Urban Studies Research http://www.hindawi.com The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2014 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Urban Sprawl in the Mediterranean Urban Regions in Europe and the Crisis Effect on the Urban Land Development: Madrid as Study Case Wed, 26 Nov 2014 12:51:08 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/usr/2014/807381/ The middle of 2007 saw the beginning of a worldwide financial crisis that led to a sharp reduction in investment based on construction and urban development. This new situation is generating a new process, characterised by a slowdown that has almost reached a standstill when compared with the frenzied development of previous decades. In order to analyse these processes, this study examines urban land use changes and the urban growth rate and spatial dynamics of the metropolitan region of Madrid. The analysis has been carried out on a large scale between two periods (2000–2006 and 2006–2009) using a regional land use geodatabase. The results show the changes in the urban land use dynamics that took place over these two periods that could characterise the cities of Mediterranean Europe, where contrarily to the general pattern in Europe built-up areas are combining scattered built-up areas with new aggregated compact developments. Jaime Díaz-Pacheco and Juan Carlos García-Palomares Copyright © 2014 Jaime Díaz-Pacheco and Juan Carlos García-Palomares. All rights reserved. Youth Exposure to Violence in an Urban Setting Mon, 10 Nov 2014 06:53:52 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/usr/2014/368047/ To inform a city-wide youth Violence Prevention Initiative, we explored youth narratives about their exposure to violence to gain insight into their understanding of the causes and effects of violence in their communities. At-risk youth were recruited through street outreach for individual interviews and focus group sessions. Types of experiential violence identified included (1) street, (2) family/interpersonal, (3) school, (4) indirect exposure (e.g., neighborhood crime), and (5) prejudice/discrimination. Reactions ranged from motivating positive effects (resilience, determination to escape) to negative effects (fear, paranoia, and aggression). For some, experiences with violence motivated them to pursue educational achievement and positive lifestyles. Causes of violence were described by participants as existing at a number of different levels (societal, neighborhood, interpersonal, and individual), reflecting a social-ecological perspective. Our findings highlight a need for violence prevention efforts that focus on a broad definition of violence, as well as on the poly-victimization of children and youth. At the same time, our findings highlight the challenges of conducting effective community-based prevention programs in urban settings characterized by spatial inequalities and social exclusion of community residents. David Seal, Annie Nguyen, and Kirsten Beyer Copyright © 2014 David Seal et al. All rights reserved. Economic Transition in the City of Paterson, New Jersey (America’s First Planned Industrial City): Causes, Impacts, and Urban Policy Implications Wed, 03 Sep 2014 09:03:45 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/usr/2014/672794/ This paper examines the dynamics of economic change in the City of Paterson, New Jersey, from the time of its founding in the late eighteenth century to 1990, with emphasis on the post-1945 era. Analysis shows that from the time of its founding to the first half of the twentieth century, Paterson experienced a period of economic growth followed by economic decline in the 1960s, characterized by major changes in its principal industries of cotton, locomotives, and silk. Economic growth in Paterson up to the early part of the twentieth century is attributable to several locational factors, including the availability of water resources, transportation, labor supply, and markets. Its decline in the post-1945 era is attributable to a combination of local, national, and global economic factors including periods of depression, labor discord, product substitution, decentralization of economic activities, and deindustrialization. Economic decline resulted in a high rate of unemployment, poverty, and urban decay. The most significant effort to reverse urban decline in the city is the urban enterprise zone (UEZ) program. The impacts of this program on economic growth in the city, however, remain inconclusive. Thomas Y. Owusu Copyright © 2014 Thomas Y. Owusu. All rights reserved. Planning Office and Community Influence on Land-Use Decisions Intended to Benefit the Low-Income: Welcome to Chicago Thu, 10 Jul 2014 08:39:44 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/usr/2014/146390/ This study explores urban planning office and community influence on land-use decision making in two poverty-stricken but redeveloping neighborhood areas in Chicago. The Department of Planning and Development in this study had marginal impact on land-use decisions due to administrative limitations. Community influence is moderated by the degree to which low-income housing advocates can act directly as developers and produce housing units. The research