Share |

Town & Gown

  • warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home6/saismedi/public_html/saisphere/sites/all/modules/openpublish_core/theme_helpers/node-article.tpl.inc on line 48.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home6/saismedi/public_html/saisphere/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 879.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_user::init() should be compatible with views_handler_field::init(&$view, $options) in /home6/saismedi/public_html/saisphere/sites/all/modules/views/modules/user/views_handler_field_user.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home6/saismedi/public_html/saisphere/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 0.
No longer islands of privilege in a sea of need, urban universities are using their talent and treasure to transform local communities.

Baltimore was the sixth-largest city in the United States in 1950, home to nearly 1 million people. But over the next 50 years, nearly a third of that population seeped away. The city fell out of the nation’s top 10 and wrestled painfully with the challenges of urban decline.

Of course, Baltimore’s losses were mirrored in urban areas throughout the country. Eight of the nation’s 10 largest cities in 1950—places such as Cleveland, St. Louis and Washington, D.C.—also witnessed population declines. The causes and consequences of this urban erosion differ from place to place, but the story is similar: The shuttering of factories and wrenching waves of job losses. The migration of young talent to places with more opportunity. The contraction of the local tax base. The flight of middle-class families to the suburbs. The consequent drop in real estate values. The erosion of urban infrastructure. And the de facto segregation of minority populations in waning urban cores.

In a city such as Baltimore, it is not hard to see the decay. Today, Baltimore is one of the most crime-ridden cities in America, and its poverty rate is more than double the statewide average. The scourge of drugs has taken its toll, and vacant properties pockmark the neighborhoods. But in Baltimore, it is also not hard to see progress. Despite its enormous challenges, the city has made tremendous advances in transitioning to a knowledge- and service-based economy. Civic leaders drove the rehabilitation of downtown spaces, compelled massive public and private sector investment, and transformed a port area that had been left for dead into a thriving center for tourism and commerce.

Around the world, analysts are talking about “smart cities” and touting this era as the century of cities. Today in Baltimore, 15 of the city’s top 20 employers provide health, education or financial services. But it is also true that the city spends more of its general fund on its police than on its schools. Until that trend changes, its fortunes may never completely turn around. And Baltimore is not an aberration.

Anchoring the Community

Policymakers at the local, state and federal level have struggled to find ways to respond to these trends. The _neighborhood-razing strategies of urban renewal gave way to programs such as Model Cities and Community Development Block Grants. Though many of the federal policies helped, they never achieved the lofty rhetoric of the U.S. Housing Act of 1949, which called for “the realization as soon as feasible of the goal of a decent home and suitable living environment for every American family.”

For years, universities and institutions of similar size and influence, including hospitals, were not a part of these policy considerations. As scholars including Michael Porter have explained, these anchors of the community served as employers, purchasers of goods and services, real estate developers, economic engines and powerful instruments of social change, but they remained largely isolated from the day-to-day concerns of the urban core. Even those institutions founded to serve local needs and aspirations—including land-grant colleges started by the Morrill Act—often came to exist as enclaves, islands of privilege in seas of pressing need. A handful of flash-point issues, from tax-exempt status to real estate concerns, seemed to dominate and define the character of universities’ interactions with their communities, obscuring the ways in which their interests were, in fact, closely aligned.

By the 1960s, the federal government began formally encouraging university engagement. In a 1965 message to Congress, President Lyndon Johnson specifically cited the need “to draw upon the unique and invaluable resources of our great universities to deal with national problems of poverty and community development.” The government subsequently offered funding to this end, but the impact was minimal. As the University of Pennsylvania’s Ira Harkavy and others have pointed out, engagement efforts often were not integrated into research and teaching, and little institutional effort was made to coordinate effectively with government and local organizations.

