Urban Doctoral Poster Session & Reception
At the beginning of the Spring Semester Penn IUR gathers doctoral students from across the university, along with their mentors and advisors, for an informal reception and poster presentations. This event brings together students and faculty researching urban issues from many different disciplines. It is a well-attended event that encourages interdisciplinary cooperation and collaboration. Additionally, it helps identify graduating students who may present during Penn IUR Urban Doctoral Symposium at the end of the semester.
On Monday, Feb. 6th, PennIUR hosted its first ever Urban Doctoral Poster Session as part of its annual Urban Doctoral Reception. Four doctoral students from the School of Design, the School of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School of Education, and the School of Nursing presented their work, as well as post-doctoral fellow The Lauder Institute. Their posters can be found here:
Every May, the Penn Institute for Urban Research, in collaboration with the Penn Urban Studies Program, hosts the Penn Urban Doctoral Symposium luncheon. The event celebrates the achievements of Penn doctoral students who have recently completed dissertations on urban-focused topics. Through presentations and discussion, the symposium highlights the significant contributions Penn students make to urban scholarship. The Symposium also offers Ph.D. students an opportunity to present their findings to family members and peers. The event increases awareness among participants of recent urban research and also exposes aspiring doctoral candidates to the scope of contemporary urban questions addressed at Penn.
The Lauder Institute at the Wharton School and the School of Arts & Sciences
Shanghai Dreams: Urban Restructuring in Globalizing Mumbai
Despite support by the state and corporate elite, Mumbai’s project of growth-oriented strategic planning, infrastructure building, urban renewal and policy reform has made little progress. Why have Mumbai’s transformation efforts remained stymied? This dissertation examines a faltering state project to remake Mumbai into a “world-class” city and an international financial center, inspired by Shanghai’s comprehensive urban renewal during the1990s. Through Chattaraj’s ethnographic study of urban restructuring in Mumbai, she proposes that the answer lies in the nature of the sub-national state.
Chattaraj argues that the sub-national state is central to the project of “globalizing” cities like Mumbai and Shanghai. Globally-oriented urban restructuring is a complex and multi-dimensional process in which the sub-national state is the central actor. Chattaraj demonstrates the ways in Mumbai’s urban restructuring reshapes state policy and transforms urban governance. The role of the state is critical in emerging cities seeking to “leap-frog” their position in global networks, to put in place the infrastructural and policy elements required to make cities central nodes in the “global space for the functioning of firms and markets”. Consequently, state capacity is critical to the success of globally-oriented urban restructuring. The state plays an extensive role in urban planning and coordination, land acquisition, infrastructure investment, conflict management, displacement and rehabilitation.
Chattaraj proposes that the sub-national state in Mumbai is ill-equipped to carry out a complex, multi-dimensional program of urban restructuring. The state in Mumbai is organizationally fragmented and its relationship with corporate business is tenuous. Chattaraj proposes an empirically-grounded concept, the “jugaad state” to describe the state in Mumbai. “Jugaad” governance enables the state to govern a largely informal city like Mumbai. The “Jugaad” state is, however, ill-suited to carry forward a comprehensive urban transformation program, unlike the centralized, cohesive and downward reaching state in Shanghai.
Graduate School of Education and the School of Arts & Sciences
Education Culture & Society and Department of History
The Roots of Educational Inequality: Germantown High School 1907-2011
The history of urban public schools demonstrates that these institutions reproduce the same deep structural inequalities that have existed in this country since its founding. Current scholarship research negates the connections between the failures of urban public schools and the historical changes in urban communities and the social welfare state.
Kitzmiller’s study, The Roots of Educational Inequality, provides this analysis by examining the political, economic, and social factors that led to the transformation of Germantown High School and its urban community throughout the twentieth century. This longitudinal study, accomplished through a careful analysis of daily events rather than sampling key turning points, maximizes the benefits of a case study approach by connecting local conditions to the larger transformation of urban schools, urban communities, and the social welfare state. Using a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods and source materials, Kitzmiller’s work links the school’s history to the community and city’s history to demonstrate how the influx of working class residents, the escalation of residential segregation, and the failures of urban renewal efforts affected the high school.
This dissertation argues that white flight, alone, did not lead to the school’s transformation. Rather the deterioration of this American high school is connected, at least in part, to the dramatic decrease in the levels of private funding that residents contributed to the high school and charitable organizations during the twentieth century. As the demographics of the community changed, this funding dwindled and the infrastructure that had supported the high school and its youth quickly deteriorated. By tracing this history over the course of entire century from the school’s glorious promises to its current challenges, this dissertation provides a fresh understanding about the transformation of American public high schools, urban communities, and the social welfare state over the past 100 years.