findings indicate that land-use decisions intended to benefit the low-income resulted not from community-based political conflict but more so from community organization cooperation with political actors. Yan Dominic Searcy Copyright © 2014 Yan Dominic Searcy. All rights reserved. From the City to the Suburbs: Characteristics of Suburban Neighborhoods Where Chicago Housing Choice Voucher Households Relocated Mon, 16 Jun 2014 09:20:33 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/usr/2014/787261/ The Housing Choice Voucher program (HCV) is a federally supported demand-side housing subsidy. According to HCV, eligible households are encouraged to secure affordable housing in favorable neighborhoods, including suburban neighborhoods. To what extent, however, is the supply of affordable rental housing located in suburban communities that offer favorable amenities meeting the increased demand? Using the Geography of Opportunity as a framework, this study examines the mobility results of traditional HCV households who moved from the city of Chicago to surrounding suburban neighborhoods to reveal characteristics of destination communities. Findings indicate that HCV households tend to move into suburban renter neighborhoods that have high poor, African American, and female-headed household populations. Policy makers are encouraged to consider findings to improve life outcomes of suburban HCV program participants. Adrienne M. Holloway Copyright © 2014 Adrienne M. Holloway. All rights reserved. Human Capital, Skills, and Uneven Intraurban Employment Growth: The Case of Göteborg, Sweden, 1990–2008 Wed, 12 Mar 2014 13:55:09 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/usr/2014/260813/ Recent research has elucidated the role of talents to explain urban growth differences but it remains to be shown whether urban dynamics, such as human capital and a mixed local population, can be linked to intraurban employment growth. By use of a unique longitudinal database, we track the economic development through the lens of intraurban employment growth of a number of primary urban areas (PUA) in Göteborg, Sweden. Regarding factors influencing employment growth, we find that relative concentrations of human capital protect areas from rising unemployment during severe recession (1990–1993) and recovery (1990–2000) while the composition of skills is beneficial during recovery (1990–2000) and long-term growth (1990–2008). Our findings suggest that neither too high concentrations of creative occupations nor too low ones are beneficial. Thus, human capital drives much of the employment changes in relation to the recession and early transition from manufacturing to service but composition of skills is more relevant for explaining long-term intraurban employment growth. Jonathan Borggren and Rikard H. Eriksson Copyright © 2014 Jonathan Borggren and Rikard H. Eriksson. All rights reserved. Neighborhood Social Capital, Neighborhood Disadvantage, and Change of Neighborhood as Predictors of School Readiness Wed, 26 Feb 2014 12:12:58 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/usr/2014/204583/ Neighborhood income and social capital are considered important for child development, but social capital has rarely been measured directly at an aggregate level. We used Canadian data to derive measures of social capital from aggregated parental judgments of neighborhood collective efficacy and neighborhood safety. Measures of neighborhood income came from Census data. Direct measures of preschoolers’ school readiness were predicted from neighborhood-level variables, with regional indicators and household/parental characteristics taken into account. Our findings show that (1) residing in Quebec, being Black, and having a parent who was born outside Canada are positively associated with children’s living in disadvantaged or low collective efficacy neighborhoods as well as with their living in low-income households. (2) Children’s odds of residential mobility were reduced when the origin neighborhood had higher collective efficacy but increased when the family rented rather than owned. (3) Both neighborhood collective efficacy and children’s ever having lived in a poor neighborhood were correlated with receptive vocabulary scores, but results were mixed for other cognitive dimensions. Children of younger mothers scored worse on receptive vocabulary. There were similar patterns for demographic predictors related to visible minority status, sibship size, and birth order. Neighborhood average income had no effect on cognitive outcomes when the region was controlled. Charles Jones and Jing Shen Copyright © 2014 Charles Jones and Jing Shen. All rights reserved. Gentrification in Latin America: Overview and Critical Analysis Mon, 17 Feb 2014 15:20:36 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/usr/2014/986961/ This paper offers a critical review and interpretation of gentrification in Latin American cities. Applying a flexible methodology, it examines enabling conditions associated with societal regime change and local contingencies to determine its presence, nature, extent, and possibilities. Questioning the uncritical transfer of constructs such as gentrification from the Global North