Cities

Risk Communication for Catastrophic Events: Results from Focus Groups

Risk Communication for Catastrophic Events: Results from Focus Groups
Journal of Risk Reasearch

Zimmerman, R., Restrepo, C.E., Culpen, A., Remington, W.E., Kling, A., Portelli, I. & Foltin, G.
01/01/2010

Focus group methods are adapted here to address two important needs for risk communication: (1) to provide approaches to risk communication in very extreme and catastrophic events, and (2) to obtain risk communication content within the specific catastrophe area of chemical and biological attacks. Focus groups were designed and conducted according to well-established protocols using hypothetical sarin and smallpox attacks resulting in a chemical or biological release in a confined public space in a transit system. These cases were used to identify content for risk communication information and suggest directions for further research in this area. Common procedures for conducting focus groups were used based on an initial review of such procedures. Four focus groups - two for each type of release - each lasted about two hours. Participants were professionals normally involved in emergencies in health, emergency management, and transportation. They were selected using a snowball sampling technique. Examples of findings for approaches to communicating such risks included how information should be organized over time and how space, locations, and places should be defined for releases to anchor perceptions geographically. Examples of findings for risk communication content are based on how professionals reacted to risk communications used during the two hypothetical releases they were presented with and how they suggested using risk communications. These findings have considerable implications for using and structuring focus groups to derive risk communication procedures and types of content to be used in the context of catastrophes.

The Behavioral Dimension of Governing Inter-Organizational Goal Directed Networks: Managing the Unity/Diversity Tension

The Behavioral Dimension of Governing Inter-Organizational Goal Directed Networks: Managing the Unity/Diversity Tension
Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory Second Author with A. Saz-Carranza

Ospina, S.
01/01/2010

Network management research documents how network members engage in activities to advance their own goals. However, this literature offers little insight into the nature of work that aims to advance the goals of the network as a “whole.” By examining the behavioral dimension of network governance, this article identifies a specific tension that network leaders address to effectively govern networks: although unity and diversity are essential to network performance, each makes contradictory demands which require attention. Findings from four case studies of immigrant networks in the United States point to three activities representing mechanisms that staff of network administrative organizations use to address this (network level) managerial tension. The study proposes that unity versus diversity represents a distinct challenge to the governance of networks that requires strategic action at the whole-network level and merits further study.

Transportation Recovery in an Age of Disasters

Transportation Recovery in an Age of Disasters
Proceedings of the Transportation Research Board 89th Annual Meeting, Washington, DC

Zimmerman, R.
01/01/2010

Disasters from terrorism, natural hazards and accidents are now becoming commonplace and may be increasing as a major threat against the viability of transportation infrastructure and the invaluable social services it provides. The paper first sets forth the nature of the threats and hazards transportation infrastructure faces. This provides the foundation for understanding the need to develop an integrated and common set of solutions that incorporates co-benefits to solve more than one problem at the same time, that is, simultaneously for different kinds of hazards, different types of infrastructures, and infrastructures that affect or have interdependencies with transportation. Types of funding sources and innovative technologies that are becoming available to support protection and recovery are discussed in terms of their ability to integrate multiple hazards and address areas of need.

The High Cost of Segregation: The Relationship Between Racial Segregation and Subprime Lending

The High Cost of Segregation: The Relationship Between Racial Segregation and Subprime Lending
November 2009

Furman Center for Real Estate & Urban Policy
11/18/2009

This study examines whether the likelihood that borrowers of different races received a subprime loan varied depending on the level of racial segregation where they live. It looks both at the role of racial segregation in metropolitan areas across the country and at the role that neighborhood demographics within communities in New York City played.

Does the Built Environment Affect the Utility of Walking? A Case of Path Choice in Downtown Boston.

Does the Built Environment Affect the Utility of Walking? A Case of Path Choice in Downtown Boston.
Transportation Research D: Transport and Environment, Vol. 14, pp. 343-352 

Guo, Z.
07/01/2009

There is a lack of consensus as to whether the relationship between the built environment and travel is causal and, if it is, the extent of this causality. This problem is largely caused by inappropriate research designs adopted in many studies. This paper proposes a new method (based on path choice) to investigate the causal effect of the pedestrian environment on the utility of walking. Specifically, the paper examines how the pedestrian environment affects subway commuters' egress path choice from a station to their workplaces in downtown Boston. The path-based measure is sensitive enough to capture minor differences in the environment experienced by pedestrians. More importantly, path
choice is less likely to correlate with job and housing location choices, and therefore largely avoids the self-selection problem. The results suggest that the pedestrian environment can significantly affect a person's walking experience and the utility of walking along a path.

