Urban Planning

Public Infrastructure Service Flexibility for Response and Recovery in the September 11th, 2001 Attacks at the World Trade Center

Public Infrastructure Service Flexibility for Response and Recovery in the September 11th, 2001 Attacks at the World Trade Center
in Natural Hazards Research & Applications Information Center, Public Entity Risk Institute, and Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems, Beyond September 11th: An Account of Post-Disaster Research. Special Publication #39. Boulder, CO: University of Colorado, Pp. 241-268.

Zimmerman, R.
01/01/2003

After the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001, the ability to rapidly restore transportation, power, water, and environmental services to users was absolutely critical, especially to those involved in the immediate search, rescue, and recovery operations. What better way could infrastructure serve its users-both emergency workers and the general public-than to be able to respond quickly in a crisis? The ability to provide these services required a degree of flexibility, often unanticipated and unplanned, that only became apparent as the response efforts unfolded. The capability of basic infrastructure service providers to respond to public needs for transportation, energy, communication, water, sanitation, and solid waste removal after the September 11th attacks was to a great extent influenced by the flexibility of the initial infrastructure design and management functions to respond to normal system disruptions and to extreme, but not necessarily terrorist-related, events.

Strengthening the Highway Trust Fund: Short-Term Options

Strengthening the Highway Trust Fund: Short-Term Options
New York Transportation Journal, Spring/Summer 2003, Vol. 6, No. 3.

de Cerreño, A.L.C.
01/01/2003

In existence since 1956, the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) is the source of all Federal highway funding and roughly four-fifths of all Federal transit funding. With budgetary firewalls in place since 1998 as a result of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, the Highway Trust Fund is integral to the long-term transportation planning of all 50 States. However, Congressional Budget Office forecasts show that at current baselines (i.e. spending at currently enacted levels with adjustments for inflation within the context of current tax policies), the HTF will be unable to keep up with national transportation needs.
How to meet these needs - which are projected to require an estimated average annual investment over the next 20 years of between $90.7 billion and $110.9 billion just to maintain the system and between $127.5 billion and $169.5 billion to improve it - is a source of considerable debate. Short-term options that should be seriously considered by both State and Federal governments are raising and indexing motor fuel taxes.

The Collapse of the World Trade Center: Learning from Urban Disasters

The Collapse of the World Trade Center: Learning from Urban Disasters
(with C. Restrepo, doctoral candidate at NYU Wagner), in Natural Hazards Research & Applications Information Center, Public Entity Risk Institute, and Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems, Beyond September 11th: An Account of Post-Disaster Research. Special Publication #39. Boulder, CO: University of Colorado, pp. 49-80.

Zimmerman, R.
01/01/2003

The collapse of the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001, was one of the worst urban disasters in the history of the United States. Almost 3,000 people perished as a result of the disaster. The economy was dealt a severe blow, the consequences of which are still felt today. When the World Trade Center was first built, its approximately 1.25 million square meters of office space accommodated about 40-50,000 people (Extreme Events Mitigation Task Force, 2002, p. 52). The number of telephone lines installed in the towers was similar to that found in cities such as Cincinnati or Copenhagen1. The collapse of the World Trade Center raised a large number of research questions related to understanding what happened on that day,
why the buildings collapsed, how agencies and individuals responded to the event, how civil infrastructure systems were affected, and how the lessons learned can be used to prevent similar disasters from happening.

The Property Tax, Land Use and Land Use Regulation

The Property Tax, Land Use and Land Use Regulation
Edward Elgar Publishing,

Netzer, D., ed.
01/01/2003

This comprehensive volume of essays by respected scholars in economics and public finance explores the connections among the property tax, land use and regulation. The authors examine the idea that the property tax is used as a partial substitute for land use regulation and other policies designed to affect how land is utilized. Like many economists, the contributors see some type of property taxation as a more efficient means of helping to shape land use. Some of the essays analyze a conventional property tax, while others consider radically different systems of property taxation.