to the Global South, the paper advocates analyses of mediating structures and local conditions to determine their applicability and possible variations. Overall, the review questions the feasibility of self-sustained, large scale gentrification in central areas of the region’s cities today tying it to each city’s level of incorporation into global circuits and the role of local governments. Rather than an orthodox hypothesis testing, this is an exercise in interpretation that calls for nuanced approaches to the study of urban restructuring in cities of the global South. John J. Betancur Copyright © 2014 John J. Betancur. All rights reserved. A More Accurate Measure of Local Public Goods: Overlapping Government Combinations as Units of Analysis Mon, 10 Feb 2014 06:39:40 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/usr/2014/963503/ This study posits and tests the viability of a new unit of analysis for local public goods in metropolitan areas: overlapping government combinations (OGCs). Counties, municipalities, school districts, and other special districts operate simultaneously within the same space, each providing their own set of local public goods. Residents of the same city can live within the boundaries of different counties, school districts and other special districts and thus receive (and pay for) very different quantities and qualities of public goods. Though there is a great deal of literature devoted to the variation of local public goods in a fragmented metropolitan region, there is none that cumulates the different local government types into units that represent the true bundles of local public goods that are provided to citizens and property owners. This study tackles this problem through the application of geographic information systems (GIS) to stack counties, municipalities, and school districts in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington CMSA into unique OGCs. The unique OGCs are compared to their underlying component governments with respect to property tax rates and school performance and are found to be statistically distinct. Samuel B. Stone Copyright © 2014 Samuel B. Stone. All rights reserved. Dual Credit Enrollment: A Multiyear Study of Gender and Ethnic Differences Thu, 28 Nov 2013 08:21:33 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/usr/2013/269685/ In this investigation, we ascertained the extent to which differences were present in dual credit enrollment by gender and by ethnicity for students () enrolled in a Texas community college from the 2005-2006 through the 2011-2012 academic years. Statistical analyses revealed an increase in the numbers (i.e., from 3,069 to 3,664) and percentages (i.e., from 12.2% to 19.5%) of students who were enrolled in dual credit courses over the time period analyzed. Moreover, higher percentages of women (i.e., 20.8% in the most recent academic year) had enrolled in dual credit courses while in high school than men (i.e., 17.9% in the most recent academic year). Differences were also present as a function of ethnicity, with 33.1% Asian, 25.3% White, 17.4% Hispanic, and 7.5% Black students having been enrolled in dual credit in the most recent academic year. Differences were also revealed by gender for Hispanic and White students, but not for Asian and Black students. Implications of our findings are discussed. Robert D. Young Jr., John R. Slate, George W. Moore, and Wally Barnes Copyright © 2013 Robert D. Young et al. All rights reserved. Sustainable Approach to Regenerating Residential Form and Density: Case in Dhaka Tue, 05 Nov 2013 11:16:23 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/usr/2013/783792/ This paper presents principles and praxis of sustainable approach to maintaining targeted “residential regeneration by density” yet achieving innovations in urban form in a contextual scenario of Dhaka City, the capital of Bangladesh. It is evident from the context that Dhaka is experiencing a dramatic transformation in residential density due to demographic changes during the past two decades due the concentration of social, administrative, institutional, recreational, small-scale industries, and associated housing facilities. The transformation is visible in residential built footprint, significantly due to the demand-driven and density-led market, originated from low rise and low density and transforming to high density high rise. This transformation has been consistently threatening social and environmental realm indicated by depletion of garden houses; reduction of public parks; shrinking walkways; deletion of setback for ventilation and sun shade from trees; slowing down mobility; and obstruction of physical and visual permeability. The paper discussed a pragmatic approach that professionals have adopted to control the density and to introduce scopes for innovative urban forms by way of applying floor area ratio (FAR) methods and further discusses the merits of the methodological process of exercising morphology with a set of new building rules without undermining the market demand. Quazi M. Mahtab-Uz Zaman and Richard Laing Copyright © 2013 Quazi M. Mahtab-Uz Zaman and Richard Laing. All rights reserved. Developing Student Housing Quality Scale in Higher Institutions of Learning: A Factor Analysis Approach Thu, 31 Oct 2013 15:20:04 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/usr/2013/383109/ The researchers developed an instrument for measuring student housing quality (SHQ) in Higher Institutions of Learning (HIL) in Ghana. The paper sought to validate the student housing quality scale (SHOQUAL) through factor analysis approach. 