The evolution that finally spurred an increase in the community engagement of universities was both intellectual and practical in nature. Faculty and researchers across academic fields began to extend their work more purposefully, broadening the idea of engaged scholarship and contributing to the advancement of the community. At the same time, institutions realized they could no longer afford to turn away from the problems around them. The future of these organizations, deeply rooted in their physical campuses, was tightly tied to that of their communities. Challenges such as violent crime and pervasive blight had the potential to blossom into existential threats. After all, from Hartford, Conn., to Chicago, great colleges and universities existed beside some of the country’s most challenged urban neighborhoods. As cities struggled with decline and governments experimented with policy responses, the possibility that these institutions could help solve complex local problems began to attract significant attention.

The University of Pennsylvania is often held up as the shining example of university engagement. Driven to action by a crime spree and the tragic murder of a researcher in the mid-1990s, the university began a substantial investment of financial and human resources into the neighborhoods of West Philadelphia, where it launched efforts that led to safer streets, a sounder housing market, revitalized economic activity and dramatically improved public education. The university’s Buy West Philadelphia Program has channeled millions of dollars to local suppliers, and the Penn Alexander School, a university partnership with the Philadelphia School District, is now one of the best public schools in the city. From Yale University’s New Haven Homebuyer Program, which provides financial incentives to faculty and staff buying homes in targeted neighborhoods near campus, to the University of Cincinnati’s efforts to convene other local anchors to bolster the Uptown neighborhoods, other universities are following suit, each in its own strategic way.

Strategic Engagement

At Johns Hopkins, community engagement is literally part of our founding documents. In a letter our original benefactor sent to his chosen hospital trustees, he offered instructions that included caring for “the indigent sick of this city and its environs, without regard to sex, age or color.” More than 130 years later, our medical institutions provided Baltimore residents with nearly $65 million in uncompensated care in 2010 alone.

Of course, the decades in between offer a mixed story. In East Baltimore, community resentment grew as our institutions stretched to cover more than three times our original 13-acre footprint; our staff now parks in multistory garages on land that used to hold homes or corner stores. Neighborhood concerns were likely aggravated by the fact that this growth continued in the middle of the last century just as the community struggled to halt its fading fortunes. But Johns Hopkins was also a force of positive change—the city’s largest employer, a major purchaser of local goods and services, a source of entrepreneurial technology-focused startups and a wellspring of cultural opportunities, from community orchestra to open houses for stargazers at our campus observatory.

For the most part, these initiatives arose organically over time, driven by the needs of the institution or the interests of faculty, staff or students. But in recent years, the university has steered its community engagement more strategically, codifying outreach within our governance structure and focusing on efforts that benefit both the institution and the neighborhoods around it.

A decade ago, for example, Johns Hopkins joined forces with three layers of government and some influential local foundations to redevelop 88 acres just north of our hospital. This area was ravaged by the forces of urban decay—rampant poverty, block after block of abandoned and boarded-up properties, pervasive drug abuse and insidious levels of unemployment. The $1.8 billion project included acquiring 2,000 properties, relocating 750 families and engaging in a large-scale demolition to create a new mixed-use, mixed-income community. It has treated displaced households with uncommon fairness (homeowners received a relocation package worth nearly four times the value of the average home), while exerting dogged efforts to attract new retail and commercial interests.

The university also has invested heavily in a new public school in the community. Our School of Education assumed operational responsibilities for the facility, handling everything from designing curricula to deciding the color of the hallway bulletin boards—with every decision rooted in evidence-based research. Our School of Nursing is offering wraparound services for children and their families, and even our athletic department will contribute by bringing sports clinics to the school fields. This is not a purely philanthropic effort; our School of Education will hold it up as a showcase project. This small, _community-focused school will also be the lynchpin of the massive redevelopment effort, a powerful way of convincing families that it is possible—indeed, desirable—to move back.

Johns Hopkins engages in other parts of Baltimore as well. Near our central Baltimore campus, we have helped convene community groups from 11 neighborhoods to coordinate our efforts and energies behind common causes. And on an institutional level, the university adopted policies that promote local hiring, purchasing and contracting, with specific goals to support minority- and women-owned businesses. But the East Baltimore example—specifically, the community school—highlights the way the university can employ its talent and treasure in a strategic and concerted effort to transform a community.