Following an introduction by the book's editor Dick Netzer, the first paper sets the stage by modeling taxes on land and buildings in the context of a dynamic model of real estate markets. The remaining papers examine how various tax mechanisms and non-tax alternatives to regulating and determining land use, such as zoning and private neighborhood associations, complement or substitute for one another. Urban planners and economists interested in local public finance will welcome this wide-ranging review and analysis.

Dick Netzer, a leading public finance economist specializing in state and local issues and urban government, is professor emeritus of economics and public administration at the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University. He organized a conference sponsored by the Lincoln Institute in Scottsdale, Arizona, in January 2002 and edited the papers presented at that conference for this volume.

 

What Have We Learned from HUDs Moving to Opportunity Program?

What Have We Learned from HUDs Moving to Opportunity Program?
In John M. Goering and Judith D. Feins, eds., Choosing a Better Life? A Social Experiment in Leaving Poverty Behind: Evaluation of the Moving to Opportunity Program. Washington, DC: Urban Institute Press,

Ellen, I.G. & Turner, M.
01/01/2003

As the centerpiece of policymakers' efforts to "deconcentrate" poverty in urban America, the Moving to Opportunity (MTO) project gave roughly 4,600 volunteer families the chance to move out of public housing projects in deeply impoverished neighborhoods in five cities-Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. Researchers wanted to find out to what extent moving out of a poor neighborhood into a better-off area would improve the lives of public housing families. Choosing a Better Life? is the first distillation of years of research on the MTO project, the largest rigorously designed social experiment to investigate the consequences of moving low-income public housing residents to low-poverty neighborhoods. In this book, leading social scientists and policy experts examine the legislative and political foundations of the project, analyze the effects of MTO on lives of the families involved, and explore lessons learned from this important piece of U.S. social policy.

Integrating a Comparison Group Design into a Theory of Change Evaluation: The Case of the Urban Health Initiative

Integrating a Comparison Group Design into a Theory of Change Evaluation: The Case of the Urban Health Initiative
American Journal of Evaluation 23:4 (Dec 2002), pp 371-385.

Weitzman, B.C., Silver, D. & Dillman, K.
12/01/2002

This paper describes how we strengthened the theory of change approach to evaluating a complex social initiative by integrating it with a quasi-experimental, comparison group design. We also demonstrate the plausibility of selecting a credible comparison group through the use of cluster analysis, and describe our work in validating that analysis with additional measures. The integrated evaluation design relies on two points of comparison: (1) program theory to program experience; and (2) program cities to comparison cities. We describe how we are using this integrated design to evaluate the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Urban Health Initiative, an effort that aims to improve health and safety outcomes for children and youth in five distressed urban areas through a process of citywide, multi-sector planning and changed public and private systems. We also discuss how the use of two research frameworks and multiple methods can enrich our ability to test underlying assumptions and evaluate overall program effects. Using this integrated approach has provided evidence that the earliest phases of this initiative are unfolding as the theory would predict, and that the comparison cities are not undergoing a similar experience to those in UHI. Despite many remaining limitations, this integrated evaluation can provide greater confidence in assessing whether future changes in health and safety outcomes may have resulted from the Urban Health Initiative (UHI).

The Dynamics of On-Street Parking in Large Central Cities

The Dynamics of On-Street Parking in Large Central Cities
Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management, NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, December,

de Cerreño, A.L.C
12/01/2002

Funded by the Federal Highway Administration, the purpose of this report is three-fold: (1) to determine, to the degree possible, the impact that on-street parking has on transportation, development, and land-use; (2) to identify and review comprehensively “on-street” parking policies and management practices in large cities; and, (3) to recommend best practice strategies for on-street parking in large cities. The report is the culmination of a year-long study, which included an extensive literature review, one-on-one discussions with city parking officials, a peer-to-peer exchange session in Boston, and a detailed questionnaire to which nine U.S. cities responded.

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