700 respondents were sampled from two public HIL in Ghana in a cross-sectional survey that used a self-administered structured questionnaire for data collection. Confirmatory factor fnalysis (CFA) was conducted to detect the underlying latent variables that significantly determine SHQ in Ghanaian HIL. The findings indicate that four emerged SHQ dimensions relevant to the research context were labelled as follows: core facility quality, enabling facility quality, support facility quality, and cost of housing. The constructs in the derived model possess high reliability and validity. Student housing service providers could conveniently use the derived instrument items for measuring SHQ in HIL. Implications are discussed and limitations are noted. The paper contributes to the literature in the areas of models of service quality in student housing management in HIL. F. K. Bondinuba, S. G. Nimako, and N. K. Karley Copyright © 2013 F. K. Bondinuba et al. All rights reserved. The Geography of Clusters: The Case of the Video Games Clusters in Montreal and in Los Angeles Tue, 13 Aug 2013 10:20:34 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/usr/2013/957630/ The aim of our research was to examine how clusters appear and develop in the video game sector. We thus did a comparative study of the video games cluster in Montreal and Los Angeles. This paper shows that concentration of human creativity in arts and in technology is a significant economic localization factor, but cross-fertilization of sectors and public policy also contributes to the understanding of the emergence of clusters in certain urban regions. Thus, political and industrial factors offer an explanation as to why clusters emerge and how they evolve, going beyond the purely geographic or economic factors. In LA as in Montreal, the cross-fertilization with film is important. However, in Montreal, it is the public policy contributing to financing jobs in the Multimedia City and the French language that brought Ubisoft to the city; this contributed to make the city well known in the field, creating a “brand” for the city and thus fuelling the cluster development. Sylvianne Pilon and Diane-Gabrielle Tremblay Copyright © 2013 Sylvianne Pilon and Diane-Gabrielle Tremblay. All rights reserved. The World Bank and the Building of Local Institutionality in Senegal: A Path toward Municipal Adjustment Mon, 22 Jul 2013 13:20:39 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/usr/2013/301068/ This paper examines the impacts of municipal adjustment strategies on territorial governance in Africa, with specific reference to Senegal, as the result of the action of the World Bank. The paper identifies the process through which the World Bank is reconfiguring the system of actors and changing the local institutional environment to embody its philosophy of governance modernization. The paper shows how the local actor is brought to contribute to the new focus on governance and the reshaping of local institutions, which together comprise a type of urban development that aligns with the tenets of globalization. Mebometa Ndongo and Juan-Luis Klein Copyright © 2013 Mebometa Ndongo and Juan-Luis Klein. All rights reserved. Urban Areas in the Transformation of the South: A Review of Modern History Mon, 27 May 2013 08:01:58 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/usr/2013/376529/ Since the 1940s, the southern US has been transformed from a region of backward agriculture, low-wage industries located in small towns and rural areas, and unrelenting racial segregation into a modern society and economy. In 1950, there were no metropolitan areas in the South with a population of one million or more, but 18 had populations in excess of one million in 2000. The populations of the Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, and Miami metropolitan areas grew to over 4 millions. Population growth in the 18 largest metropolitan areas accounts for 63% of the total population growth in the South from 1950 to 2000. The transformation of the South is, to a sizable extent, a transformation to an urbanized society. This paper documents this urbanization by examining population and employment growth in those 18 metropolitan areas. John F. McDonald Copyright © 2013 John F. McDonald. All rights reserved. Urban Households' Willingness to Pay for Improved Solid Waste Disposal Services in Kumasi Metropolis, Ghana Sun, 28 Apr 2013 11:54:50 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/usr/2013/659425/ Solid waste management within Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly area continues to be a major challenge for the municipal assembly and one of the key issues is its financial constraints. This study was undertaken to examine households' willingness to pay for improved solid waste management services. A multistage