It's been nearly five decades since Robert Dahl called local governments a "laboratory" for democracy, but only seven years since urban research was re-christened a "black hole" of political science from which "[n]o ideas escape the event horizon ... " (Sapotichne, Jones, & Wolfe, 2007).
Despite the many valid criticisms (or perhaps in response to some), public policy has continued recently to explore the problems of urban growth and decline in a multi-disciplinary fashion, focusing multiple theoretical lenses on questions of governance and division of authority as well as the practical applications for areas of policy specialization.
I wrote a paper for the Policy Studies Journal 2015 Yearbook edition which reviews recent articles on income, housing, and racial/ethnic stratification, and the common link of mobility-based prescriptions. It also reviews the role sustainability, equity and cultural norms play in scholarship. The field is moving in a direction that integrates classical rational choice and sociological explanations for policies addressing sustainability and equity, the role of cultural identity in urban renewal efforts, and long-standing problems of citizen participation in government decision-making.
I work as an Assistant Professor at the O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University Bloomington. There, I direct the MGMT Lab.