The Urban Affairs Association (UAA), the international professional association for urban scholars, researchers and public service professionals, convened its 49th Annual Conference in Los Angeles, April 24-27, 2019. More than 1,000 participants, representing universities, research institutions, and non-profit, public, and private sector organizations, from around the world, met to discuss current issues impacting urban populations and places. Conference participants represented institutions from North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Local sponsors for the event included:

  • The University of California, Los Angeles | Luskin School of Public Affairs
  • The University of California, Irvine | Urban Planning and Public Policy
  • California State University, Los Angeles | Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs
Pictured from left to right: Richard Sander (University of California, Los Angeles), Hélène Bélanger, Award Committee Chair (Université du Québec à Montréal), Yana Kucheva (The City College of New York

During the conference, awards were presented in recognition of outstanding scholarship and service. Among those honored were Yana Kucheva (The City College of New York) and Richard Sander (University of California, Los Angeles) for their article, “Structural Versus Ethnic Dimensions of Housing Segregation.” Kucheva and Sander were the recipients of an honorable mention for the 2019 Best Article in the Journal of Urban Affairs Award for a 2018 published article. The award is sponsored by Routledge | Taylor & Francis Group, the official publisher of the Journal of Urban Affairs.

Award Committee Assessment:

“As part of the Best JUA Paper Award for 2018, the committee is pleased to give an Honorable Mention to Yana Kucheva and Richard Sander for their paper entitled “Structural Versus Ethnic Dimensions of Housing Segregation”. In their paper, Kucheva and Sander propose an innovative method disaggregating the traditional measure of segregation, the index of dissimilarity, to separate structural influences from racial/ethnic influences in residential segregation, while recognizing that these categories are closely linked. Few studies attempt to distinguish and measure both components. The author tested their method through simulations that randomly assign households based on non-racial factors using 1960 to 2010 geocoded microdata from the US Census obtained for major metropolitan areas. The writing is clear and made accessible to a broad audience, including the technical dimension of the research. Their contribution could be of value to researchers and actors interested in understanding residential development patterns, including affordable housing advocates, planners, housing policy-makers.”

Award Committee:

Hélène Bélanger, Committee Chair (Université du Québec à Montréal), Maureen Donaghy (Rutgers University), Hee-Jung Jun (Sungkyunkwan University), Travis Young (Pennsylvania State University), Stacy Moak (University of Alabama Birmingham), Katharine Nelson (Rutgers University), and Daniel Scheller (University of Texas at El Paso) 

Award Winners:

Yana Kucheva is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at The City College of New York. She earned her Ph.D. in Sociology from UCLA and was a postdoctoral scholar at the Center on Poverty and Inequality at Stanford University. Her research focuses on the relationships between social policy, social stratification, neighborhood inequality, and the wellbeing of families and children. She has pursued two lines of inquiry: one that examines the relationship between neighborhood segregation, subsidized housing, and fair housing laws and one that examines the relationship between housing policy, household formation, and the transition to adulthood. Her work has appeared in City & Community, Demography, Population Research and Policy Review, Social Science Research, and the Journal of Urban Affairs. Most recently, she has co-authored a book, titled Moving Toward Integration: The Past and Future of Fair Housing, published by Harvard University Press.

Richard Sander is an economist and law professor at UCLA School of Law, and Director of the UCLA-RAND Center for Law & Public Policy. His work examines social policies aimed at reducing inequality, and examines their efficacy using tools drawn from sociology, economics, law, and other disciplines. His findings often show that policy efficacy depends heavily on context and careful monitoring. Sander’s work on the potentially counter-productive effects of preferential admissions policies in higher education helped to spur a large economics literature on peer effects, and has been often covered in such publications as The New York Times, The Economist, and The Wall Street Journal. His recent book, Moving Toward Integration(published by Harvard University Press, and coauthored by Yana Kucheva and Jonathan Zasloff), contends that the federal Fair Housing Act had powerful effects that varied widely across the United States and depended heavily on the demographic structure of individual metropolitan areas.