sampling technique was employed to select six hundred respondents for the study. Logistic regression model was used to establish the determinants of willingness to pay for solid waste management whilst the Tobit model was used to evaluate the factors influencing the amount of money the households are willing to pay for improved solid waste management. The logistic model shows that income, age, number of children, quantity of waste generated, and education have significant effects on the willingness to pay, while the amount of money the households are willing to pay was influenced by their income, quantity of waste generated, education, house ownership, and number of children. Thus, the assembly can increase waste collection fees between GHC 3 and GHC 5.00. This would lead to improvement in the waste management within the metropolis. However, the additional charge should take into consideration location and income levels. Dadson Awunyo-Vitor, Shaibu Ishak, and Godfred Seidu Jasaw Copyright © 2013 Dadson Awunyo-Vitor et al. All rights reserved. Morphology and Spatial Dynamics of Urban Villages in Guangzhou’s CBD Tue, 19 Mar 2013 09:27:54 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/usr/2013/958738/ Studies on the urban village (chengzhongcun) over the past ten years have focussed on legalistic and structural aspects, as well as the social outcomes of village-led redevelopment. Studies on the morphology of villages, their spatial and economic linkage with the city, and their internal spatial dynamics are, in comparison, limited in number and scope. This study of village space in the new central area of Guangzhou focusses on the spatial relationships between village space and the surrounding city—the exchange of people and goods, the movement system in relation to commercial activity, and the relationship between the pattern of building and movement networks—as a primer for new approaches to physical renewal. Primary field data, interviews, and archival research support the analysis of Shipai village, in particular. It was found that Shipai plays a significant role in transport and economy at the district and central city level. The internal movement system functions to connect surrounding areas while supporting a commercial and services system of local and district-level significance. The built form of the village is also self-generated by location and internal rule making. The physical and activity patterns of the self-rebuilt village exhibit the characteristics of emergent spontaneous order. John Zacharias, Yue Hu, and Quan Le Huang Copyright © 2013 John Zacharias et al. All rights reserved. Grade Point Average Differences between Dual and Nondual Credit College Students Mon, 11 Feb 2013 14:35:21 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/usr/2013/638417/ We examined the first and final term grade point averages (GPA) for a class of students at a Texas community college to determine how dual enrollment credit influenced GPA. Five statistically significant differences, albeit small effect sizes, were present by gender and by ethnic membership. Dual credit students had higher GPAs than did nondual credit students. Interestingly, dual enrollment did not have a statistically significant influence on GPAs for Asian students or for students after two years at this community college. As such, this study is the first research investigation of which we are aware in which student GPA in the first college semester and at the end of the second year was compared between dual credit and nondual credit students. Implications of our findings and suggestions for future research are provided. Robert D. Young Jr., Sheila A. Joyner, and John R. Slate Copyright © 2013 Robert D. Young Jr. et al. All rights reserved. Approaching Neighborhood Democracy from a Longitudinal Perspective: An Eighteen-Year Case Study of a Homeowner Association in Beijing Wed, 09 Jan 2013 11:36:53 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/usr/2013/639312/ Neighborhood democracy was introduced into urban China in the early 1990s as a way to manage the social conflicts associated with the housing reform. Based on a case study of Dragon Villas, Beijing, this paper explores the causes, processes, and consequences of neighborhood democracy at the microlevel from a longitudinal perspective. Three insights are particularly noteworthy. First, the decrease in rental revenue and occupancy rate and the arrival of Chinese owner-occupiers contributed to the emergence of neighborhood democracy in Dragon Villas. Second, the establishment of a homeowner association, far from ending in the conclusion of neighborhood democratization, was only a first step. Furthermore, conflicts between the developer and the homeowners, and among homeowners, played a crucial role in lengthening the process of neighborhood democratization. Third, democratic self-governance resulted in improved governance, a more diverse built form that articulates individuation through consumption, and changes that reflect the importance of privacy and exclusivity. Kevin Lo Copyright © 2013 Kevin Lo. All rights reserved. Migration, Occupational Mobility, and Regional Escalators in Scotland Mon, 31 Dec 2012 15:40:26 