Fordham Urban Consortium
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.
BIDs in NYC Panel Talk
NYC's Business Improvement Districts: Contributions and Critiques
Wednesday, October 30 — 4 PM
Fordham University | Rose Hill Campus
Hughes Hall 208
about the panelists:
- Abe Unger is Associate Professor of Government & Politics at Wagner University, author of Business Improvement Districts: Private Government and Public Consequences (Palgrave-MacMillan, 2016), and a visiting scholar at Fordham.
- Rob Walsh is the Senior Advisor for Strategic Partnerships at Manhattan College, former executive director of the 14th Street-Union Square Business Improvement District, the Commissioner of Small Business Services during the Bloomberg administration, host of "The Bottom Line For Small Business" on 1010 WINS, and teaches at Columbia University, School of Public and International Affairs.
- Paul Kantor is the former President of the APSA Urban Politics Section, a visiting research professor at the Amsterdam Institute for Metropolitan and International Development Studies, and is currently on the advisory board of the European Urban Research Association. He is the author of The Dependent City (1998) and The Dependent City Revisited (1995), co-author of Cities in the International Marketplace (2003), winner of the Best Book in Urban Politics Award, and Struggling Giants: City-Region Governance in London, New York, Paris, and Tokyo (2012).
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?
Why a Ghent-like system is needed in the US
from the center for american progress.org:
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.
Read the full report at americanprogress.org.
Anti-discrimination and health law
from the american medical association:
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.”
- Kimani Paul-Emile, "How Should Organizations Support Trainees in the Face of Patient Bias?" (AMA Journal of Ethics, 2019)
Read "5 ways to support medical residents facing patient discrimination" at ama-assn.org.
Should NYC reconsider term limits?
from city and state new york “Ask the Experts”:
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.
Read “Ask the Experts” at cityandstateny.com.
Mapping (In)Justice Symposium
digital theory + praxis for critical scholarship
November 7–9, 2019
Fordham University | Lincoln Center Campus
from mappinginjustice.org: This symposium creates space for critically considering digital mapping as both a method and an object of analysis. Specifically, we invite submissions that analyze or utilize spatial media so as to rethink and re-present distributions of capital, power, and privilege in historical, contemporary, and speculative contexts.
We center “mapping” as an organizing theme for understanding and engaging social (in)justice because of its expanding role in literally and metaphorically arranging contemporary life. The everyday adoption of new spatial media—such as web-based mapping platforms, geosocial applications, and locative data—increasingly orient how society understands the past, experiences the present, and plans for the future. To map social justice and injustice is to consider how spatial media can help draw together dichotomies such as medium/method, art/science, and ontology/epistemology so as to trace, represent, and rework matters of inequity. This symposium thus encourages submissions that explore structural inequities in or through spatial media, especially as they relate to matters of difference—such as race, gender, class, ethnicity, ability, sexuality, and religion. We also encourage submissions that utilize digital mapping to spatially represent historically marginalized perspectives through empirical, textual, archival, participatory, and/or pedagogical methods.
Learn more at mappinginjustice.org.
- “Torn Apart / Separados” Presented by Dr. Alex Gil, Columbia University
- “Participatory Mapping with the Morris Justice Project” Presented by Dr. Brett Stoudt, John Jay College / CUNY Graduate Center
Lecture: Geographic Information Systems
Reflectance Transformation Imaging, and the Prosopography of 13th-Century London
This event happened on October 8th
Fordham University | Rose Hill Campus
Dr. John McEwan is a post-doctoral researcher at the Walter Ong S.J. Center for Digital Humanities at Saint Louis University. McEwan specializes in the history of information technology, particularly in urban contexts, and its transformative effects on societies. His research focuses on record keeping, literacy, and local government in urban communities during the Later Middle Ages. He is fascinated by how groups of people form, articulate and express collective identities, what types of social activities those solidarities foster, and how those activities are mediated by and shape information systems. The key to understanding medieval urban society, he argues, is to study the interaction of people and their systems for organizing information. He contends that cities are important not only because they foster new record-keeping practices, but also because those practices enable novel forms of social organization and new political and cultural practices that can shape the development of societies.
