Custodians of Place provides a new theoretical framework that accounts for how different types of cities arrive at decisions about residential growth and economic development. Lewis and Neiman surveyed officials in hundreds of California cities of all sizes and socioeconomic characteristics to account for differences in local development policies. This book shows city governments at the center of the action in shaping their destinies, frequently acting as far-sighted trustees of their communities. They explain how city governments often can insulate themselves for the better from short-term political pressures and craft policy that builds on past growth experiences and future vision. Findings also include how conditions on the ground-local commute times, housing affordability, composition of the local labor force-play an important role in determining the approach a city takes toward growth and land use. What types of cities tend to aggressively pursue industrial or retail firms? What types of cities tend to favor housing over business development? What motivates cities to try to slow residential growth? Custodians of Place answers these and many other questions.
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Paul G. Lewis is assistant professor of political science at Arizona State University. His previous book, Shaping Suburbia: How Political Institutions Organize Urban Development, was named an Outstanding Academic Book by Choice. Max Neiman is a senior resident scholar at the Institute of Government Studies, University of California, Berkeley.
Preface 1. Introduction: Contingent Trusteeship and the Local Governance of Growth 2. The Context for Local Choices: Growth Pressures, Fiscal Incentives, and the California Setting 3. What Type of City to Be? Evaluating Different Kinds of Growth 4. The Vision Thing: Pursuing a Future Ideal 5. Firm Ground: Competing for Businesses and Jobs 6. Hustle or Balancing Act? Regulating Residential Growth 7. Custodians of Place: Systemic Representation in Local Governance Appendix A: The Consistency of "Visions" with Other Officials' Views: Comparing Responses across Surveys Appendix B: Detailed Results of Multivariate Analyses Notes Bibliography Index
[One] of the more original works in urban politics to appear over the last several years. Choice [An] important book that should be read by students of urban politics and planning. Political Science Quarterly
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