Urban Institute: CHA Families and the Plan for Transformation
The Urban Institute provides high-quality research on economic and social policy, addressing topics such as education, employment, crime, and governance. This clutch of documents looks at the transformation of the Chicago Housing Authority and the provision of public housing in the city. The five briefs “describe key successes and challenges faced by CHA and its residents.” Titles address topics like “How Chicago’s Public Housing Transformation Can Inform Federal Policy?” and “Chronic Violence: Beyond the Developments.” Along with these insightful documents, you can also look over the Previous Briefs area. Here you will find “The Health Crisis for CHA Families,” “CHA After Wells-Where are the Residents Now?” and a dozen other briefs.
[Source: Scout Report, Volume 19, Number 17, April 26, 2013]
OECD Working Papers Series
The mantra of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is “Better Policies for Better Lives.” OECD’s work spans the world and features a team of economists, sociologists, and others working on problems as diverse as higher education, access to clean water, and energy policy. The OECD Working Papers Series spans 19 crucial areas, including agriculture, development, environment, finance, and health care. You should definitely check out the Tourism papers, as they include the compelling work “Green Innovation in Tourism Services.” The Local Economic and Employment (LEED) papers are quite good as well, covering timely topics like urban governance and regional policy decision making. You can sign up to receive updates about new papers as they are released to the site.
[Source: Scout Report, Volume 19, Number 18, May 3, 2013]
As the city of Chicago began the plan to transform its notoriously poorly-run Chicago Housing Authority in the early 1990s, many wondered what would become of its residents and the surrounding communities. This recent report from the Urban Institute looks into the “complex relationship between public housing transformation and crime in Chicago and Atlanta.” Authored by five different researchers at the Institute, this 11-page document takes a close look at crime rates in the communities that relocated public housing residents into private-market housing. The report notes that the effects were “not the simplistic relationship implied by media accounts, but rather a complex picture of declining crime rates in both cities, a small net decrease in violent crime citywide associated with the transformation efforts, but effects in some neighborhoods—those that received more than a few relocated households—that suggest that crime would have been lower in those neighborhoods had there been no public housing transformation.” The report includes a number of helpful charts and summary statistics, and it will be most useful to policy analysts and planners
[Source: The Scout Report, Volume 18, Number 16, April 20, 2012]
- The Rising Burden of Government Debt [Flash Player]
The Brookings Institution sponsors a wide range of work on the global economy, and this recent paper and analysis by Eswar Prasad and Mengjie Ding looks at the rising burden of government debt across the world. Released in November 2010, the piece uses international financial data and national GDP figures to look at the increase in government indebtedness from 2007 to 2010. During this period, the ratio of world debt to world GDP rose from 44 percent to 59 percent, and it is estimated that this ratio will reach 65 percent in 2015. So-called “advanced economies” (AEs) account for the bulk of the increase in global public debt since the start of this recent economic crisis and downturn…
- Cultural Shock [pdf]
The Demos organization in London is a think-tank that produces compelling reports on everything from public space to government spending. This report from October 2010 is by Samuel Jones, and he explores the relationship between the British government and culture and sport. His basic question is: “Why should the state get involved in culture, and if it should, how?” The 154-page report is divided into sections such as “Society and the cultural realm”, “Taking the cultural pulse of a nation”, and “Evidence of Potential”. It’s an interesting read, and the paper argues that “cultural policy must focus on the equitable distribution of individuals’ cultural capabilities, indicating that this will require thinking anew about what form the structures take, and how they are run.”
- NPR: The Picture Show
National Public Radio’s “The Picture Show” photo blog is a great way to avoid culling through the thousands of less interesting and engaging photographs on the web. With a dedicated team of professionals, this blog brings together different posts that profile various sets of photographs that cover 19th century war in Afghanistan, visual memories of WWII, unpublished photographs of JFK’s presidential campaign, and abandoned buildings on the islands in Boston Harbor. Visitors can search through previous posts, use social media features to share the photo features with friends, and also sign up to receive new materials via their RSS feed. There’s quite a nice mix of material here, and visitors can also comment on the photos and recommend the collection to friends and others.
- London Lives
“London Lives: Crime, Poverty and Social Policy in the Metropolis” is a project with the goal of “assessing the role of plebeians in the evolution of social practices in the modern metropolis.” In other words, the website aims to make accessible the records of non-elite individuals in order to show how those users of particular social institutions—charities, the penal system, and others—shaped their development. Visitors can choose “Browse Documents” to see the types of documents available, such as “Parish Archives”, “Criminal Records”, and “Coroners’ Records”. The “City of London Coroners” records from the 1780s include an inquest into a suspicious death, with no less than a dozen interviews with people who knew the man who died, and one of whom attested to him being “a little touched in the head”. The “Additional Datasets” link contains 16 other datasets, including one of boys recruited to serve at sea for the Marine Society.
[Source: The Scout Report, Volume 16, Number 45, November 12, 2010]
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Thanks to both the forces of globalization and the worsening financial crisis, criminal activity is spreading to some surprising places and groups. Here are five crime waves that authorities never saw coming. View the article … [Source: Foreign Policy].
Business improvement districts (BIDs) are a tool used by concerned members of the business community and politicians to enhance a commercial retail area’s economic fortunes. As it turns out, they may also improve the social environment of their neighborhoods as well. Published in 2009, this study commissioned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was completed by the RAND Corporation. Throughout its 139-pages the study takes a critical look at how these BIDs have the potential “to reduce a youth’s risk to neighborhood violence” and generally improve the social environment. The study was based on research performed in Los Angeles and the report itself is divided into six chapters. The study notes that the activities of BIDs can help increase informal social control, reducing visible signs of disorder and blight, and provide enriched employment opportunities.
[Source: The Scout Report, Volume 15, Number 8, February 27, 2009]
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