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/usr/2012/827171/ This paper seeks to unpick the complex relationship between an individual’s migration behaviour, their place of residence, and their occupational performance in the Scottish labour market between 1991 and 2001. We investigate whether Edinburgh has emerged as an occupational escalator region and whether individuals moving there experience more rapid upward occupational mobility than those living and moving elsewhere. Using country of birth, we also control for an individual’s propensity to make long distance moves during earlier periods of their life course. Using data from the Scottish Longitudinal Study, linking 1991 and 2001 individual census records, and logistic regressions, we show that those who migrate over long distances within or to Scotland are most likely to achieve upward occupational mobility. We also found that Edinburgh is by far the most important regional escalator in Scotland; those moving to Edinburgh are the most likely to experience upward occupational mobility from low to high occupational status jobs. This is an important finding as most of the literature on escalator regions focuses on international mega cities. Maarten van Ham, Allan Findlay, David Manley, and Peteke Feijten Copyright © 2012 Maarten van Ham et al. All rights reserved. “Trench Town Rock”: Reggae Music, Landscape Inscription, and the Making of Place in Kingston, Jamaica Mon, 31 Dec 2012 15:07:32 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/usr/2012/585160/ This paper examines place inscriptions in Trench Town, Jamaica, and explores the ways these are used to reinforce, shape, or challenge dominant images of this inner-city community. On one hand, Trench Town is like many of its neighbouring communities, characterised by high levels of poverty, unemployment, political and gang violence, derelict buildings, and overcrowded homes. On the other hand, Trench Town is iconic and unique as it is recognised worldwide for being the birth place of reggae music and home to a number of well-known reggae artists including reggae superstar Bob Marley. Today, Trench Town’s landscape is filled with inscriptions reminiscent of its rich cultural past. Linked to this is a conscious effort by its residents to identify themselves with reggae music and to recapture and sustain the positive legacies that have made the community popular. This is manifested in the numerous murals, statues, and graffiti seen throughout the community evoking past images of reggae music icons such as Marley and Tosh alongside renowned black leaders such as Marcus Garvey. These inscriptions are conceived as texts and are seen as part of a broader discourse on issues relating to urban spatial identity, commoditisation, exclusion, struggle, resistance, and change. Kevon Rhiney and Romain Cruse Copyright © 2012 Kevon Rhiney and Romain Cruse. All rights reserved. Urban Environmental Stress and Behavioral Adaptation in Bhopal City of India Mon, 31 Dec 2012 11:46:27 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/usr/2012/635061/ The study assessed the effect of the urban environmental stress on the subjective well-being of the people in Bhopal city of India. The objectives were to assess the perceived urban environmental stressors and to explore the coping strategies adopted by the people to combat the outcomes of Urban Environmental Stress. Perceived Urban Environmental stressors’ Scale (UES) and Urban Hassle Index were administered. The findings indicated that though people described their city as pleasant, a high level of stress was still perceived and its major reasons were found to be noise, waste accumulation, polluted air with smoke, and unhealthy environment in slums. The outcome of research suggests that the city planners should give equal priority to the natural resources and environment by various pollution management interventions and proper city planning. It is crucial for the well-being of the human beings to lower down the effect of stressors, so that the life in the city can be livable and of good quality. This paper provided guidelines for other metropolitan cities too for developing Environmental Competence and for generating mass awareness about the Urban Environmental Stress and its possible management options to help people develop Environmental Resilience and functional coping. Parul Rishi and Gayatri Khuntia Copyright © 2012 Parul Rishi and Gayatri Khuntia. All rights reserved. The Coexistence of Humans and Companion Animals in the City Parks of Xanthi: The Views of the Citizens Mon, 10 Dec 2012 08:51:14 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/usr/2012/462025/ Companion animals are very important to people of big cities. In Greece the families which own those animals take them for a walk in the parks and streets of their town but not always with care to not disturb other citizens. Laws and regulations for companion and stray animals are not respected in Greece, although as a result of the Athens Olympics in 2004 the Greek government started to provide funds for the collection, care, and sterilization of stray animals. This paper is a first attempt to record, through the aid of a structured questionnaire, the view of the citizens