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With his background as a community organizer and as a state legislator representing Chicago’s South Side, Barack Obama became America’s most “urban” president since Teddy Roosevelt. But what has been his record in dealing with the issues most impacting our metropolitan areas today? Looking past the current administration, what are the future prospects of the nation’s cities, and how have they been shaped by our policies in this century? Seeking to answer these questions, Urban Policy in the Time of Obama’s contributors explore a broad range of policy arenas that shape, both directly and indirectly, metropolitan areas and urbanization processes.
This volume reveals the Obama administration’s surprisingly limited impact on cities, through direct policy initiatives such as Strong Cities, Strong Communities, Promise Neighborhoods, and Choice Neighborhood Initiatives. There has been greater impact with broader policies that shape urban life and governance, including immigration reform, education, and health care.
Closing with Cedric Johnson’s afterword, “Baltimore, the Policing Crisis, and the End of the Obama Era”—illuminating the “Black Lives Matter” movement and what its broader social context says about city governance in our times—Urban Policy in the Time of Obama finds that most of the dominant policies and policy regimes of recent years have fallen short of easing the ills of America’s cities, and calls for a more equitable and just urban policy regime.
Contributors: Rachel G Bratt, Tufts University; Christine Thurlow Brenner, University of Massachusetts Boston; Karen Chapple, University of California, Berkeley; James Fraser, Vanderbilt University; Edward G. Goetz, University of Minnesota; Dan Immergluck, Georgia Tech; Amy T. Khare, University of Chicago; Robert W. Lake, Rutgers University; Pauline Lipman, University of Illinois at Chicago; Lorraine C. Minnite, Rutgers University-Camden; Kathe Newman, Rutgers University; Deirdre Oakley, Georgia State University; Frances Fox Piven, City University of New York; Hillary Silver, Brown University; Janet Smith, University of Illinois at Chicago; Preston H. Smith II, Mount Holyoke College; Todd Swanstrom, Unviersity of Missouri–St. Louis; Nik Theodore, University of Illinois at Chicago; J. Phillip Thompson, MIT.