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Collaborative Governance for Urban Revitalization Lessons from Empowerment Zones

by Michael J. Rich, Robert P. Stoker

Collaborative Governance for Urban Revitalization Lessons from Empowerment Zones Synopsis

For more than one hundred years, governments have grappled with the complex problem of how to revitalize distressed urban areas. In 1995, the original urban Empowerment Zones (Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit, New York, and Philadelphia) each received a $100 million federal block grant and access to a variety of market-oriented policy tools to support the implementation of a ten-year strategic plan to increase economic opportunities and promote sustainable community development in high-poverty neighborhoods. In Collaborative Governance for Urban Revitalization, Michael J. Rich and Robert P. Stoker confront the puzzle of why the outcomes achieved by the original Empowerment Zones varied so widely given that each city had the same set of federal policy tools and resources and comparable neighborhood characteristics.The authors' analysis, based on more than ten years of field research in Atlanta and Baltimore and extensive empirical analysis of EZ processes and outcomes in all six cities shows that revitalization outcomes are best explained by the quality of local governance. Good local governance makes positive contributions to revitalization efforts, while poor local governance retards progress. While policy design and contextual factors are important, how cities craft and carry out their strategies are critical determinants of successful revitalization. Rich and Stoker find that good governance is often founded on public-private cooperation, a stance that argues against both the strongest critics of neoliberalism (who see private enterprise as dangerous in principle) and the strongest opponents of liberalism (who would like to reduce the role of government).

Collaborative Governance for Urban Revitalization Lessons from Empowerment Zones Press Reviews

Michael J. Rich and Robert P. Stoker provide a nuanced discussion of the large variance in performance across the Empowerment Zones, making a powerful case for how good governance is critical to producing good outcomes. Collaborative Governance for Urban Revitalization offers policymakers, researchers, nonprofit organizations, and others in the urban development field insight into what makes policies and programs successful, how they can fail, and what this means for their design and implementation. -- Jennifer S. Vey, Metropolitan Policy Program, Brookings Institution, coeditor of Retooling for Growth Collaborative Governance for Urban Revitalization is an outstanding piece of scholarship. Michael Rich and Robert Stoker's knowledge of the work of foundations, including how their comprehensive community initiatives have influenced federal policy, is unparalleled. The connections the authors make to international development initiatives and their focus on effective governance are especially valuable. In truth, we have weak governance processes in many American metros. It is one thing to propose big policy ideas; it is something else to implement them. Many areas do not have the institutional capacity to absorb funds even if the funds were available. As the authors note, we need to focus on capacity or governance first. This book is a must-read for those who want to see such capacity developed in American cities. -- Todd Swanstrom, Des Lee Professor of Community Collaboration and Public Policy Administration, University of Missouri-St. Louis [Collaborative Governance]is a valuable resource, a course-ready publication, for scholars and students interested in the fields of urban studies, public policy and local government-as well as those who study urban revitalisation and community economic development. -- David P. Karas * Urban Studies *

Book Information

ISBN: 9780801452505
Publication date: 29th May 2014
Author: Michael J. Rich, Robert P. Stoker
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 296 pages
Categories: Urban economics,

About Michael J. Rich, Robert P. Stoker

Michael J. Rich is Associate Professor of Political Science and Environmental Studies and Executive Director of the Center for Community Partnerships at Emory University. He is the author of Federal Policymaking and the Poor. Robert P. Stoker is Associate Professor of Political Science, Public Policy, and Public Administration at the George Washington University. He is the author of Reluctant Partners: Implementing Federal Policy and coauthor of When Work is Not Enough: State and Federal Policies to Support Needy Workers.

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