Disrupting Urban Policy

Penn Press Announces a New Series in Urban Studies, Disrupting Urban Policy

The University of Pennsylvania Press is starting a new series to support cutting-edge research on and approaches to some of the most intractable challenges in the realm of urban policy. Titled Disrupting Urban Policy, the series will be edited by four esteemed urban experts: Lance Freeman, James W. Effron University Professor of City & Regional Planning and Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania; Derek Hyra, Professor of Public Administration and Policy at American University; Loretta Lees, Director of the Initiative on Cities and Professor of Sociology at Boston University; and Akira Drake Rodriguez, Assistant Professor of City & Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania.

The editors and the Press envision that books in the series will disrupt existing urban theories and policies and propose new alternatives to address racial, economic, and spatial inequalities, particularly segregation, concentrated poverty, gentrification, and displacement. Moreover, the series is motivated by a desire to demonstrate how formal and informal policies of the past relate to those of the present, and how these policies replicate ongoing inequality in domestic and international contexts.

The idea for the series grew out of conversations between the series editors and Penn Press senior editor Robert Lockhart. In those conversations, Lockhart notes, “There was a real desire to provide a platform for fresh new voices writing on the challenges that city residents—especially people of color—continue to experience despite the so-called urban renaissance in recent years.”  Regarding their vision for the series, the editors note, “What separates this book series from others in the field is that we are seeking policy assessments that are grounded in historical systems and processes but reach for and relate to contemporary urban policy debates.”

Already the series is generating interest in the field. According to Edward Goetz at the University of Minnesota, “I think the series has a great likelihood of being extremely important to the urban field in its goal to address social and racial justice.”

Authors who are interested in submitting their work for consideration may contact the series editors or Robert Lockhart at rlockhar@upenn.edu.