care visits. A total of 313 primarily African-American youth aged 11-21 years from 16 community-based organizations in suburban Maryland and in New York City completed questionnaires focusing on sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and health care. The analysis examined the relationship of sexual activity, attitudes, and presence of the parent at the health care visit with discussion of three sexual health topics and testing for STD at the most recent health care visit. Data were analyzed using Chi-square tests and logistic regression. Overall, 74% of respondents reported that they had talked about at least one sexual health topic at their last health care visit but only 32% had discussed all three topics of sexual behavior, birth control, and STD. Females were more likely than males to discuss birth control although there were no gender differences in the overall likelihood of talking about a sexual health topic. Few adolescents initiated discussion of sexual issues. Positive attitudes toward discussing sexual issues with a provider and absence of a parent at the visit were independently associated with higher odds of discussing at least one sexuality topic and STD testing. Although relatively large numbers of adolescents in the sample received sexual health assessments, the proportion was below recommended guidelines. The opportunity to speak privately with a clinician and having positive attitudes about discussing sex with a doctor appear to be important influences on the receipt of sexual health assessments. Improving the quality of adolescent preventive care will require creating a health care environment that facilitates discussion of sexual health issues

From Districts To Schools: The Distribution Of Resources Across Schools in Big City School Districts

From Districts To Schools: The Distribution Of Resources Across Schools in Big City School Districts
Symposium on Education Finance and Organization Structure in NYS Schools, Albany, NY, March

Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L. & Rubenstein, R.
03/01/2004

This paper explores the determinants of resource allocation across schools in large districts and examines options for improving resource distribution patterns. Previous research on intra-district allocations consistently reveals resource disparities across schools within districts, particularly in the distribution of teachers. While overall expenditures are sometimes related to the characteristics of students in schools, the ratio of teachers per pupil is consistently larger in high poverty, high-minority and low-performing schools. These teachers, though, generally have lower experience and education levels � and consequently, lower salaries � as compared to teachers in more advantaged schools. We explore these patterns in New York City, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio by estimating de facto expenditure equations relating resource measures to school and student characteristics. Consistent with previous research, we find schools that have higher percentages of poor pupils receive more money and have more teachers per pupil, but the teachers tend to be less educated and less well paid, with a particularly consistent pattern in New York City schools. The paper concludes with policy options for changing intradistrict resource distributions in order to promote more efficient, more equitable or more effective use of resources. These options include allocating dollars rather than teacher positions to schools, providing teacher pay differentials in hard-to-staff schools and subjects, and adapting current district-based funding formulas to the school (and student) level.

Context Sensitive Solutions in Large Central Cities

Context Sensitive Solutions in Large Central Cities
Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management, NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, February

de Cerreño, A.L.C. & Pierson, I.
02/01/2004

This report is a summary of the proceedings and findings from a one-and-a-half day peer-to-peer workshop on context sensitive design/solutions (CSD/S) held in New York City in June 2003. The goal of the session was to lay a foundation for dealing with the state of the practice and processes related to context sensitive solutions, and to identify specific urban examples that could be used as benchmarks for lessons learned and best practices. The report presents hard -to-find examples of CSD/S in large central cities, specifically from Boston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City, and Philadelphia. Each example illustrates some elements of CSD.S more than others, but together they provide a baseline for understanding how large cities are coping with the myriad issues related to CSD/S and why a more concerted effort is needed in understanding and implementing CSD/S.

A Comparison of Ground-Level Air Quality Data with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Monitoring Stations Data in South Bronx, New York

A Comparison of Ground-Level Air Quality Data with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Monitoring Stations Data in South Bronx, New York
Atmospheric Environment, Vol. 38, pp. 5295-5304.

Restrepo, C., Zimmerman, R., Thurston, G., Clemente, J., Gorczynski, J., Zhong, M., Blaustin, M. & Chen, L.C.
01/01/2004

The South Bronx is a low-income, minority community in New York City. It has one of the highest asthma rates in
the country, which community residents feel is related to poor air quality. Community residents also feel that the air quality data provided by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) through its network
of monitoring stations do not reflect the poor quality of the air they breathe. This is due to the fact that these
monitoring stations are located 15m above ground. In the year 2001 this project collected air quality data at three
locations in the study area. They were collected close to ground-level at a height of 4m by a mobile laboratory placed in a van as part of the South Bronx Environmental Health and Policy Study. This paper compares data collected by the project with data from DEC's monitoring stations in Bronx County during the same periods. The goal of the comparison is to gain a better understanding of differences in measured air quality concentrations at these different heights. Although there is good agreement in the data among DEC stations there are some important differences between ground-level measurements and DEC data. For PM2.5 the measured concentrations by the van were similar to those recorded by DEC stations. In the case of ozone, the concentrations recorded at ground level were similar or lower than those recorded by DEC stations. For NO2, however, the concentrations recorded at ground level were over twice as high as those recorded by DEC. In the case of SO2, ground level measurements were substantially higher in August but very similar in the other two periods. CO concentrations measured at ground-level tend to be 60-90% higher than those recorded by DEC monitoring stations. Despite these differences, van measurements of SO2 and CO concentrations were well below EPA standards.