of the city of Xanthi in northern Greece regarding companion animals and what they do when animals become old. The paper also examines the extent to which the existence of stray and companion animals in parks disturbs the people who visit green areas looking for a place to get a rest or play on the grass. The majority preferred that stray animals are collected off the streets, recorded, treated from parasites, vaccinated, and sterilized and after that are available for adoption or are returned to the area they were found at. Paraskevi Karanikola, Evangelos Manolas, Stilianos Tampakis, and Thomas Panagopoulos Copyright © 2012 Paraskevi Karanikola et al. All rights reserved. Public Transport Subsidies and Affordability in Mumbai, India Wed, 21 Nov 2012 11:26:03 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/usr/2012/865972/ This paper describes the role of public transport and incidence of transport subsidies in Mumbai, India, where public transport is used for over 75% of all motorized trips. On average, expenditure on public transit constitutes a larger share of income for the poor than for the middle class. However, a larger fraction of transit users are middle class. In terms of incidence, the poorest 27% of the population receives only 19% of bus subsidies and 15.5% of rail subsidies. One-quarter of these households do not use rail, and 10% do not use bus, implying that they receive no transit subsidies. Improving the welfare of the poor through demand-side subsidies or cash transfer is, however, difficult. We therefore examine the optimal level of transit subsidies, based solely on distributional considerations. Maureen Cropper and Soma Bhattacharya Copyright © 2012 Maureen Cropper and Soma Bhattacharya. All rights reserved. Diversity Management in the Canadian Workplace: Towards an Antiracism Approach Wed, 14 Nov 2012 13:14:53 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/usr/2012/385806/ Most diversity management programs in Canada maintain that enhancing workforce diversity is of tremendous significance for business organizations in today’s competitive global urban markets. Since well-meaning diversity management initiatives have been largely ineffective thus far in dealing with workplace discrimination and racism in the Canadian workplace, this paper underscores the need to decenter the focus of diversity management from a business imperative to an antidiscrimination and social justice imperative. Within this latter perspective, the paper examines the strengths and limitations of the antiracism approach that has been implemented in various developed countries in recent years. The antiracism approach is an action-oriented strategy for institutional and systemic change that has at its core the interrogation of privilege, power disparities, and other forms of inequity within the organization. Drawing from the lessons of various initiatives that have utilized this approach, the present paper emphasizes the need for a nuanced antiracism approach in the multicultural Canadian society if diversity management is to attain its goal of greater inclusion of all individuals in informal networks and formal organizational programs. Vanmala Hiranandani Copyright © 2012 Vanmala Hiranandani. All rights reserved. The Spatial-Temporal Dynamics of China’s Changing Urban Hierarchy (1950–2005) Wed, 14 Nov 2012 11:29:31 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/usr/2012/162965/ This paper examines the dynamic spatial and temporal patterns of China’s urban hierarchy from 1950 to 2005. We limit the study to mainland China’s 137 urban agglomerations of 750,000 or more population as of 2005. The paper improves upon a classic approach to measuring shifting ranks within an urban hierarchy by applying advanced spatial analysis techniques. We use a Getis-Ord , a space-time Moran scatter plot, and dynamic LISA paths to examine the regional difference and change for these urban agglomerations. Our study revealed a north-south divide in the changing urban hierarchy of China after 1990. The analysis demonstrated that the spatial and temporal shift of urban dominance in China was closely associated with policy and economic factors. The paper concludes with a discussion of the differences across the six different time periods of change from 1950 to 2005. Xuwei Chen and Richard Greene Copyright © 2012 Xuwei Chen and Richard Greene. All rights reserved. The Influences of Actual and Perceived Familiarity on Environmental Preferences for the Design of a Proposed Urban Square Mon, 22 Oct 2012 08:51:48 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/usr/2012/767049/ People gain actual familiarity through direct experience of environments, but environments we have never visited can still seem familiar. To date, few academic studies have investigated this phenomenon of perceived familiarity. This paper discusses the concept of perceived familiarity and environmental preference from the perspective of people who may be asked to make judgements of future urban designs as part of the planning process. A sample of local and nonlocal people were asked to rate images of two versions (existing environment and proposed redesign) of an urban square on scales of preference and