Researching Public Law and Public Policy in the Public Interest
David Troutt, founding director of the Rutgers Center on Law in Metropolitan Equity (CLiME) was featured in on NJ.com this week: A recent report by Rutgers University found the risk of displacement for Newarkers is already high, even though threat of gentrification remains premature. "Displacement through gentrification comes about because cities make deliberate tax policy decisions that favor certain elements over others," said David Troutt, one of the authors of the report and director of Rutger's Center for Law, Inequality and Metropolitan Equity. "A city like Newark has to exercise that same authority to protect (residents)," he added. "This is an obligation to make sure as it plans for growth, it also plans for affordability. Otherwise people disappear."
Despite this profoundly unfair set up, cities like Flint have long been regarded as at fault for their own problems and in need primarily of a stern dose of fiscal temperance (for example, shopping around for supposed basement bargains on crucial contracts like water supply).
The new world of publicly funded, privately provided human services opens a new discussion about inequality on two fronts: inequality of spatial access to services, and inequality of quality of services. Whereas when services were publicly provided there were institutional avenues for registering dissatisfaction with access, the introduction of private providers adds a level of distance between potential clients and their governments.
Rutgers Law student Charis G. Orzechowski examines transit conditions that discourage commuters entering from high poverty areas for work and the neglected transit needs of low-income citizens in four New Jersey counties. The paper explores whether certain poor, minority and transit-dependent populations are being excluded from traveling within high-growth suburban municipalities that have job opportunities available for people with fewer specialized skills. The analysis uncovers the "spatial mismatch" that harms transit-dependent minorities and suggests a possible violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Many cities become over time economically interdependent with their surrounding areas, constituting a single economy and labor market (a metropolitan area). Such areas are usually integrated systems of local government jurisdictions. The economic links between the core and the periphery can become so close that one part cannot succeed without the other. This paper provides a typology of the main metropolitan-level governance approaches applied internationally, with their pros and cons, and related city examples. The paper focuses on areas with more than one local government, but also includes examples where the metropolitan area essentially coincides with one local government jurisdiction. It concludes with a summary of lessons learned and suggested topics for further applied research.

A national research and action institute advancing economic and social equity by Lifting Up What Works: http://www.policylink.org

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