Faculty and students from all disciplines across Fordham engage in research on historical and contemporary urbanization, its challenges and opportunities for the 21st century.
The Urban Consortium at Fordham University organizes and sponsors programs and events that highlight contemporary urban issues. It focuses on engaged, interdisciplinary urban research by graduate students and faculty.
Mapping Conference Tackles Justice Issues from a Geographic Perspective
In a three-day symposium titled “Mapping (In)Justice,” dozens of scholars came to Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus from Nov. 7 to Nov. 9 to examine how digital mapping is being used by academics as a methodology to study justice and injustice, particularly when researching underserved communities.
Gregory Donovan, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Communication and Media Studies and co-founder of the Fordham Digital Scholarship Consortium, organized the conference with department chair Jacqueline Reich, Ph.D.
“Spatial media have politics, these are not neutral things,” said Donovan, who teaches a course of the same name as the conference for the Masters in Public Media. “We need to look at how our subjects are using digital mapping in their own lives and not just use this technology to study them from afar, like a scientist with a clipboard.”
“Shanghai is among the most dynamic global cities of both the 20th and 21st centuries. The city is China’s gateway to the world and its aspirations for the future. With more than 24 million people, 40 percent of whom are migrants, it is a global crossroads and one of the most multicultural cities in the world. It has more skyscrapers than New York and a public transport system that overtakes most global cities. Shanghai is a trading city, an entrepot of commodities. It exports electronic information products, automobiles, petrochemicals, fine steel, equipment, and biomedicine. It has the highest GDP of any city in China’s mainland and has become one of the leading financial sectors in East Asia, with major Western banks flocking to its new financial centre. With well over 500 multinational companies, the city attracts more foreign investment flows than most developing countries. Along with them has come a highly-skilled workforce from all over the world. Shanghai’s urban middle-class has fuelled China’s consumer revolution and a property boom. Sleek skyscrapers and glamorous malls, its brilliant skyline, dominate the global image of Shanghai and beckon tourists to its shores.”
Garrett Broad is an Assistant Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University and the author of More Than Just Food: Food Justice and Community Change. His research investigates the role of storytelling and communication technology in promoting networked movements for social justice. Much of his work focuses on local and global food systems, as he explores how food can best contribute to improved neighborhood health, environmental sustainability, and the rights and welfare of animals.
In this episode, Therese Markow and Dr. Garrett Broad discuss the emerging culture around cellular meat and the changing space for this product in the marketplace. Therese and Dr. Broad discuss how the animal cells are acquired, the process of growing the “meat" in a lab, and the types of products currently, and possibly in the future, grown in laboratories. They also discuss how food activists can make beneficial impacts on food justice and food sovereignty and change "food deserts" or "food swamps” and the communities in which they are embedded.
On October 23, 2019, Fordham Law School hosted a packed room of students to hear University of California, Berkeley Law Professor Pam Samuelson, the Distinguished Bacon-Kilkenny Visiting Professor of Law at Fordham, talk about “Challenges to Civil Liberties in Cyberspace.” Professor Olivier Sylvain moderated the discussion in which Professor Samuelson explored a wide range of information law issues, including the evolution of digital copyright law, privacy issues, and the First Amendment.
Both professors also spoke about privacy and data protection. The subject is particularly timely given recent congressional hearings involving Facebook and other social media companies.
Professors Samuelson and Sylvain noted the major differences between the U.S. and the European Union’s approach to privacy protections.
“The U.S. also has a relatively recent and long tradition of systematic privacy invasion,” said Sylvain. Unlike Europe, however, “laws here were in the service of racial subordination through slavery, Jim Crow, and segregation. Civil rights groups like the NAACP and the ACLU brought free speech and freedom of association cases on behalf of activists who had been surveilled by the Department of Justice, as well as state and local police,” Sylvain said.
“Each year, reports of alleged abuse and neglect of nearly 7.5 million children reach local child welfare agencies across the United States. With so many reports, agencies need to determine which require an urgent response. Many child welfare agencies are turning to empirical evidence to help triage these cases.
“In a recent paper, Clare Huntington, a law professor at Fordham University, acknowledges that empirical evidence—especially the use of predictive analytics—can improve child welfare policies and practices. But she argues that empirical data must be used with great caution.”
Even when empirical evidence is relevant, decisionmakers must be cautious about how they use it. To guide this nuance, this Essay’s framework calls for more effective gatekeeping mechanisms across the institutions of family law. It warns decisionmakers to be attentive to the potential for empirical evidence to reflect and refract the legal salience of intersecting identities, including race, gender, and class. And the framework encourages a robust role for legal scholars to make empirical evidence accessible and comprehensible for those crafting legal rules and policies.
“Five years after Fordham joined the AshokaU network of schools committed to changing the world through social innovation, the University has been lauded for its efforts and had its designation as a “Changemaker Campus” renewed. Forty-five other colleges and universities around the world are part of AshokaU, a global organization that honors universities for innovative efforts to foster social good and strengthen society.”
“A long roster of progressive political newcomers is targeting Queens incumbents in local and national races — setting off primaries next year for some elected officials who’ve run unopposed for years.”