Anne Bradley Mitchell
School of Nursing
Perceptions of Neighborhood Built Environment and Health on Walking in Minority Urban Older Adults
This dissertation focuses on a descriptive, cross sectional, non-experimental survey with a sample of 140 minority adults over age 65 that was conducted in a large northeastern city. The purpose was to describe the relationship of self-reported health status and perceived neighborhood built environment with the amount of self-reported walking. The theoretical framework was based on the Ecological Theory of Aging (Nahemow & Lawton). The quantitative instruments used were: the SF-12 Health Survey, Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale (NEWS), and the Community Healthy Activities Model Program Seniors (CHAMPS). Multiple regression analysis found that older age (p =.001), BMI (p =.002), and gender (p =.007) were significantly correlated with less total minutes of walking per week. For transport walking, having access to a car (p=.013) was associated with 48 less walking minutes, while having health problems such as pain or unsteady gait (p=.018) was associated with 27 less walking minutes per week were significant. However, the number of co-morbidities was not a significant contributor. In non-transport walking, BMI was most significant, (p=.006). Within the NEWS subscales, significant variables included access to services (p =.041) for transport walking and neighborhood surroundings (p = .040) for non-transport walking. Crime and traffic subscales were not significant. For the SF-12, the PCS (p=.004) was significant for total walking and transport walking (p=.011), while the MCS (p=.046) was significant for non-transport walking. The significance of age, gender and BMI were similar to findings with non-minority samples. Health perceptions were statistically more significant than built environment features. This dissertation includes implications for addressing health symptoms and modifying the environment to accommodate health conditions, and to promote neighborhood walking.
Graduate School of Education
Teaching, Learning, & Curriculum
Peer Networking as Professional Development for Out-of School Time Staff
Out-of-school time (OST) is a growing field that includes afterschool, evening, weekend, summer, school-age care, childcare, positive youth development, and workforce development programs (NIOST, 2000). Research demonstrates that OST professional development is critical to program quality and student impact (Weiss, 2005/2006). In an effort to diversify its offerings and impact youth participants, the OST field has begun experimenting with alternative formats of professional development (PD). Many of these new venues involve peer networking, peer mentoring, and other types of collegial support.
For this study, Peter used an action research approach and a mixed-method strategy to examine three sets of OST peer networking meetings. These three case studies were analyzed based on how similar they were and how they differed from one another. Peter identified the fundamental ingredients of these activities and explored their prevalence and importance. Peter further examined specific phenomena such as how to foster networking, reconcile insider/outsider dynamics, balance cohesion with diversity, and create supportive environments.
Based upon this research, Peter offers multiple suggestions for understanding, designing, replicating, and evaluating peer networking meetings for OST staff. These recommendations are intended for staff who create, facilitate, and/or assess peer networking meetings, as well as for any executives, policymakers, funders, or other stakeholders who wish to better understand the composition and value of these professional development activities.
School of Arts & Sciences
Department of Political Science
Neoliberalism in the Trenches: Urban Politics and Policy in the United States and Britain, 1976-2000
This dissertation considers the impact of neoliberal turn of the late twentieth century upon national urban policy and urban political development in the United States and Britain. In both countries, governments of the right came into power under Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan at the turn of the 1980s. Strikingly, they shared an identical policy priority that was imbued with their tax cutting and deregulatory agenda: the enterprise zone. The embrace of pro-market ideas did not end there. When the center-left came to power under Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, their urban policies not only shared distinct similarities with one another, they also bore a close resemblance to those chosen by their right-wing predecessors. Overall, Weaver finds that the countries' differing institutional frameworks help to explain, the timing, extent, and character of the neoliberalization of national urban policy.
In addition, Weaver’s work uses the lenses of Philadelphia and London Docklands to investigate how the interaction of national and international-level forces and local political coalition-building promoted pro-market policy prescriptions. In “Docklands,” local institutions were radically transformed with the introduction of an Urban Development Corporation, which usurped local councils’ planning powers and set about privatizing public land. Given its transformation by an activist central government, Weaver suggests Docklands reconfiguration exemplifies a process of neoliberalism by design. By contrast, Philadelphia’s path towards neoliberalism was more serpentine and remains incomplete. There, a particular sequence of slow-moving processes—deindustrialization and the influx of working-class African Americans— intertwined with rapid, ideologically informed cuts to federal aid. These national shifts in turn interacted with local political strategies to transform Philadelphia into a “business-friendly” city. The Philadelphia case reveals that the coalitional linkages between African Americans and business were crucial in this regard. Weaver argues that Philadelphia’s reluctant turn toward pro-market remedies illustrates a pattern of neoliberalism by default.