There are, of course, limits to what an anchor institution can achieve. In research and policy circles, anchors are often presented as mini regional governments that can respond to the needs of a disadvantaged area. In fact, these institutions cannot replace good civic government, or rational state and federal policies. Nor can they serve as alternative social welfare instruments. The university is tightly constrained by fiscal realities, including decreases in both federal research funding and the reimbursement rate for health care services. Sustained community engagement is both difficult and costly, requiring institutional sacrifices in other areas.

Federal entities such as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development have long recognized the importance of universities in the response to urban challenges. But limited funding and a lack of coordination among local, state and federal actors have left gaps in the ground-level response. As universities and other local anchors take a more proactive and strategic role in addressing community issues, policymakers have a new opportunity to align their efforts and amplify the work taking place on campuses across the country.


Comments

Blue Paisley Fine Rugs is Toronto’s newest premier provider of luxurious high quality rugs offering the widest selection in size, colour and services. We believe that every fine rug tells a story and manifests a tradition; it is an investment for generations to come and selecting one should be a tailored fulfilling experience. Our family works closely with our clients and suppliers to ensure that every selection leads to satisfaction for decades. Toronto Rug Cleaning

There is such a great amount in this article I would never have considered all alone. Your substance gives perusers things to consider in a fascinating way. Much obliged to you for your reasonable data. ristorante capannina

It is basic that we read blog entry painstakingly. I am as of now done it and find this post is truly stunning. Technology Blog

Nice to be visiting your blog again, it has been months for me. Well this article that i've been waited for so long. I need this article to complete my assignment in the college, and it has same topic with your article. Thanks, great share. Seattle Web Design Company Services Designer

The standalone version is the same as the web version, except that downloading images from the web and image cropping are not supported, and you have to set the output size numerically
gold IRA

oversight when it comes to managing our own budget and affairs; and dealing with the security concerns inherent in hosting the seat of the nation’s government and elected leaders.Loft conversions twickenham

been waited for so long. I need this article to complete my assignment in the college. and it has same topic with your article. roofing

Only sixteen minutes remained in the $1 million Netflix Prize competition when I handed over the final set of predictions to the Ensemble team captain.roofing

but there’s still a long way to go. We are asking the community to help us raise money to make Australia the safest place in the world to raise a child. It’s about educating, empowering and protecting our children and their futures,” says Johnston.roofing upper halliford

Do you mind updating your blog post with additional insight? It should be really useful for all of us. Jarabacoa

information hearts article What I read earlier Very Good , attractive and tasty for the review read, I HOPE singer sites can update every day , so that I can visit Back to article Singer ,loft conversions

policymakers have a new opportunity to align their efforts and amplify the work taking place on campuses across the country.Loft conversions

We offer you the chance to practice your piano skills by providing you with any song that you wish to learn. Take the unique chance and give your talent a try!Verysheets.com

I've been surfing online over three hours today, yet I never discovered any fascinating article like yours. It's really sufficiently worth for me. As I would see it, if all website admins and bloggers made great substance as you did, the web will be significantly more valuable than any other time in recent memory. Trust follow ! Buy low obl backlinks

challenge as urban density increases in areas where basic services such as water, sanitation and solid waste disposal are hard to come by.injury lawyer

This is really a nice and informative, containing all information and also has a great impact on the new technology. Thanks for sharing it Make Him Desire You Review

I like this blog post, mate. The information is really good here. I enjoyed every second of reading this fantastic blog post. Keep this going ! articles tube

Once more you’ve proved that you are the no.1 article writer in the world. The way you compose your articles is just unique and I have not seen anyone do it. Continue your class work ! cerita dewasa

So it is interesting and very good written and see what they think about other people. Classifieds

That has reasonably priced television sets, they're more than likely become with regard to producers that may be new -- because they vegetation posess zero name brand customer base in order to really prepare. Once this may be the case, there's no aim of these to use some time and additionally adequate income into your Television set them to be getting. It isn't really your necessary for they associated with unbranded providers that manufacture inexpensive tv to make tv sets of which last for many years, once you will not even know so when all-around if you had bought in similar creation establishment an individual. The symbol terms can adjust on the gardening seasons. samsung tv channel