- John A. McEwan, Seals in Medieval London, 1050-1300: A Catalogue (Woodbridge, UK: Boydell for the London Record Society, 2016).
Culture shifts in gun control preemption laws
A recent Florida ruling could mark a change in the political landscape around city gun control, said Nestor M. Davidson, Fordham Professor of Law. More than 40 states have passed “preemption laws” to keep from becoming a “patchwork of competing gun laws,” wrote Tricia L. Nadolny in USA Today. But mayors in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Dayton, and Tucson are frustrated by their inability to enact solutions to local violence.
“If the larger political culture shifts,” said Davidson, “I won’t be surprised to see if – as in Florida – the pushback does materialize in a way where, whether it’s through litigation or legislation, you are going to see the balance shift.”
Read the full article at USA Today : “Frustrated Philadelphia mayor calls for gun control. Here's why it hasn't happened in his city”.
Fordham law professor argues for corporate social media responsibility
Olivier Sylvain, Fordham Professor of Law, and Director of the McGannon Center for Communications Research, argues that the broad protections of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act should be curtailed. Speaking to The Hill in light of tensions between President Trump and Silicon Valley, Sylvain states that the current law shields social media companies from consequences when their technology is weaponized against their users:
“My argument is that the very people that civil rights statutes are written for, the very people for whom consumer protection statutes are written for, are exposed to greater threat and harm under the current broad immunity under Section 230.
“The way in which courts have read the statute, Section 230 now effectively enables the further degradation of communities that are supposed to be protected under law," he added. "The principle problem is that, free from having to attend to constitutional regulations of speech, too many companies have not heeded their social responsibility. That’s the real problem.”
Read the full article on thehill.com : “Trump seeks powers to rein in alleged tech bias”.
What Is Meat? Garrett Broad talks alternative proteins
Garrett Broad, Fordham Assistant Professor of Communication and Media Studies and author of More Than Just Food, examines the problems of the industrial production of animals for food—climate change, wastes resources, public health, and animal suffering—and a possible solution: lab-grown cellular agriculture, or clean meat.
“Ethical arguments to turn the world vegan haven’t worked. Instead, alternative protein advocates look to food technology to transform how the world eats.”
Listen to “What is Meat?” on WAMC's The Academic Minute :
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.
Gentrification in New York
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:
The Confederate Statues’ Ruling
from fordham news: Law Professor Nestor Davidson joined host Craig Williams and fellow commentator, Professor Richard Schragger, on Lawyer 2 Lawyer to discuss the ruling and controversy over the removal of Confederate statues and what is next in this legal fight.
“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.”
Listen to the podcast on the Legal Talk Network's Lawyer 2 Lawyer :
The Fordham community is saddened by the death of Benjamin R. Barber, the inaugural distinguished senior fellow at the University-wide Urban Consortium. Dr. Barber passed away on April 24. He was 77 years old.
A renowned international political theorist and an author of many groundbreaking books, Dr. Barber worked with the Fordham Urban Consortium to launch his brainchild, the Global Parliament of Mayors.
Global demographics are against him, as are American demographics; the reality of urbanization is against him; the mobility of peoples is against him; and the growing dysfunction of national sovereignty on an irreversibly interdependent planet is against him. In this world without borders, where no one nation can solve global problems alone and walls are not so much malevolent as irrelevant, the cosmopolitan voice is also history’s voice—reality’s voice—and a viable American voice, too.
Read the full story at The Nation
Fordham Professors Annika Hinze, Director of Urban Studies, and Rosemary Wakeman, Coordinator of University Urban Initiatives, discussed the future of Urban Studies at the UrbanTOPIAS conference held at the Center for Metropolitan Studies, Technical University Berlin.
