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Urban Policy

  • By: Barney Warf
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Urban policy refers, broadly, to the numerous ways in which national or federal governments implement programs that affect the nature of cities, including modes and priorities of financing municipalities, strategic planning to stimulate urban economic growth, attempts to combat uneven regional development or encourage cooperation among local governments, control over negative externalities such as destruction of the natural environment, targeted subsidies for specific problems (e.g., homelessness), and political restrictions on the autonomy of the local state. As such, urban policy is closely related—but not identical—to urban and regional planning efforts. There is typically no single national urban policy, but aggregations of many different policies, some of which may work at cross-purposes, with varying effects over space and time. Because the capitalist city is not simply ...

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