City Taxes, City Spending: Essays in Honor of Dick Netzer

City Taxes, City Spending: Essays in Honor of Dick Netzer
Northampton, Mass: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.,

Schwartz, A.E.
01/01/2004

In a festschrift to Netzer a public finance economist well known for his research on state and local taxation, urban public services, and nonprofit organizations eight chapters apply microeconomics to problems facing urban areas and use statistical analysis to gain insight into practical solutions. The essays look at alternative methods of financing urban government, such as a land value tax and the impact of sales and income taxes on property taxation; at government expenditures, including housing subsidies; and at subsidies to nonprofit arts groups as well as the role of the nonprofit sector in providing K-12 education. Of interest to the fields of public finance, urban economics, and public administration.

Dept. of Building, Winning the West

Dept. of Building, Winning the West
The New Yorker, July 5,

Whitagker, C. & Finnegan, W.
01/01/2004

Both sides have started punching harder lately in the brawl over whether or not to build a seventy-five-thousand-seat football stadium over the Hudson rail yards on Manhattan’s far West Side. The New York Jets, who would own the place, will be taking computers from the mouths of needy schoolchildren if the state and the city are forced to provide the six hundred million dollars that would be their part of the deal—or, at least, that’s what the television ads paid for by the Dolan family, the owners of Madison Square Garden, say. Nonsense, say the Jets and their supporters, who include Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Pataki, and the construction unions. The stadium will be such a financial success that it will end up giving computers to needy schoolchildren. Opponents say that the stadium will sink New York City’s bid to host the 2012 Olympics (the International Olympic Committee does not like controversy). No, say the stadium’s backers, it is the centerpiece of the city’s Olympic hopes.

Estimating the Effects of September 11th and Other Forms of Violence on the Mental Health and Social Development of New York City’s Youth: A Matter of Context

Estimating the Effects of September 11th and Other Forms of Violence on the Mental Health and Social Development of New York City’s Youth: A Matter of Context
Applied Developmental Science, Vol. 8, No. 3, pp. 111-129.

Aber, J.L., E. Gershoff, A. Ware & J. Kotler.
01/01/2004

This longitudinal study examines the effects of exposure to the terrorist attack of September 11th as well as exposure to other forms of community violence on change in the mental health and social attitudes of youths in New York City. Three quarters of the youths reported some form of direct exposure to the events of September 11th, and 80% reported a lot of exposure to at least 1 form of media coverage of September 11th; these rates were comparable with the citywide survey of public school students in New York City conducted by the New York City Department of Education. Results of a structural equation model that included controls for previous levels of mental health and social attitudes, as well as a range of demographic factors, indicated that direct exposure and family exposure to the event did not predict change in any mental health outcomes, but did predict change in levels of social mistrust; media exposure did predict posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms. In contrast, victimization by other forms of violence was strongly associated with change in or current levels of all of the examined mental health symptoms, whereas witnessing other forms of violence was associated with change in or levels of 3 of 4 mental health symptoms and with increased hostile attribution bias and levels of social mistrust. Implications of the results for applied developmental and public mental health strategies in response to traumatic events are discussed.

Gender and the Treatment of Heart Disease in Older Persons in the United States, France and England: A Comparative, Population-Based View of a Clinical Phenomenon

Gender and the Treatment of Heart Disease in Older Persons in the United States, France and England: A Comparative, Population-Based View of a Clinical Phenomenon
Gender Medicine, Vol 1, No. 1.

Weisz, D., Rodwin, V.G. & Gusmano, M.K.
01/01/2004

Background: Gender disparities in the treatment of coronary artery disease (CAD) have been extensively documented in studies from the United States. However, they have been less well studied in other countries and, to our knowledge, have not been investigated at the more disaggregated spatial level of cities.

Objective: This study tests the hypothesis that there is a common international pattern of gender disparity in the treatment of CAD in persons aged > 65 years by analyzing data from the United States, France, England and from their largest cities - New York City and its outer boroughs, Paris and its First Right, and Great London.

Conclusions: A consistent pattern of gender disparity in the interventional treatment of CAD was seen across 3 national health systems with known differences in patterns of medical practice. This finding is consistent with the results of clinical studies suggesting that gender disparities in the treatment of CAD are due at least in part to the underdiagnosis of CAD in women.

How Telecommunications is Shaping Urban Spaces

How Telecommunications is Shaping Urban Spaces
J. Wheeler et. al., eds. Fractionated Geographies: Cities in the Telecommunications Age

Moss, M. & Townsend, A.
01/01/2004

All too often, telecommunications systems are treated as an alternative to transportation systems, as a substitute for the physical movement of people and services. The growing use of telecommunications systems is doing far more than influence where people work and live, but is actually changing the character of activities that occur in the home, workplace, and automobile. This chapter examines the way in which information and telecommunications are transforming everyday urban life; making the home into an extension of the office, shopping mall, and classroom; allowing the automobile and airplane to become workplaces; and converting the office building into a hub for social interaction and interpersonal contact. The diffusion of information technologies drastically increases the complexity of cities by increasing the number and type of interactions among individuals, firms, technical systems and the external environment. Information systems are permitting new combinations of people, equipment, and places; as a result, there is a dramatic change in the spatial organization of activities within cities and large metropolitan regions.

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