The 5th Annual Conference of the International Graduate Research Program IGK Berlin-New York-Toronto: “The World in the City: Metropolitanism and Globalization from the 19th Century to the Present” included urban scholars and activists discussing the challenges of changing cities.
The 2016 conference explored the multiple forces of threats and anxieties that shape urban reality, the practices of resistance and adaptations to urban transformations, and investigated different perspectives on the urban future.
Unenclosed spaces with an open and unrestricted access not only ‘refresh the soul of the city, but they also empower citizens’, states American political scientist Benjamin Barber in his book If Mayors Ruled the World (2016).
Having stressed that cities lose their citiness when their inhabitants are deprived of their right to the city, the ’Urban Commons’ phenomenon appears as a progressive way to address inclusive, collective ownership as well as introduce democratic renewal.
Urban Commons has been formulated by, among others, Sheila Foster, professor of Real Estate, Land Use and Property Law at Fordham University New York, and Christian Iaione, professor of Public Law and Government Economic Regulation at Guglielmo Marconi University of Rome. The commons in a city could be tangible as well as intangible goods and resources. That means it could be digital goods, knowledge, and culture, but it also refers to environmental and urban commons, such as squares, parks, waters, buildings, street paths, vacant lots, cultural institutions, and other urban infrastructure private or public units.
Read the full story at Changemaker
"The Co-City: From the Tragedy to the Comedy of the Urban Commons" by Sheila Foster at The Nature of Cities blog.
Mark Street, writer, filmmaker, and Assistant Professor of Film in the Visual Arts Program at Fordham, defends his craft in a new article for Filmmaker Magazine: "In Defense of Street Photography in an iPhone Age."
Oddly, as filming in one medium (the cellphone) has become ubiquitous, people seem to fear the semi-professional more and more. A professional film shoot ascribes to standards — releases are signed, tacit agreements are made, those filmed understand the scope of the project. As someone who works alone (without a crew that creates a kind of picture a passerby might be able to understand) I often find myself at pains to explain myself.
Read the full article at filmmakermagazine.com
Mark Street Films – Lima Limpia (2014)
The publication this week of Before the Fires: An Oral History of African American Life in the Bronx from the 1930s to the 1960s (Fordham University Press, 2016), brings to fruition a project that began 14 years ago with interviews of South Bronx residents about life in the borough before the dramatic declines of the 1970s.
The book, co-edited by Mark Naison, Ph.D., professor of African and African American studies, and Bronx resident Bob Gumbs, features 17 edited and condensed interviews that were chosen from among 300 conducted as part of the Bronx African American History Project.
“If you’re going to have an oral history, you want something told in a way that’s going to capture people’s attention,” he said.
Naison said he and Gumbs managed to cull from the 300 interviews the ones that feature the best storytellers.
Taken as a whole, said Naision, the stories counter perceptions of the Bronx’s past as a hellish, fire-ridden borough overcome with drugs, crime, violence, and family decay. He said the interviews also form a blueprint for a successful community that’s marked in particular by decent housing, good schools, and an unusual openness (for the times) to racial integration, as black families moved to the area from Harlem.
Read the story at Fordham News
Yale Professor Michael Peters presents “Cheap Industrial Workers and the Big Push: Evidence from Germany’s post-war population transfer”
Yale Professor Michael Peters examines the development impacts of one of the 20th Century’s largest population transfers.
After WWII more than 8 million Germans were transferred to Western Germany from the Eastern provinces. Data from the 1960s and 70s shows that East German refugees experienced substantial reallocation into unskilled occupations. This illustrates how firms respond to large changes in labor supply. “In the short-run, falling wages induce firms to substitute towards the abundant factor. In the long-run however, firms’ labor demand will depend on their technological adoption decisions. If firms’ technological choices are affected by the labor supply they face, labor supply shifts will induce movements in aggregate labor demand… this reasoning is at the heart of the literature on endogenous technological bias (Acemoglu, 2007).”