If your looking for Online Illinois license plate sticker renewals then you have need to come to the right place.We offer the fastest Illinois license plate sticker renewals in the state. We are tied directly into the sate’s renewal database which allows us to process your request almost instantly. youtube Likes kaufen

On this page you can read my interests, write something special. خلاطات من الصين

Mmm.. estimable to be here in your report or notify, whatever, I repute I should moreover process strong for my have website want I play some salubrious further updated busy in your location. targeted youtube views

I prefer merely excellent resources - you will see these people in: the web shop

I have read your blog it is very helpful for me. I want to say thanks to you. I have bookmark your site for future updates. Join Agen Judi Piala Eropa 2016 Here

I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to start my own Blog Engine blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your write up is a fine example of it. Bekam

Exceptionally helpful post. This is my first time i visit here. I discovered such a variety of fascinating stuff in your web journal particularly its exchange. Truly its extraordinary article. Keep it up. marketing

Thank you for your post, I look for such article along time, today i find it finally. this post give me lots of advise it is very useful for me. Tow Truck Towing Truck

You have a decent point here!I thoroughly concur with what you have said!!Thanks for sharing your views...hope more individuals will read this article!!! DNA Wealth Blueprint 3.0 Review

This type of message always inspiring and I prefer to read quality content. so happy to find good place to many here in the post. the writing is just great. thanks for the post. stock market today

Every piece is made with 100 percent organic cotton. This is an ideal choice for parents with MCS, multiple chemical sensitivities, or any parent who is trying to be greener or more health conscious.where to buy organic

Thanks for a wonderful share. Your article has proved your hard work and experience you have got in this field. Brilliant .i love it reading.
web design services

This is really a nice and informative. containing all information and also has a great impact on the new technology. Thanks for sharing it.
Pharmaceutical SEO

Much obliged to you for some other educational web journal. Where else would I be able to understand that sort of data written in such a perfect means? I have a mission that I'm a little while ago chipping away at, and I have been at the post for such data. Botox Malaysia

I appreciate this article for the all around examined substance and incredible wording. I got so included in this material that I couldn't quit perusing. I am inspired with your work and ability. Much thanks to you to such an extent. write my essay

I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well.
coloring pages

Generally I do not read article on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to check out and do so! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thanks, very great post.
college paper online

Thanks that you explained every single word in a great manner that everybody can understand well.
importance of learning a second language

Thanks for giving me this information. Keep posting. Ready to escape insomnia’s vicious cir¬cle and reboot your brain for sound sleep. flower wallpaper

You might be a single extremely trustworthy website article writer. After all, generally, people reveal concerns as well as the details they feature just isn't since sensible. An individual alternatively; whatever you point out pencils out there. The advice regarding the usage of as an example has been the most effective.Loft conversions

You know your projects stand out of the herd. There is something special about them. It seems to me all of them are really brilliant! research paper for salem witch trials

Because Barca kept such a happy locker room and won so consistently, the only true line of criticism was style. Since Cruyff's tenure as coach borsa desigual

The quality of your blogs and conjointly the articles and price appreciating.

portable dumpster rental Philadelphia PA

This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. kredi karti ile hgs

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Unlocking Guide and tutorial. Unlock Galaxy S7 including AT&T, T-Mobile, Telus, Bell, Rogers, Fido etc..Unlock Galaxy S7
Edinburgh Tradesmen

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Unlocking Guide and tutorial. Unlock Galaxy S7 including AT&T, T-Mobile, Telus, Bell, Rogers, Fido etc..Unlock Galaxy S7

Cheese gifts are also popular nowadays because it is good to share healthy and delicious food to our loved ones. Indeed, life is good but Italian cheese makes it better. Share Italian cheese store in UK and let them know how much you love them.best diet pills on the market

Unlock Network of any iPhone SE, 6S, 6S+, 6, 6+, 5, 5S, 5C to use on a different carrier How to Unlock iPhone

Guide and Tutorial on How to Unlock Samsung Galaxy S5. Unlock all networks including Rogers, Fido, Telus, Bell, Telus, T-mobile, AT&T etc...Unlock Galaxy S5