perceived familiarity. Results showed that the mean ratings for the proposed design were similar for both local and non-local samples. However, we found a clearly discernible difference in the way psychological antecedents are associated with environmental preference. For nonlocals, preference for the existing design is significantly associated with preference for the proposed design, but for local people this is not the case. In addition, for non-locals perceived familiarity of the proposed design is associated with perceived familiarity of the existing environment, but for the local sample this is not the case. Implications for public participation processes in urban design, as well as limitations and future lines of research, are discussed. Tony Craig, Anna Conniff, and Carlos Galan-Diaz Copyright © 2012 Tony Craig et al. All rights reserved. Creative Careers and Territorial Development: The Role of Networks and Relational Proximity in Fashion Design Wed, 03 Oct 2012 11:32:41 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/usr/2012/932571/ Geater Montreal is the third largest city in North America for the garment industry in terms of labour force, after Los Angeles and New York. The industry has however changed partly into a service industry, centered on fashion design, with a focus on international competitiveness but also the role of fashion in Montreal's economic and territorial development. Our article analyzes careers in the fashion design sector, sheds light on the evolution of creative sectors, and shows how these sectors could be better supported to favor local development, as neighborhoods and space design appear important in these creative sectors. We situate our analysis in the theoretical context of career theories, and analyze key moments in careers and the role of intermediate organizations and government programs in supporting these careers. Our paper makes a contribution to our knowledge of career paths in the fashion industry, but also to the role of relational proximity in supporting these careers, and thus local development. It highlights the importance of personal connections, the milieu in which the individual works and functions, the creativity of the individual, as well as the role of the local support organizations and professional associations, including agencies of the provincial government. Diane-Gabrielle Tremblay Copyright © 2012 Diane-Gabrielle Tremblay. All rights reserved. Streets Apart: Does Social Capital Vary with Neighbourhood Design? Sun, 02 Sep 2012 13:50:25 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/usr/2012/507503/ While neighbourhood differences in social capital have been mapped, few empirical studies have considered the nexus between specific physical characteristics of communities and social capital. In this study we hypothesised that social capital would be positively associated with a more walkable street network design, but inversely associated with negative experiences and perceptions of neighbourhood environments. Data was gathered through a random cross-sectional telephone survey of adults (𝑛=339) from three suburbs with differing street network design. Although there was some relationship between street network layout and social capital, this was not always as hypothesised by previous studies. Perceived incivilities, lower levels of trust and support were among factors that may have countered some of the positive influences of a walkable street network design on social capital. Overall, our findings suggest that the built environment may influence neighbourhood social capital at both a real and perceived level. While the actual presence and type of facilities, neighbourhood design and walkability may impact on social capital formation and maintenance, so too can perceptions of the physical and social environment. Understanding the complex intertwining of physical neighbourhood features, perceptions and social dynamics is relevant to growing public policy interest in strengthening social capital for enhanced community wellbeing. Lisa Wood, Billie Giles-Corti, and Max Bulsara Copyright © 2012 Lisa Wood et al. All rights reserved. Conundrums in Conservation: Complexity in Control Mon, 27 Aug 2012 13:31:34 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/usr/2012/378326/ The departure point for this investigation is to highlight the centrality of regulation theory as a praxis in planning enforcement. The value of the conceptual framework is demonstrated by application in the problematic arena of conservation regulatory compliance, where there is currently a dearth of investigation. It is evidenced that this thematic approach provides a lens to scrutinise problematic areas of control and provides a deeper understanding of the difficulties faced by planning enforcement operational practice generally and heritage regimes specifically. The utility of the proposed mechanism is that it remedies the current, well documented, pitfalls of disjointed, piecemeal strategies by providing a framework for robust, coherent decision making not only in planning but in the wider regulatory arena. Danielle Rush, Sean Macintyre, Jane Mc Kay, and Stephen Mc Kay Copyright © 2012 Danielle Rush et al. All rights reserved.