Read the preliminary draft of the paper
The humanities and sciences came together as the New York Botanical Garden's Humanities Institute hosted Ethical Spaces: Landscapes and Environmental Law, a colloquium featuring three Fordham professors.
Promoting innovative thinking about the rapidly urbanizing world we live in, the discussion centered on land, law, and ecology, focusing on the four classic elements—air, earth, fire, and water. Featuring three experts from Fordham University, the discourse ranged from bird migration (air) to legal ramifications of land ownership and social vulnerability (earth, fire) and the many challenges facing New York City’s waterfronts (water).
J. Alan Clark, Ph.D., JD, Associate Professor, Program Coordinator—Conservation Biology, of the Department of Biological Sciences, Fordham University, spoke about Bird Migration through Urban Landscapes. Clark explained how many migratory bird species are in serious decline, and understanding how birds navigate increasingly large, brightly lit, and noisy urban landscapes is essential to their conservation.
Sheila Foster University Professor; Albert A. Walsh Professor of Law; Faculty Co-Director, Fordham Urban Law Center, spoke about The City as a Common Good. “Much like the natural environment, the urban environment is subject to disproportionate consumption, through economic and cultural domination of its resources—depriving the less well-off of many goods necessary to survive and thrive,“ Foster explained.
Roger Panetta, Visiting Professor of History at Fordham, asked “Whose Waterfront?” in a discussion of issues relating to the reconstruction of the Brooklyn waterfront, an example of the newly appreciated relationship of the city and its waterways. “Maritime New York has been rediscovered as the intellectual and cultural underpinning for the radical transformation of the city’s waterfront,“ Roger Panetta explained.
Read more at Fordham News
Practicing Utopia: An Intellectual History of the New Town Movement
University of Chicago Press (April, 2016)
In Practicing Utopia, Rosemary Wakeman, Professor of History and Director of the Urban Studies program, gives a sweeping view of the new town movement as a global phenomenon. From Tapiola in Finland to Islamabad in Pakistan, Cergy-Pontoise in France to Irvine in California, Wakeman unspools a masterly account of the golden age of new towns, exploring their utopian qualities and investigating what these towns can tell us about contemporary modernization and urban planning.
Read more about Practicing Utopia at The University of Chicago Press Books.
Annika Hinze, Assistant Professor of Political Science, joins the Chicago Council on Global Affairs as a non-resident Fellow for Global Cities. The Council’s Global Cities program is one of the most visible and fastest-growing research initiatives on global cities in the United States. The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is ranked as the #1 Think Tank To Watch by the University of Pennsylvania's Think Tank Watch Rating for 2016 (PDF). Professor Hinze was honored for her work on comparative politics, globalization, and immigrant integration.
Annika M. Hinze is the author of Turkish Berlin: Integration Policy and Urban Space (2013)
Sponsored by Sciame Construction, LLC
Please join Nestor Davidson, JD, Associate Dean of Fordham Law School, the Reverend Robert Grimes, SJ, Ph.D., Dean of Fordham College at Lincoln Center, Maura Mast, Ph.D., Dean of Fordham College at Rose Hill, and Donna Rapaccioli, Ph.D., Dean of the Gabelli School of Business for the Inaugural Fordham Initiative in Real Estate (FIRE) Presentation featuring MaryAnn Gilmartin, President and CEO of Forest City Ratner Companies.
The Reverend Joseph M. McShane, SJ, President of Fordham University, and Matthew Diller, Dean of Fordham Law School, are pleased to announce the appointment of Sheila Foster as a University Professor and request the pleasure of your company at her inaugural lecture.
Fordham Law announced the Center of Race, Law and Justice with Robin A. Lenhardt, Faculty Director, and a panel discussion featuring Christina Greer, Associate Professor of Political Science, Tanya Hernandez, Associate Director and Professor of Law, Kimani Paul-Emile, Associate Director and Associate Professor of Law, Clara E. Rodriguez, Professor of Sociology, and Olivier Sylvain, Associate Professor of Law. WilmerHale Partner Debo Adegbile, former Acting President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, delivered the keynote address.
