Matching Items (4)

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Accomplishments and challenges of the round three federal empowerment zone program

Description

The Empowerment Zones were created in 1993 under Clinton's administration, demonstrating a commitment to solving tough socio-economic problems in distressed communities. The main objective associated with this program was economic

The Empowerment Zones were created in 1993 under Clinton's administration, demonstrating a commitment to solving tough socio-economic problems in distressed communities. The main objective associated with this program was economic recovery of distressed communities by creating jobs and providing various services to the indigenous populations. The designation of the Empowerment Zones went in three rounds (1994, 1998, and 2001), and although the types and amounts of federal incentives varied across rounds, the four principles around which the program originated remain unchanged: strategic vision for change, community based partnerships, economic opportunity, and sustainable community development. Since its inception, the Empowerment Zones program has been implemented in 30 urban and 10 rural communities in 27 states across the U.S. Two central questions lead the research of this dissertation project: 1) What have been the main accomplishments of the round three federal Empowerment Zones program in Tucson? 2) What have been the main challenges of the round three federal Empowerment Zones program in Tucson? By using a case study research design and various techniques for data collection and analysis (including the program package Atlas.ti), this study examined the accomplishments and the challenges associated with the round three designated Empowerment Zone in Tucson. Evidence was collected from multiple sources, including 24 interviews, over 60 local newspaper articles, relevant documentation, annual performance reports, and other sources. The analysis reveals that the program's implementation in Tucson was strong in the beginning, but after two years, the earlier success started to fade quickly. The shortcomings of program design became evident during the implementation phase and further in the inability of the administration to collect relevant data to demonstrate the program's success. The consequences of the inability to provide data for program evaluation influenced the enthusiasm of the administrators and program partners, and weakened the political support. The reduction in the grant component contributed to overemphasis of the business development component thereby ignoring most community development aspects essential for the success of the program in Tucson. This study did not find evidence for the claim that round three of the empowerment zones program based on federal tax incentives contributes to the creation of new jobs and the attraction of new business in economically deprived communities in Tucson.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Neighborhood development and school-community partnerships: the case of Barrio Promesa

Description

This study explores community development initiatives and school-community partnerships that took place during the period 1998 - 2010 in Barrio Promesa, a Hispanic immigrant neighborhood within a large metropolitan area

This study explores community development initiatives and school-community partnerships that took place during the period 1998 - 2010 in Barrio Promesa, a Hispanic immigrant neighborhood within a large metropolitan area of the South Western United States. More specifically, it examines the initiatives and partnerships carried out through three main sectors of social actors: a) elected officials, public administrators and their agencies of the city; b) the neighborhood elementary school and school district administration; and c) civil society inclusive of non-profit agencies, faith-based organizations and businesses entities. This study is bounded by the initiation of development efforts by the city on the front end. The neighborhood school complex became the center of educational and social outreach anchoring nearly all collaborations and interventions. Over time agents, leadership and alliances changed impacting the trajectory of development initiatives and school community partnerships. External economic and political forces undermined development efforts which led to a fragmentation and dismantling of initiatives and collaborations in the later years of the study. Primary threads in the praxis of community development and school-community partnerships are applied in the analysis of initiatives, as is the framework of social capital in understanding partnerships within the development events. Specific criteria for analysis included leadership, collaboration, inclusivity, resources, and sustainability. Tensions discovered include: 1) intra-agency conflict, 2) program implementation, 3) inter-agency collaboration, 4) private-public-nonprofit partnerships, and 5) the impact of public policy in the administration of public services. Actors' experiences weave a rich tapestry composed of the essential threads of compassion and resilience in their transformative human agency at work within the global urban gateway of Barrio Promesa. Summary, conclusions and recommendations include: 1) strategies for the praxis of community development, inclusive of establishing neighborhood based development agency and leadership; 2) community development initiative in full partnership with the neighborhood school; 3) the impact of global migration on local development practices; and 4) the public value of personal and civil empowerment as a fundamental strategy in community development practices, given the global realities of many urban neighborhoods throughout the United States, and globally.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Crafting sustainability visions: integrating visioning practice, research, and education

