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Urban Communication Reader IV

Cities as Communicative Change Agents


Edited By erin daina mcclellan, Yongjun Shin and Curry Chandler

Today, the world is facing climate change, wealth inequality, housing crises, food shortages, mass migration, and now a global health pandemic. Cities are at the heart of both these problems and their solutions. Urban communication scholars are well-poised to examine the change initiatives that are both caused and inspired by such complex problems. This volume provides a collection of urban communication research focused on how examining change through the lens of communication provides unique processual understandings of cities as dynamic sites formed through the interplay between concrete cases and conceptual ideas. The first section, Change through Institutional Intervention, addresses how diverse societal institutions—including policy, regulation, planning, and voluntary arts—interplay with changes in our urban communities. The second section, Change in Place and through Space, explores various ways in which spaces and places are able to transform through communicative practice, specifically focusing on how space and place provide unique frames for communicating change and influencing interaction in cities. The third section, Change through Participation and Engagement, collectively draws attention to the ways that public participation and engagement are utilized in cities in ways that enhance the communication both within and about them, focusing specifically on how this happens globally in teaching and learning environments, community planning partnerships, industrial site redevelopment projects, and approaches to food sovereignty in urban agricultural initiatives.
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3. Social Capital and Social Change in Urban Politics: Understanding a Local Policy Case from an Urban Communication Perspective: YONGJUN SHIN, BRIDGEWATER STATE UNIVERSITY, U.S.


3. Social Capital and Social Change in Urban Politics: Understanding a Local Policy Case from an Urban Communication Perspective



Providing affordable housing for low-and moderate-income households contributes to not only providing decent housing for all Americans, but also promoting socio-economic and ethnic integration. Inclusionary zoning is one regulatory program that municipal or county governments use to address affordable housing for lower-income households. This study reviews the case of Madison, Wisconsin’s affordable-housing efforts and contextualizes how Madison’s inclusionary-zoning ordinance was created and failed. Finally, a historical case study of the policy demonstrates that public policy can be a political product which needs collective efforts for actualization and implementation, rather than merely a technical, administrative solution for public needs and urban issues. Based on the evidence of the efficacy for the core stakeholders’ collective networking and policy opposition, this study attempts to explain, inductively, the political process of policy creation and implementation with the concept of social capital in the context of politics. In the following sections, we will discuss the effects of IZ on U.S. affordable housing and how IZ policies have been passed in the states. Then, Madison’s IZ will be intensively investigated in the context of local politics and with the concept of social capital.

Keywords: affordable housing, community development, housing policy, inclusionary zoning, social capital, urban communication, urban planning, urban politics

Housing profoundly affects both national and local economies as well as individuals’...

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