A Conversation with Greg Lindsay and William Easterly
Urban Studies Distinguished Visitor Series 2016
Greg Lindsay is a journalist, urbanist, futurist, and speaker. He has been cited as an expert on the future of travel, technology and urbanism by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, USA Today, CNN, NPR, and the BBC. He has advised Intel, Audi, Ericsson, Samsung, André Balazs Properties, and Chrysler, among other organizations. He is a contributing writer for Fast Company, author of the forthcoming book Engineering Serendipity, and co-author of Aerotropolis: The Way We’ll Live Next.
William Easterly is Professor of Economics at New York University and Co-director of the NYU Development Research Institute, which won the 2009 BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge in Development Cooperation Award. He is the author of three books: The Tyranny of Experts: Economists, Dictators, and the Forgotten Rights of the Poor (March 2014), The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Harm and So Little Good (2006), which won the FA Hayek Award from the Manhattan Institute, and The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists’ Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics (2001).
Read more about the Conversation with Greg Lindsay and William Easterly.
This event is made possible with the generous support of
Podell, Schwartz, Schechter & Banfield LLP.
Urban Consortium Press Conference with Mayor Jozias van Aartsen of The Hague and Dr. Benjamin Barber on Global Parliament of Mayors Project
The Global Parliament of Mayors is an unprecedented new experiment in democratic global governance platform by, for, and of cities. Mayors from cities large and small, North and South, developed and emerging, will convene in September 2016 to identify and pursue in common the public goods of citizens around the world. For the first time, building on extant urban networks, the GPM will deploy collective urban political power manifesting the right of cities to govern themselves, as well as the responsibility to enact viable, cross-border solutions to global challenges.
Watch video of the event.
Jennifer Gordon wrote a piece for Open Democracy about the Coalition of Temporary Workers, a Mexico-based initiative that implements collective efforts to advance and protect the rights of temporary migrant workers.
Labour migrants, like all of us, are complex human beings who make difficult choices regarding their available options, yet strategies to end trafficking and coercive migrant labour practices rarely take migrant agency into account. Such initiatives regularly involve advocates, corporations, governments, and consumers – everyone but the workers themselves, who are deemed hapless victims.
Read the story at openDemocracy.net.
Nestor Davidson has been included in a list of the most cited property law professors, according to PropertyProf Blog. Davidson, who serves as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Professor of Law, and Faculty Co-Director of the Fordham Urban Law Center, was listed as the 15th most cited property scholar overall and the 5th most cited property scholar under the age of 50.
A new building will give residents and visitors a new way to interact with natural life in the Bronx.
The Bronx River Greenway River House is the base of operations for the restoration and operation of the Bronx River Greenway and the adjacent portion of the Bronx River. The Bronx River Alliance will occupy the building and manage it on behalf of the Park and public and community groups. The architectural firm of Gregory Kiss and Colin Cathcart received a 2008 Design Award from the Art Commission of the City of New York for their Bronx River House design.
Much of the world population is migrating to urban areas. Fordham is helping the law make a similar move.
Revolutionaries in Bologna, Italy, have wrested parts of the city from government hands. An incendiary revolt? Not exactly. Residents are sharing responsibility with the city for overseeing a public square, a portion of Bologna’s famous portico network, and a public building. Make no mistake, though, it’s still a revolution: a new approach to urban management empowered by the Bologna Regulation on Public Collaboration for Urban Commons.
Presented by Fordham University Gabelli School of Business Center for Digital Transformation in partnership with Urban Studies Program and Urban Law Center & Bronx Technology Innovation Coalition.
The Bronx presents great opportunities for technology-based innovation and start up activity and the support of small businesses with digital information & communication technologies. The presence of higher education institutions, health care entities including hospitals and medical colleges, the Botanical Garden, the Bronx Zoo and other government and non-profit agencies makes it attractive to consider the Bronx for entrepreneurial and business support activities.