Penn Institute for Urban Research

The Penn Institute for Urban Research (Penn IUR) is dedicated to advancing cross-disciplinary urban-focused research, instruction, and civic engagement on issues relevant to cities around the world. As the global population becomes increasingly urban, understanding cities is vital to informed decision-making and public policy at the local, national, and international levels.


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Now showing 1 - 10 of 19
  • Publication
    Has the Concentration of Income and Poverty among Subsurbs of Large US Metropolitan Areas Changed over Time?
    (2003-04-01) Madden, Janice F.
    American policy analysts have assumed that poverty is increasingly concentrating in the inner suburbs of large cities. This study demonstrates that that assumption is inaccurate. Using data on household income and poverty for suburban civil divisions from the 1970, 1980, and 1990 US Censuses, this article calculates values for two indicators of the change in the relative concentration of income and poverty, the coefficient of variation, and a regression of changes on initial values. Results indicate that poverty and income concentrations have not generally increased among suburbs over the last twenty years. There is evidence, however, that poverty has increasingly concentrated within some suburban municipalities of older metropolitan areas in the northeast and midwest.
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  • Publication
    Fiscal Impacts of the Proposed Beazer Projects Hopewell Township, New Jersey
    (2006-02-01) Wong, Sidney
    This report examines the fiscal structure of Hopewell Township and its regional school district, and develops various types of demographic multipliers. It offers a concise discussion of methodologies of fiscal impact study. Using an improved average cost method and case studies, this report provides an assessment of the net fiscal effects of three proposed residential projects. It provides a discussion of the impacts of age-restricted development.
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    Philadelphia Census of Congregations and Their Involvement in Social Service Delivery
    (2001-12-01) Cnaan, Ram A.; Boddie, Stephanie C.
    This census of congregational social services is the first attempt to identify all of the congregations in Philadelphia and their services. This article reports results from 1,376 of an estimated 2,095 congregations. It finds that 1,211 congregations (88 percent) have at least one social program. On average, each congregation provides 2.41 programs and serves 102 people per month. The primary beneficiaries are children (served by 49.2 percent of all programs). According to the census, 571 congregations (41.5 percent) collaborate with secular organizations, and 857 congregations (62.3 percent) are open to collaborating with government welfare programs. Conservatively, the financial replacement value of all congregational social services in Philadelphia is $246,901,440 annually.
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    Does Increasing Women's Schooling Raise the Schooling of the Next Generation?
    (2002-03-01) Behrman, Jere R.; Rosenzweig, Mark R.
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    Motion Planning in Humans and Robots
    (1997-10-01) Kumar, R. Vijay; Zefran, Milos; Ostrowski, James P.
    We present a general framework for generating trajectories and actuator forces that will take a robot system from an initial configuration to a goal configuration in the presence of obstacles observed with noisy sensors. The central idea is to find the motion plan that optimizes a performance criterion dictated by specific task requirements. The approach is motivated by studies of human voluntary manipulation tasks that suggest that human motions can be described as solutions of certain optimization problems.
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    Public Shelter Admission among Young Adults with Child Welfare Histories by Type of Service and Type of Exit
    (2004-06-01) Park, Jung Min; Metraux, Stephen; Brodbar, Gabriel; Culhane, Dennis P.
    This study examines the prevalence and associated factors of New York City public shelter use among young adults with histories of out-of-home care or nonplacement preventive services as teenagers. The study finds that 19 percent of former child welfare service users entered public shelters within 10 years of exit from child welfare. Persons with out-of-home placement histories are twice as likely to enter public shelters (22 percent) as those who received nonplacement preventive services only (11 percent). Persons exiting child welfare through absconding from child welfare have the highest rate of shelter use, followed by those discharged to independent living.
  • Publication
    Who Lives Downtown Today (And Are They Any Different from Downtowners of Thirty Years Ago)?
    (2005-05-01) Birch, Eugenie L.
    The increase of housing in downtowns represents an important niche market that has evolved over time. During its development, levels of population, numbers and types of households, rates of homeownership, and downtowner demographic characteristics have changed. This paper documents the changes from 1970-2000 for 46 downtowns in 45 cities representing 19% of the nation’s cities with populations of 100,000 or more. It reports national, regional and individual city trends. It also offers comparisons of these features for the sample cities and their suburbs. While it outlines population changes, it highlights changes in households as the key to understanding downtown living. It records the concentration of downtown households in three places: the Northeast, the Midwest Circle and the California coast, and predicts that if high-growth-rate downtowns, including Seattle, Portland, Atlanta and Dallas, continue to increase at their 1990-2000 levels, they will join the current leaders. It argues that by 2000, five types of downtowns emerged distinguished by their varying degrees of growth, size, density and other characteristics. It concludes with a discussion of three policy concerns that emerge from the analysis revolving around development issues, demographics and market potential and density.
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    The Impacts of Borrowing Constraints on Homeownership
    (1989-10-01) Linneman, Peter D.; Wachter, Susan M.
    This paper utilizes micro data to directly quantify the impact of mortgage underwriting criteria on individual homeownership propensities. To determine whether a family is constrained by these criteria, the optimal home purchase price is estimated. The results indicate that wealth and income constraints both reduce homeownership propensities, with a stronger impact for wealth constraints. Mortgage market innovations of the early 1980s seem to have reduced these effects. The research indicates, however, that even in well-developed capital markets, the presence of borrowing constraints adversely affects homeownership propensities.
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    The Political Fabric of Design Competitions
    (2006-08-01) Sagalyn, Lynne B
    Design competitions are commissioned for many reasons, almost none of which have to do with design and all of which have to do with political motivations. A political agenda always presides over the important but ancillary search for new design possibilities, innovative solutions, or a compelling architectural or urban vision. Though political agendas vary quite a lot, they are lodged in the fundamental need to create or cultivate a strong constituency and garner the necessary resources to advance a desired project.