“Given gentrification and “shifting patterns of migration,” it’s natural that a crop of challengers are springing up in Queens, said Christina Greer, a Fordham University political science professor.
Gentrifiers are in a “higher economic class, tend to vote more and tend to demand things that community members have gotten used to not having,” she said.”
from Abe Unger's Business Improvement Districts (2016):
Privatization has transformed cities, particularly through the role of Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) in the revitalization of America’s downtowns. These public-private partnerships between property owners and municipal government have developed retail strips across the United States into lifestyle and commercial hubs. BIDs are non-profit community organizations with the public power to tax and spend on services in their districts, but they are unelected bodies often operating in the shadows of local government. They work as agents of economic development, but are they democratic? What can we learn from BIDs about the accountability of public-private partnerships, and how they impact our lives as citizens?
The Ghent system—an arrangement whereby trade unions help deliver government-supported unemployment insurance—exists in its truest form only in a handful of countries, including Sweden, Belgium, and Denmark. However, the United States has a number of Ghent-like policies where unions deliver or help people access governmental benefits—including workforce training, retirement benefits, and enforcement of workplace laws. Expanding upon these models would increase union membership and improve the quality of public programs in the United States.
In "Strengthening Labor Standards Enforcement Through Partnerships with Workers' Organizations" (Politics & Society, 2010), Fordham Professor of Law Jennifer Gordon and Janice Fine of Rutgers University argue that there is a mismatch between the enforcement strategies of most federal and state labor inspectorates and the industries in which noncompliance continues to be a problem. The authors propose augmenting labor inspectorates by giving public interest groups like unions and worker centers a formal, ongoing role in enforcement in low-wage sectors.
Under a Ghent-like co-enforcement model, government could complement its traditional enforcement activity by partnering with unions and worker organizations, Fine and Gordon have explained.
Incidents of identity-based patient bias are disturbing for all health professionals, but they can present especially intense challenges for physicians in training due to the number of patient interactions they experience. Kimani Paul-Emile, PhD, professor at Fordham University School of Law, recommends an approach to helping colleagues during a real-time discrimination incident and addressing discrimination organization-wide.
“Despite the startling statistics regarding patients’ treatment of trainees, data and overwhelming anecdotal evidence show that organizations are not adequately supporting their trainees in dealing with these abusive patient encounters. Indeed, 50% of surveyed residents who experienced or witnessed patient discrimination didn’t know how to respond, while 25% believed that nothing would be done if hospital leadership were notified.”
Does allowing former members to run again after a hiatus contradict the purpose of term limits?
Bruce Berg, professor of political science at Fordham University: The primary goals of New York City’s term limits law were to bring fresh faces and ideas to the City Council and to decrease the role of professional politicians in local policy making. Allowing former council members to run again, even after a break, does appear to contradict the goals of term limits. Looking at recent City Council elections, however, many of the newly elected council members replacing the term limited council members have been former council staff, family members, or individuals who have already served in elective office at the state level. They are just as much professional politicians as those whom they replaced. So the goals of term limits have not been well served by its current iteration. Professional politicians are still being elected to the council, even if they are not incumbent council members. As a result, allowing former council members to run again, after a break, would not change, or harm, the workings of the council in any significant way.
“There are important statutory issues. I think the equal protection question is an important one, and whether this ends at the Virginia Supreme Court or ultimately goes up to the U.S. Supreme Court will largely turn on whether this case is decided as a matter of Virginia law both under the statute and questions of legislative immunity which we typically decided as a question of state law. I think if the case is resolved in a way that rests on those Virginia grounds, we’ll see it end at the Virginia Supreme Court, if it goes that far, and I tend to suspect that it will given how Judge Moore has ruled. I don’t think the city is going to let that ruling stand, or at least they are going to I assume pursue an appeal but the federal constitutional question such as the equal protection defense, which really goes in many ways to the heart of the conflict about what these statues mean and who gets to speak for the community, raises important federal constitutional questions.”
If you go out the door and are surrounded by smoothies and coffee roasters and the Craft Beer is served in jars for a great deal of money, you know this area has been thoroughly gentrified. This can be seen in Berlin as well as in New York at a glance.
New York is becoming more and more expensive, many can hardly afford the rent in the city and are repressed - and the protest against gentrification and repression has little chance. But how do the New Yorkers actually perceive it, when once rundown neighborhoods are upgraded and everything is getting more and more expensive?
Listen to the podcast with Associate Professor of Political Science Annika M. Hinze on Radiobrücke USA:
Sixth Annual International and Comparative Urban Law Conference
This event happened on July 11–12, 2019 University of New South Wales Law School Sydney, Australia
Since 2014, the Urban Law Center's annual Conference has welcomed leading scholars from a range of urban law perspectives to present their research. Now in its sixth year, the Conference will build on this tradition, again providing a dynamic forum for legal scholars from around the globe to share diverse international, comparative, and interdisciplinary perspectives on the intersection of cities and law.
MZA Bhuiyan, et al. Towards A Privacy-Preserving Voting System Through Blockchain Technologies. The 17th IEEE International Conference on Dependable, Autonomic and Secure Computing, at Fukuoka, Japan, 2019.