Cities

Lives on the Line: American Families and the Struggle to Make Ends Meet

Lives on the Line: American Families and the Struggle to Make Ends Meet
Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Shirk, M., Bennett, N. & Aber, J.L.
01/01/1999

Almost half of the nation's children live in officially defined poverty or near-poverty. Putting a human face on this and other statistics, the authors present a disturbing and provocative composite portrait of 10 families struggling to make ends meetAfour white, two Hispanic, three black and one Hawaiian/Samoan. Bennett and Aber, both directors of Columbia University's National Center for Children in Poverty, and freelance journalist Shirk (a veteran St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter), identify three factorsAteen parenthood, low educational achievement and temporary or low-wage workAthat they call "the 'Bermuda Triangle' of family poverty." Add the associated risks of domestic violence, poor child care and damage to early brain development from malnutrition, preventable birth complications, environmental toxins, etc., and readers will begin to see why poverty cuts across urban, suburban and rural areas. A few of the parents profiled here battle drug addiction; one gambles; several suffer from disabling depression; one single mother bravely raises a severely disabled five-year-old son afflicted with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy and a 234-pound, 12-year-old daughter. In almost all the profiled families, one or both parents work, contradicting the widespread stereotype of the poor as lazy or irresponsible. In a succinct closing chapter, the authors call for a combination of public- and private-sector measures to help prevent or reduce child poverty. The issues they raise should fuel election-year debate.

The Risk and Protective Function of Perceived Family and Peer Microsystems Among Urban Adolescents in Poverty

The Risk and Protective Function of Perceived Family and Peer Microsystems Among Urban Adolescents in Poverty
American Journal of Community Psychology, 27, 211-237.

Seidman, E., Chesir-Terna, D., Friedman, J.L., Yoshikawa, H., Allen, L.A., Roberts, A. & Aber, J.L.
01/01/1999

Utilized a pattern-based approach to discover the different constellations of perceived social transactions separately for family and peer systems and explored the risk and protective functions of these microsystem profiles for both depression and antisocial behavior among a sample of ethnically and racially diverse urban adolescents living in poverty. Measures of perceived social support, involvement and hassles with family and peers, as well as perceived social acceptance and peers' values were entered into two sets of iterative cluster analyses to identify distinct profiles of family and peer transactions. From each of the perceived family and peer transactional analyses, six replicated profiles emerged. Several of the profiles were consistent with expectations from prior literature such as Enmeshing families and Rejecting peer networks, while others were novel and intriguing such as Entangling peers. Family profiles were consistent in their risk and protective associations for both depression and antisocial behavior, while the peer profiles varied in their effects for each developmental outcome. For example, the Rejecting peer profile placed adolescents at increased risk for depression but protected them from antisocial behavior. Implications for future research and preventive intervention are discussed.

The Media and Communications Industries in New York City

The Media and Communications Industries in New York City
Citizens Budget Commission, December.

Brecher, C., Roistacher, E. & Spiezio, S.
12/01/1998

What will be the next important source of employment growth in New York City? Informed observers suggest that jobs will come from the media and communications sector. This report provides an analysis of the sector's job growth prospects in the coming years. The industries included in the sector and reviewed in the report are print media, telephone, radio and television, motion pictures and recorded music, advertising and related services, computer-related services, and news services and syndicates. Research for the report is based on compiled data on the scale and scope of media and communications activities nationally, and interviews conducted with senior executives of 23 large media and communications firms.

Issues of Climate Change and Its Impacts on the Infrastructure in the Metro East Coast (MEC) Region of the US

Issues of Climate Change and Its Impacts on the Infrastructure in the Metro East Coast (MEC) Region of the US
Report of the MEC Infrastructure Working Group, Columbia University, March .

Jacob, K. & Zimmerman, R.
01/01/1998

The infrastructure of the Metro East Coast region (MEC, with New York City at its core) is the largest, oldest, densest, and busiest in the nation. It serves some 20 million people and built assets exceed $1 trillion. Currently there is considerable stress on the system with key problems identified as: undercapacity, underinvestment, inconsistent management suburban sprawl, and lack of long-term integrated region-wide planning. These problems are exacerbated by fragmentation of governance across competing jurisdictions. Unclear funding mechanisms, spotty economic performance, and deferred infrastructure maintenance are severe stress factors. Spatial and functional inter-connectedness between different types of infrastructure allows failures to cascade through the system - at times even shutting down substantial segments, all at a high societal cost. A special problem is lack of a farsighted solid waste management strategy. Despite these severe stresses, the system somehow manages to deliver essential services to a large population.

 

Predictors of Homelessness from Shelter Request to Housing Stability Among Families in New York City

Predictors of Homelessness from Shelter Request to Housing Stability Among Families in New York City
American Journal of Public Health, 88:11, pp. 1651-57.

Shinn, M., Weitzman, B.C., Stojanovic, D., Knickman, J.R., Jimenez, L., Duchon, L., James, S. & Krantz, D.H.
01/01/1998

This study examined predictors of entry onto shelter and subsequent housing stability for a cohort of families receiving public assistance in New York City. Methods. Interviews were conducted with 266 families as they requested shelter and with a comparison sample of 298 families selected at random from the welfare caseload. Respondents were reinterviewed 5 years later. Families with prior history of shelter use were excluded from the follow-up study. Results. Demographic characteristics and housing conditions were the most important risk factors for shelter entry; enduring poverty and disruptive social experiences also contributed. Five years later, four fifths of sheltered families had their own apartment. Receipt of subsidized housing was the primary predictor of housing stability among formerly homeless families (odd ratio [OR] = 20.6, 95% confidence interval [CI]= 9.9, 42.9). Conclusions. Housing subsidies are critical to ending homelessness among families.

