2014 Forum White Papers


White papers for the 2014 UIC Urban Forum:

The “overview” white paper will explore the rediscovery of neighborhoods as both an arena for policy conversation and debates as well as an arena for academic study. The author of the white paper will weave a narrative around the historical importance and understanding of neighborhoods as an urban asset and provide an overview/introduction to the broad themes of the Urban Forum’s White Papers.

Paper 1: Mobility and Neighborhoods. This white paper will explore the issues related to the effects of mobility on gentrification, real estate, foreclosure, and neighborhood growth and decline. It will also examine social aspects of mobility and effect on changing neighborhoods. Can there be neighborhood development without displacement? The white paper will explore the role of migration and immigration in the creative destruction of neighborhoods. What are the agents of dynamic neighborhood change? Progressive neighborhood change? Role of location of jobs and employment opportunities on neighborhoods?

Paper 2: People and Places. Public policies promulgated at the federal, state and local level are often debated as a contest between about whether place should be advantaged or people should be advantaged. Neighborhoods contain both elements as they are defined as concentrations of people within a particular spatial territory. This white paper assesses the history of public policy experiments and their effects on people, space and neighborhoods. Why do some public policies succeed and others fail at promoting livable neighborhoods?

Paper 3: Youth and Education. One of the key characteristics of urban neighborhoods is the role that schools play in defining those neighborhoods. Concerns about the ‘school to prison’ pipeline should also be addressed and attempts to interrupt such trends will also be assessed. As such, an assessment of safety, gun violence, and youth will be explored. This white paper will examine programs that focus on schools as community centers, including health centers and programs that emphasize a P-12+ pipeline (cradle to college). The white paper will also examine the contemporary controversies surrounding charter schools v traditional public schools and the impact on neighborhoods.

Paper 4: Community and Social Institutions. New populations seek support and comfort from a variety of institutions, from religious and cultural institutions to ethnic and social organizations. These institutions vary across the urban landscape with varying options depending on the location, e.g., suburban institutions may be less developed. This white paper will examine the contemporary Latino, Asian and other immigrant communities in light of their access to non-governmental institutions and of the new challenges of the increasing rate of poverty in suburbia. The white paper will situate the role of traditional community and social institutions, as well as new institutions, as critical anchors in neighborhood growth, stability and decline.