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Summer Reading 2019

The Editorial Board is now on summer break and will be posting new articles again starting on Tuesday, September 10. To tide you over, we are featuring a selection of papers published over the course of the 2018/2019 academic year.

These articles range widely in focus. They consider climate change and its perils—the environmental vulnerability of black women and the convergence of urbanization and climate change—but also find reason for optimism, evidenced by Boston’s use of solid waste management to advance sustainability and climate goals. They unpack claims about local economic development strategies, including incentive policies in the wake of Amazon’s failed plan for its New York City headquarters, and a call to reconsider land-value capture mechanisms to ensure that they drive redistributive justice. And more! What they share in common, like all that Metropolitics publishes, is authors’ commitment to making original scholarly research on cities and urban politics accessible to a broad readership in a short-form, open-access format.

If you are crafting your syllabi for the upcoming year, we urge you to consider these and other Metropolitics articles; many are appropriate for both undergraduate and graduate students.

If you are a researcher who is spending the summer in writing mode, we encourage you to submit an article. A short-form piece in Metropolitics can help you to develop an embryonic idea or draw attention to a book or longer academic article that you have already published. In particular, we direct you to this call for papers for a special series on borders as they relate to urban issues. The papers published in our last special issue, on progressive mayors and urban social movements, are linked below. The deadline for submissions to this special series is Friday, September 6, 2019. Submissions for the special series (and other submissions) may be directed to editorial director Hilary Botein at the following address: hilary [dot] botein [at] baruch [dot] cuny [dot] edu. Please review Metropolitics’ style guide and word limits here.

Have a wonderful summer!

Hilary Botein (Baruch College, City University of New York)
Editorial Director, academic years 2018/2019 and 2019/2020

- Series | Progressive Mayors and Urban Social Movements
Various authors

The challenges of implementing progressive urban agendas are both structural and political in nature. This series explores these long-standing tensions within the contemporary contexts of growing metropolitan inequality, increasingly fractured political and cultural divides, and social movements in response to these changes.

- From the Field | Killing Them Softly: The Environmental Vulnerability of Black Women in Albany, New York
Tanesha A. Thomas

In Albany’s South End, a predominantly low-income African-American neighborhood, tanks storing environmentally harmful toxins pose risks to the community’s health. Tanesha Thomas combines sociological and geographical methods of analysis to show that Black women, as primary householders in communities hosting environmental hazards, bear a disproportionate environmental burden. This research incorporates gender into an intersectional analysis of environmental inequality.

- Essays | As NYC (Again) Considers Comprehensive Planning, History Offers Insight
K. C. Alvey

Comprehensive planning can be a progressive governance tool, helping leaders keep broad principles like equity and resilience in mind as they consider infrastructure systems and neighborhood-level interventions. But as New York City’s experience shows, balancing a citywide vision with flexibility and activism at the community scale has proven to be a challenge. Moreover, for some interests, comprehensive public planning—whether community-responsive or not—poses a threat.

- Interviews | Global Climate Crisis and the City: An Interview with Ashley Dawson
Ashley Dawson & Maura McGee

An interview with Ashley Dawson, professor of English at the College of Staten Island and the Graduate Center, CUNY, about his most recent book Extreme Cities: The Peril and Promise of Urban Life in the Age of Climate Change. He talks with Maura McGee about the global convergence of urbanization and climate change, strategies to confront climate chaos, and how communities and social movements can act.

- Debates | Post–Amazon HQ2 Incentive Reform: We can have good deals—but not without transparency and meaningful public participation
Mary Donegan

What does the collapse of New York City’s Amazon HQ2 deal mean for the future of economic development incentive policy?

- Debates | Reclaim Value Capture for Equitable Urban Development
Laura Wolf-Powers

Land-value capture mechanisms have become a popular tool for fiscally constrained urban policymakers. However, such policies often contribute to inequality rather than reduce it. Laura Wolf-Powers draws on examples from New York and Atlanta to urge planners to look more critically at these mechanisms.

- From the Field | Moving Inside City Limits: The Urban Mobility of Undocumented Youth
Stephen P. Ruszczyk

The urban context and public transportation shape how undocumented youths move within cities. In a comparison of New York City and Paris, Stephen Ruszczyk shows how cities can strengthen mobility for undocumented youths, and for all residents, regardless of legal status.

- Essays | From non-planning to cutting-edge policy: the transformation of waste management in Boston since the 1980s
Lily Baum Pollans

Recycling and composting are hot topics. Lily Baum Pollans argues that Boston’s changing approach to waste management represents a more radical shift than some might think.

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To cite this article:

The Editorial Board, “Summer Reading 2019”, Metropolitics, 17 July 2019. URL :

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Centre national de recherche scientifique
Journal supported by the Institut des Sciences Humaines et Sociales (Institute of Human and Social Sciences) of the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS)