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Does School Participatory Budgeting Increase Students’ Political Efficacy? Bandura’s “Sources,” Civic Pedagogy, and Education for Democracy

Does School Participatory Budgeting Increase Students’ Political Efficacy? Bandura’s “Sources,” Civic Pedagogy, and Education for Democracy

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Does school participatory budgeting (SPB) increase students’ political efficacy? SPB, which is implemented in thousands of schools around the world, is a democratic process of deliberation and decision-making in which students determine how to spend a portion of the school’s

Does school participatory budgeting (SPB) increase students’ political efficacy? SPB, which is implemented in thousands of schools around the world, is a democratic process of deliberation and decision-making in which students determine how to spend a portion of the school’s budget. We examined the impact of SPB on political efficacy in one middle school in Arizona. Our participants’ (n = 28) responses on survey items designed to measure self-perceived growth in political efficacy indicated a large effect size (Cohen’s d = 1.46), suggesting that SPB is an effective approach to civic pedagogy, with promising prospects for developing students’ political efficacy.

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2021-05-01

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Area‐Based Urban Renewal Approach for Smart Cities Development in India: Challenges of Inclusion and Sustainability

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Cities in the Global South face rapid urbanization challenges and often suffer an acute lack of infrastructure and governance capacities. Smart Cities Mission, in India, launched in 2015, aims to offer a novel approach for urban renewal of 100 cities

Cities in the Global South face rapid urbanization challenges and often suffer an acute lack of infrastructure and governance capacities. Smart Cities Mission, in India, launched in 2015, aims to offer a novel approach for urban renewal of 100 cities following an area‐based development approach, where the use of ICT and digital technologies is particularly emphasized. This article presents a critical review of the design and implementation framework of this new urban renewal program across selected case‐study cities. The article examines the claims of the so‐called “smart cities” against actual urban transformation on‐ground and evaluates how “inclusive” and “sustainable” these developments are. We quantify the scale and coverage of the smart city urban renewal projects in the cities to highlight who the program includes and excludes. The article also presents a statistical analysis of the sectoral focus and budgetary allocations of the projects under the Smart Cities Mission to find an inherent bias in these smart city initiatives in terms of which types of development they promote and the ones it ignores. The findings indicate that a predominant emphasis on digital urban renewal of selected precincts and enclaves, branded as “smart cities,” leads to deepening social polarization and gentrification. The article offers crucial urban planning lessons for designing ICT‐driven urban renewal projects, while addressing critical questions around inclusion and sustainability in smart city ventures.`

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2021-05-07

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How Will the COVID-19 Pandemic Affect the Future of Urban Life? : Early Evidence from Highly-Educated Respondents in the United States

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Attitudes and habits are extremely resistant to change, but a disruption of the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to bring long-term, massive societal changes. During the pandemic, people are being compelled to experience new ways of interacting,

Attitudes and habits are extremely resistant to change, but a disruption of the magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to bring long-term, massive societal changes. During the pandemic, people are being compelled to experience new ways of interacting, working, learning, shopping, traveling, and eating meals. Going forward, a critical question is whether these experiences will result in changed behaviors and preferences in the long term. This paper presents initial findings on the likelihood of long-term changes in telework, daily travel, restaurant patronage, and air travel based on survey data collected from adults in the United States in Spring 2020. These data suggest that a sizable fraction of the increase in telework and decreases in both business air travel and restaurant patronage are likely here to stay. As for daily travel modes, public transit may not fully recover its pre-pandemic ridership levels, but many of our respondents are planning to bike and walk more than they used to. These data reflect the responses of a sample that is higher income and more highly educated than the US population. The response of these particular groups to the COVID-19 pandemic is perhaps especially important to understand, however, because their consumption patterns give them a large influence on many sectors of the economy.

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2020-09-03

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Pay-for-Performance Conservation Using SWAT Highlights Need for Field-Level Agricultural Conservation

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Pay-for-performance (PFP) is a relatively new approach to agricultural conservation that attaches an incentive payment to quantified reductions in nutrient runoff from a participating farm. Similar to a payment for ecosystem services approach, PFP lends itself to providing incentives for

Pay-for-performance (PFP) is a relatively new approach to agricultural conservation that attaches an incentive payment to quantified reductions in nutrient runoff from a participating farm. Similar to a payment for ecosystem services approach, PFP lends itself to providing incentives for the most beneficial practices at the field level. To date, PFP conservation in the U.S. has only been applied in small pilot programs. Because monitoring conservation performance for each field enrolled in a program would be cost-prohibitive, field-level modeling can provide cost-effective estimates of anticipated improvements in nutrient runoff. We developed a PFP system that uses a unique application of one of the leading agricultural models, the USDA's Soil and Water Assessment Tool, to evaluate the nutrient load reductions of potential farm practice changes based on field-level agronomic and management data. The initial phase of the project focused on simulating individual fields in the River Raisin watershed in southeastern Michigan. Here we present development of the modeling approach and results from the pilot year, 2015-2016. These results stress that (1) there is variability in practice effectiveness both within and between farms, and thus there is not one "best practice" for all farms, (2) conservation decisions are made most effectively at the scale of the farm field rather than the sub-watershed or watershed level, and (3) detailed, field-level management information is needed to accurately model and manage on-farm nutrient loadings.

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2017