Medicaid Patients at High Risk for Frequent Hospital Admission: Real-time Identification and Remedial Risks

Medicaid Patients at High Risk for Frequent Hospital Admission: Real-time Identification and Remedial Risks
Journal of Urban Health. 86, no 2 230-241

Goldfrank, L., Billings, J., Raven, M., et al.
03/01/2009

Patients with frequent hospitalizations generate a disproportionate share of hospital visits and costs. Accurate determination of patients who might benefit from interventions is challenging: most patients with frequent admissions in 1 year would not continue to have them in the next. Our objective was to employ a validated regression algorithm to case-find Medicaid patients at high-risk for hospitalization in the next 12 months and identify intervention-amenable characteristics to reduce hospitalization risk. We obtained encounter data for 36,457 Medicaid patients with any visit to an urban public hospital from 2001 to 2006 and generated an algorithm-based score for hospitalization risk in the subsequent 12 months for each patient (0 = lowest, 100 = highest). To determine medical and social contributors to the current admission, we conducted in-depth interviews with high-risk hospitalized patients (scores >50) and analyzed associated Medicaid claims data. An algorithm-based risk score >50 was attained in 2,618 (7.2%) patients. The algorithm’s positive predictive value was equal to 0.67. During the study period, 139 high-risk patients were admitted: 60 met inclusion criteria and 50 were interviewed. Fifty-six percent cited the Emergency Department as their usual source of care or had none. Sixty-eight percent had >1 chronic medical conditions, and 42% were admitted for conditions related to substance use. Sixty percent were homeless or precariously housed. Mean Medicaid expenditures for the interviewed patients were $39,188 and $84,040 per patient for the years immediately prior to and following study participation, respectively. Findings including high rates of substance use, homelessness, social isolation, and lack of a medical home will inform the design of interventions to improve community-based care and reduce hospitalizations and associated costs.

Making Ends Meet: Women and Poverty in New York City

Making Ends Meet: Women and Poverty in New York City

Mason, C.N. & Salas, D.
01/01/2009

 In March 2009, The Network in collaboration with the New York Women's Foundation will release a new report on women living in poverty in New York City.  The dynamic study will include qualitative data as well as narratives from women about the impact of poverty on communities and families.  The report will help inform funding priorities for the Foundation.

Siting, Spillovers, and Segregation: A Re-examination of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program

Siting, Spillovers, and Segregation: A Re-examination of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program
In Edward Glaeser and John Quigley, Eds. Housinmg Markets and the Economy: Risk, Regulation, Policy; Essays in Honor of Karl Case. Cambridge, Mass: Lincoln Institute for Land Policy, pp. 233-267.

Ingrid Ellen, Katherine O'Regan, Ioan Voicu
01/01/2009

The timing of this volume could not be more opportune. It is based on a 2007 conference to honor the work of Karl "Chip" Case, who is renowned for his scientific contributions to the economics of housing and public policy. The chapters analyze risk in the housing market, the regulation of housing markets by government, and other issues in U.S. housing policy. Chapters investigate derivative markets; the role that home equity insurance can play in reducing risk; the role that the regulation of government-sponsored enterprises has played in extending credit to home purchasers in low-income neighborhoods; and the growth in the market for subprime mortgages. The impact of local zoning regulations on housing prices and new construction is also considered. This is a must read during a time of restructuring our nation’s system of housing finance.

Spending, Size, and Grade Span in K-8 Schools

Spending, Size, and Grade Span in K-8 Schools
Education Finance and Policy, 4(1): 60-88

Rubenstein, R. & Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L., Zabel, J.
01/01/2009

Reorganizing primary school grade spans is a tractable and relatively inexpensive school reform. However, assessing the effects of reorganization requires also examining other organizational changes that may accompany grade span reforms. Using data on New York City public schools from 1996 to 2002 and exploiting within-school variations, we examine relationships among grade span, spending, and size. We find that school grade span is associated with differences in school size, class size, and grade size, though generally not with spending and other resources. In addition, we find class size and grade size differences in the same grade level at schools with different configurations, suggesting that school grade span affects not only school size but also class size and grade size. We find few relationships, though, between grade span and school-level performance, pointing to the need to augment these analyses with pupil-level data. We conclude with implications for research and practice.

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