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Planning for Equitable Neighborhood Change:
An Analysis of Local Policies to Preserve Residential and Commercial
This dissertation examines municipal governments’ capacity for equitable neighborhood development through a study of city-level efforts to preserve residential and commercial affordability in low-income neighborhoods that experience reinvestment or redevelopment. An equitable development framework recognizes that although reinvestment and redevelopment have the potential to improve living conditions, raise critical property tax revenue, and reduce socioeconomic segregation, the associated increases in living costs and changes to neighborhood character can directly or indirectly displace low-income residents and jeopardize their chances of benefitting from neighborhood improvements. Despite considerable political and fiscal limits on municipal governments’ policy options for mitigating displacement, numerous cities have introduced equitable development policies designed to balance reinvestment with an active planning role, continued affordability, and preservation of services for incumbent residents. This dissertation systematically documents these policies using a novel survey of the 150 largest city government jurisdictions in the U.S. and quantitatively analyzes the conditions that motivate and facilitate their adoption and implementation. Interviews with governmental and community stakeholders will further investigate how these actors navigate the fiscal and political constraints associated with planning for equitable neighborhood change.
Ph.D. Student in Urban Planning, Columbia University, New York (2012-present)
M.Sc. City Design and Social Science, London School of Economics, London (2006-2007)
(Hons) B.A. Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Toronto, Toronto (2002-2006)
Graduate Research Assistant, Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture, Columbia University, New York (2015)
Research and Evaluation Intern, Department of Housing Preservation & Development, New York (2015)
Graduate Research Assistant, Center for Urban Real Estate, Columbia University, New York (2014)
Research Associate, World Policy Analysis Center, University of California, Los Angeles (2013)
Research Projects Manager, McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy, Montreal (2008-2012)
Research and Communications Coordinator, Plan Institute for Caring Citizenship, Vancouver (2008)
Research Assistant, Center for Research on Inner-City Health, Toronto (2007)
Adjunct Instructor, Labor and the Economy, Harry Van Arsdale Jr. Center for Labor Studies, State University of New York (2015)
Instructor, Introduction to Economics Workshop, Columbia University (2014-2015)
Teaching Assistant, Economics for Planners, Columbia University (2013-2015)
SELECTED PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS
Conference Papers and Presentations
Cassola, A. & Freeman, L. (2014). ‘Housing assistance and residential satisfaction in a comparative perspective: Evidence from the US and the UK.’ Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning 54th Annual Conference, Philadelphia.
Cassola, A. (2013). ‘Gentrification and the state: Policy responses to residential displacement in New York, London and Berlin.’ ‘Empire, City, Nature’, 2nd Annual Conference of the Center for Metropolitan Studies, York University and the University of Toronto, Toronto.
Freeman, L., Cassola, A., & Cai, T. (2015). ‘Displacement and gentrification in England and Wales: A quasi-experimental approach.’ Urban Studies (July 31), 1-18.
Cassola, A., Raub, A., & Heymann, J. (2015). ‘Constitutional rights in an era of increased migration: Evidence from 193 countries.’ International Journal of Human Rights (September 25), 1-23.
Cassola, A., Raub, A., Foley, D., & Heymann, J. (2014). ‘Where do women stand? New evidence on the presence and absence of gender equality in the world’s constitutions.’ Politics & Gender 10(2): 200-235.
Heymann, J., Raub, A., & Cassola, A. (2014). ‘Constitutional rights to education and their relationship to national policy and school enrollment.’ International Journal of Educational Development 39: 121-131.
Heymann, J., Raub, A. & Cassola, A. (2013). ‘Does prohibiting child labor increase secondary school enrolment? Insights from a new global dataset.’ International Journal of Educational Research 60: 38-45.
Heymann, J. & Cassola, A., eds. (2012). Making equal rights real: Taking effective action to overcome global challenges. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Heymann, J. & Cassola, A., eds. (2012). Lessons in educational equality: Successful approaches to intractable problems around the world. New York: Oxford University Press.
Book Chapters and Book Reviews
Heymann. J. & Cassola. A. (2012). ‘Achieving equal rights: Lessons from global efforts.’ In Heymann, J. & Cassola, A., eds. Making equal rights real: Taking effective action to overcome global challenges. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Heymann J. & Cassola A. (2012). ‘Ending educational exclusion.’ Heymann, J. & Cassola, A., eds. Lessons in educational equality: Successful approaches to intractable problems around the world. New York: Oxford University Press.
Cassola, A. (2007). ‘Book review: Neighbourhood renewal and housing markets.’ (Beider H., ed. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing). Local Economy, 22(3): 312 – 314.