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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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4. ‘Ain’t Too Proud to Beg’ or Advertise: The First Amendment Implications of Advertising and Panhandling on the New York City Mass Transit System: ADRIENNE E. HACKER-DANIELS, ILLINOIS COLLEGE, U.S.


4. ‘Ain’t Too Proud to Beg’ or Advertise: The First Amendment Implications of Advertising and Panhandling on the New York City Mass Transit System



This chapter explores the impact of legal rulings and transit regulations in fashioning policies which attempt to weigh governmental interests against First Amendment rights on the New York City mass transit system. As astutely noted by Clifton Hood in his fascinating chronicle of the history of the New York City subway system from its nascence in 1904 through its 100-year mark, this transportation tour de force ranks as one of the “twentieth century’s greatest urban achievements.” The formulation of reasonable policies regarding commercial/political advertising and panhandling on New York City’s mass transit has been peripatetic and elusive at best. Dilemmas have arisen in light of the inability of either the courts or regulatory agencies to provide stable and consistent applications of First Amendment principles commensurate with the mission statements and regulatory tenets of the MTA. Notwithstanding the significant growing pains in this “city that never sleeps,” the subway system has played an integral role in every facet of the city’s lifeblood. A plan is offered for balancing governmental interests and First Amendment rights against a backdrop of a particularly tenuous period of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Keywords: First Amendment, public forum, content neutrality, advertising, panhandling, transit system, subway, freedom of speech

As astutely noted by Clifton Hood in...

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