Description

Sustainability visioning (i.e. the construction of sustainable future states) is considered an important component of sustainability research, for instance, in transformational sustainability science or in planning for urban sustainability. Visioning

Sustainability visioning (i.e. the construction of sustainable future states) is considered an important component of sustainability research, for instance, in transformational sustainability science or in planning for urban sustainability. Visioning frees sustainability research from the dominant focus on analyzing problem constellations and opens it towards positive contributions to social innovation and transformation. Calls are repeatedly made for visions that can guide us towards sustainable futures. Scattered across a broad range of fields (i.e. business, non-government organization, land-use management, natural resource management, sustainability science, urban and regional planning) are an abundance of visioning studies. However, among the few evaluative studies in the literature there are apparent deficits in both the research and practice of visioning that curtails our expectations and prospects of realizing process-based and product-derived outcomes. These deficits suggests that calls instead should focus on the development of applied and theoretical understanding of crafting sustainability visions, enhancing the rigor and robustness of visioning methodology, and on integrating practice, research, and education for collaborative sustainability visioning. From an analysis of prominent visioning and sustainability visioning studies in the literature, this dissertation articulates what is sustainability visioning and synthesizes a conceptual framework for criteria-based design and evaluation of sustainability visioning studies. While current visioning methodologies comply with some of these guidelines, none adhere to all of them. From this research, a novel sustainability visioning methodology is designed to address this gap to craft visions that are shared, systemic, principles-based, action-oriented, relevant, and creative (i.e. SPARC visioning methodology) and evaluated across all quality criteria. Empirical studies were conducted to test and apply the conceptual and methodological frameworks -- with an emphasis on enhancing the rigor and robustness in real world visioning processes for urban planning and teaching sustainability competencies. In-depth descriptions of the collaborative visioning studies demonstrate tangible outcomes for: (a) implementing the above sustainability visioning methodology, including evaluative procedures; (b) adopting meaningful interactive engagement procedures; (c) integrating advanced analytical modeling, sustainability appraisal, and creativity enhancing procedures; and (d) developing perspective and methodological capacity for long-range sustainability planning.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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Public service, activist architecture or social justice?: a typology for university-based community design centers and success lessons from different models

Description

This dissertation examines the conditions that foster or hinder success of university-based community design centers (CDCs) in the United States. Little is known about the normative underpinnings of CDCs, how

This dissertation examines the conditions that foster or hinder success of university-based community design centers (CDCs) in the United States. Little is known about the normative underpinnings of CDCs, how successful these centers have been, which factors have contributed to or impeded their success, and how they have responded to the changes in social, political, professional and economic contexts. Adopting Giddens' theory of structuration as a research framework, this study examined CDCs via a mixed-methods sequential research design: a cross-sectional survey of CDCs on current definitions of success and metrics in use; and in-depth interviews to document the centers' histories of change or stasis, and how these changes influenced their successes. The findings of the first phase were utilized to develop a comprehensive success model for current CDCs that comprise measures related to organizational impacts, activities, and capacities. In the multiple case study analysis, four major rationales were identified: universities for public service, pragmatist learning theories, civic professionalism, and social change. These four rationales were evident in all of the studied cases at varying degrees. Using the concept of permeability, the study also exemplified how the processes of CDCs had transformative impacts in institutional, societal, and personal contexts. Multidisciplinarity has also emerged as a theme for the current organizational transformations of CDCs. The main argument that emerged from these findings is that it is not possible to identify a singular model or best practice for CDCs. The strengths and unique potentials of CDCs depend on the alternative rationales, involved agencies, and their social, political and spatial contexts. However, capitalizing on the distinctive attributes of the institutional context (i.e. the university), I consider some possibilities for university-based CDCs with an interdisciplinary structure, pushing the professional, curricular, and institutional boundaries, and striving for systemic change and social justice. In addition to contributing to the theoretical knowledge base, the findings provide useful information to various CDCs across the country, particularly today as they struggle with financial constraints while the community needs they provide are increasingly in demand. Since CDCs have a long history of community service and engagement, the findings can inform other university-community partnerships.

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Agent

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Date Created
  • 2011