This year, Dr. Philip Garboden (University of Hawai`i at M?noa) and Dr. Christine Jang-Trettien (Princeton University) were selected as the recipients of the 2021 Best Article in the Journal of Urban Affairs Award for their article, “‘There’s money to be made in community’: Real estate developers, community organizing, and profit-making in a shrinking city.” The award is sponsored by Routledge | Taylor & Francis Group, the official publisher of the Journal of Urban Affairs.

Award Committee Assessment:

Pictured from left to right: Philip ME Garboden (University of Hawai`i at M?noa), Christine Jang-Trettien (Princeton University)
Pictured from left to right: Philip ME Garboden (University of Hawai`i at M?noa), Christine Jang-Trettien (Princeton University)

“We are pleased to announce Philip ME Garboden and Christine Jang-Trettien as the recipients of the Best Paper award in the Journal of Urban Affairs for 2020 (volume 42). In their paper entitled “`There’s money to be made in community’: Real estate developers, community organizing, and profit-making in a shrinking city” the authors explore the practices of real estate developers engaging in actions traditionally done by government and nonprofit actors. Using ethnographic data combined with numerous interviews of developers, landlords, and residents, the authors provide an in-depth and nuanced view into developers’ complicated practices in one neighborhood in Baltimore. While engaging in redevelopment, developers also engaged in community organizing activities. These activities are to their benefit and in line with the wants of legacy homeowners and potentially to the detriment of renters. Their findings challenge the literature to think more completely about developers’ actions, the implications of such developer behaviors, and the broader social justice implications in shrinking cities.”

Award Committee:

Chris Goodman, Committee Chair (Northern Illinois University), Kathryn Howell (Virginia Commonwealth University), Xi Huang (University of Central Florida), Emine Koseoglu (Fatih Sultan Mehmet Vakif University), and Katharine Nelson (Rutgers University)

Award Winner:

Philip ME Garboden holds a Ph.D. in Sociology, a Master’s in Public Policy, and a Master’s in Applied Math and Statistics, all from Johns Hopkins University. He now serves as the endowed HCRC Professor in Affordable Housing Economics, Policy, and Planning (Assistant Rank) in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning and the UH Economic Research Organization at the University of Hawai`i at M?noa. His work examines how supply side actors, particularly landlords and developers, respond to public policy in ways that impact the lives of poor families. In work funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (among others), Garboden and his wondrous collaborators collected 150 interviews with urban landlords in Baltimore, Dallas, Cleveland, and Washington, DC. His book, American Landlord, (currently in process with coauthor Eva Rosen) addresses the contradictions of America’s low-end rental housing through a nuanced examination of those who profit from it. Other work has focused on neighborhood change and redevelopment, housing mobility, decision support tools for blight remediation, housing discrimination, and Public Housing redevelopment. He exists in close collaboration with a wife and three young children, one of whom is sometimes a potato.

Christine Jang-Trettien is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Princeton University’s Office of Population Research. She previously received her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University and M.A. from Columbia University. Christine’s research interests include housing and credit markets, community development, social policy, poverty and social inequality. Her current book project is a multi-method study of risks associated with low-income housing markets in Baltimore. The book delves into how investors use obfuscated structures of exchange to shield themselves from liability and profit from distress. She previously managed a longitudinal study of neighborhood change in Baltimore. She also conducted qualitative research for Creating Moves to Opportunity, a housing mobility program in Seattle and King County. Her research has been supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and Office of the President, Johns Hopkins University. Her work appears, or is forthcoming, in Social Problems, Journal of Urban Affairs, and City & Community.