Robert Chaskin, University of Chicago and Mark Joseph, Case Western Reserve University
Mark Joseph and Michael Glass (University of Pittsburgh, award committee member)

Award Recipients

Robert Chaskin (University of Chicago) and Mark Joseph (Case Western Reserve University)

The Urban Affairs Association (UAA), the international professional association for urban scholars, researchers and public service professionals, convened its 47th Annual Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 19-22, 2017. More than 750 participants, representing universities, research institutions, non-profit organizations, and public and private organizations/institutions from around the world met to discuss 21st century issues impacting urban populations and places. Conference participants represented institutions from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. The University of Minnesota served as the local sponsor for the event.

During the conference, awards were presented in recognition of outstanding scholarship and service. Among those honored was Robert Chaskin (University of Chicago) and Mark Joseph (Case Western Reserve University). Chaskin and Joseph were awarded the 2017 Best Book in Urban Affairs Honorable Mention Award, for Integrating the Inner City: The Promise and Perils of Mixed-Income Public Housing Transformation. Sixty-nine books were nominated for the Best Book in Urban Affairs Award this year. The authors of these books represented several different disciplines and a variety of urban topics.

Award Committee Assessment

For honorable mention, we selected:
Robert Chaskin and Mark Joseph’s Integrating the Inner City: The Promise and Perils of Mixed-Income Public Housing Transformation, University of Chicago Press. The book tackles Chicago’s “Plan for transformation”, which demolished public housing in favor of building mixed-income communities. The book clearly lays out the theories motivating mixed-income housing developments, such as the growth of social capital for relocated public housing residents. Years of in-depth empirical evidence, however, show the limited evidence of such theories. Joseph and Chaskin reveal crucial blind spots in these theories, namely the day-to-day interactions between the different income groups shape the success of mixed income housing. Tensions between residents’ expectations of appropriate public and private behavior undermine the very goals of the developments, as the different income groups avoid each other to minimize uncomfortable interactions. This finding has both scholarly and policy implications for the future viability of such projects. The easily accessible writing style will make Chaskin and Joseph’s work available to a wide range of audiences.

Award Committee

Chair Nina Martin (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill); Andrew Carswell (University of Georgia); Michael Glass (University of Pittsburgh); Bernadette Hanlon (Ohio State University); Thomas Skuzinski (Virginia Tech)

Award Winner Bio

Robert Chaskin, University of Chicago
Robert Chaskin was unable to attend the award ceremony in Minneapolis.

Robert Chaskin is Professor, UNESCO Chair for Inclusive Urbanism, and Deputy Dean for Strategic Initiatives at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. His work focuses primarily on the conceptual foundations and principal strategies of contemporary community intervention in the context of urban poverty. He has written widely on the topics of neighborhood intervention, community capacity building, the dynamics of participatory planning and neighborhood governance, and the role of nonprofit organizations in community development and participatory democracy. His most recent book, with Mark Joseph, is the culmination of a multi-year, multi-site study of public housing reform in Chicago, with a particular focus on the emerging mixed-income developments being built in several Chicago neighborhoods on the footprint of former public housing developments. He is now completing work on an edited volume that provides a comparative, cross-national analysis of policy and community responses to social exclusion, completing fieldwork for a study on the civic and political engagement of marginalized urban youth in Belfast, Dublin, and London (with support from a European Commission Marie Sklodowska-Curie fellowship), and launching a study of slum clearance and social housing policy in Mumbai. Professor Chaskin received his PhD in sociology from The University of Chicago.

Mark Joseph, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University and Founding Director of the National Initiative on Mixed-Income Communities. His current research focuses on mixed-income development as an anti-poverty strategy, with particular attention to transforming public housing developments. His co-authored book Integrating the Inner City: The Promise and Perils of Mixed-Income Public Housing Transformation was published by the University of Chicago Press in November 2015. He received his Ph.D. from the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago, his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and was a Visiting Scholar at Oxford University.