Resolving Conflict Creatively: Evaluating the Developmental Effects of a School-Based Violence Prevention Program in Neighborhood and Classroom Context

Resolving Conflict Creatively: Evaluating the Developmental Effects of a School-Based Violence Prevention Program in Neighborhood and Classroom Context
Development and Psychopathology, 10(2), 187-213.

Aber, J.L., Jones, S.M., Brown, J.L., Chaudry, N. & Samples, F.
01/01/1998

This study evaluated the short-term impact of a school-based violence prevention initiative on developmental processes thought to place children at risk for future aggression and violence and examined the influence of classroom and neighborhood contexts on the effectiveness of the violence prevention initiative. Two waves of developmental data (fall and spring) were analyzed from the 1st year of the evaluation of the Resolving Conflict Creatively Program (RCCP), which includes 5053 children from grades two to six from 11 elementary schools in New York City. Three distinct profiles of exposure to the intervention were derived from Management Information System (MIS) data on between classroom differences in teacher Training and Coaching in RCCP, Classroom Instruction in RCCP, and percentages of students who are Peer Mediators. Developmental processes that place children at risk were found to increase over the course of the school year. Children whose teachers had a moderate amount of training and coaching from RCCP and who taught many lessons showed significantly slower growth in aggression-related processes, and less of a decrease in competence-related processes, compared to children whose teachers taught few or no lessons. Contrary to expectation, children whose teachers had a higher level of training and coaching in the RCCP but taught few lessons showed significantly faster growth over time in aggressive cognitions and behaviors. The impact of the intervention on children’s social cognitions (but not on their interpersonal behaviors) varied by context. Specifically the positive effect of High Lessons was dampened for children in high-risk classrooms and neighborhoods. Implications for future research on developmental psychopathology in context and for the design of preventive interventions are discussed.

Where Youth Live: Effects of Urban Space on Employment

Where Youth Live: Effects of Urban Space on Employment
Urban Studies, Jun98, Vol. 35 Issue 7, p1187-1205, 19p, 8 charts, 3 graphs, 1 map

O'Regan, K. & Quigley, J.M.
01/01/1998

This paper synthesises a series of empirical analyses investigating the role of urban space in affecting minority employment outcomes. It broadens the focus beyond transport and the 'friction of space' and expands the data available for spatial research. The empirical analyses share a common framework linking 'access' to youth labour market performance. The first set of results is based on aggregate data relating access to employment outcomes for black youth at the metropolitan level. Access is broadly defined to include traditional measures of geographical distance, as well as measures of social isolation or social access. Metropolitan areas in which the black poor are more spatially isolated are also found to have higher black youth unemployment rates. The second body of evidence relies on the same type of metropolitan measures, combined with individual data on youth living with at least one parent. When individual and family characteristics are controlled for, and white and Hispanic youth are also considered, metropolitan measures of social access exert distinguishable effects upon youth employment-youth living in urban areas in which they have less residential contact with whites or the non-poor are less likely to be employed. The final piece of analysis links the individual records of such youth to tract-level measures of access, both social (neighbourhood composition variables) and geographical (job-access measures). This is accomplished through the creation of a unique data set at the Bureau of the Census. Again, after controlling for individual and family characteristics, the residential conditions of youth affect their employment. Ceteris paribus, youth living in census tracts with fewer employed adults, with fewer whites, and which are further from jobs are less likely to be employed. Results suggest that the overall effects of space on employment outcomes are substantial, explaining 10-40 per cent of the observed racial differences in employment in...

Reinventing the Central City as a Place to Live and Work

Reinventing the Central City as a Place to Live and Work
Housing Policy Debate, Vol. 8, Issue 2.

Moss, M. L.
01/01/1997

Public policies for urban development have traditionally emphasized investment in physical infrastructure, the development of large-scale commercial facilities, the construction of new housing, and the renewal of existing neighborhoods. Most efforts to revitalize central cities by building new facilities for visitors have focused on suburban commuters and tourists. At the same time, many housing initiatives in central cities have concentrated on low-income communities because outlying suburban areas have attracted traditional middle-income households.

This article argues that emerging demographic and cultural trends - combined with changes in the structure of business organizations and technological advances - provide new opportunities for cities to retain and attract middle-class households. Using gay and lesbian populations as an example, it focuses on the role that nontraditional households can play in urban redevelopment. In light of the rise of nontraditional households and the growth of self-employment and small businesses, cities should adopt policies that make them attractive places in which to live and work.

 

Global Warming, Infrastructure, and Land Use in the Metropolitan New York Area: Prevention and Response

Global Warming, Infrastructure, and Land Use in the Metropolitan New York Area: Prevention and Response
The Baked Apple? Metropolitan New York in the Greenhouse, edited by Douglas Hill. New York: New York Academy of Sciences. Pp. 57-83.

Zimmerman, R.
01/01/1996

This paper focuses on infrastructure's vulnerability to sea level change associated with global warming. It also addresses the degree to which that infrastructure can be altered to decrease its vulnerability and the vulnerability of the land surrounding it. It centers on the metropolitan New York City area (which includes portions of New Jersey and Connecticut), that is surrounded by an extensive shoreline subject to the risks of global warming.

Management Development for Mid-Level Managers: Results of a Demonstration Project

Management Development for Mid-Level Managers: Results of a Demonstration Project
Hospital and Health Services Administration Winter 1996, Vol. 41 No. 4, pp 485-502.

Kovner, A.R.
01/01/1996

Examines a demonstration program to develop skills and experience for middle managers ar a mid-sized urban hospital in the United States. Background information on the management development program at the New York Downtown Hospital; Participation by middle and senior management; Program curriculum; Program weaknesses, opportunities, threats; Recommendations for replication.

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