University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Urban and Regional Planning

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Urban and Regional Planning Faculty

Urban and Regional Planning > Faculty

Course Syllabi:

    Fall 2012PLAN 603 - Economic Analysis for Urban Planning and Policy: Principles, Public Finance and Economic Geography View Syllabus
  • POLS 390 - Political Inquiry and Analysis: Urban Politics and Policy View Syllabus


Title: The Urban Health Transition Hypothesis: Empirical Evidence of an Avian Influenza Kuznets Curve in Vietnam (PDF) (2012)
Publication Information: ABSTRACT The literature on development has focused on the concept of transition in understanding the emergent challenges facing poor but rapidly developing countries.Scholars have focused extensively on the health and urban transitions associated with this change and, in particular, its use for understanding emerging infectious diseases.However, few have developed explicit empirical measures to quantify the extent to which a transitions focus is useful for theory, policy, and practice. Using open source data on avian influenza in 2004 and 2005 and the Vietnam Census of Population and Housing, this paper introduces the Kuznets curve as a tool for empirically estimating transition and disease. Findings suggest that the Kuznets curve is a viable tool for empirically assessing the role of transitional dynamics in the emergence of new infectious diseases.

Title: Periurbanization, Public Finance and Local Governance of the Environment: Lessons from small-scale water suppliers in Gresik, Indonesia (PDF) (2010)
Co Authors: Craig Guzinsky
Publication Information: As cities in the developing world transition from agricultural to industrial societies, periurban settlement has placed tremendous burdens on the state to provide adequate water infrastructure and to regulate environmental pollution. In the absence of formal municipal systems, community-level forms of water supply have proliferated in periurban areas. The case of Indonesia illustrates the extent of such organizations, and in particular the capacities that neighborhood-level organizations have for financing public infrastructures and managing such investments for community development. The findings suggest that such informal institutions may form the backbone of a broader understanding of development alternatives in periurban areas.

Title: Household Strategies for Securing Clean Water The Demand for Piped Water in Vietnam’s Peri-Urban Settlements (PDF) (2008)
Publication Information: To date, there have been relatively few studies of small-scale providers of water in developing countries, though they are seen to be important players in peri-urban water supply systems. This paper uses the case of small-scale providers in Can Tho, Vietnam, to examine competition in local water markets, and how piped water compares with a range of lower-quality traditional sources. Although previous studies have usefully employed contingent valuation to estimate the demand for low quality, the evidence provided here estimates demand based on actual household choices regarding water of differing qualities and prices. Using an original household survey, the paper assesses the comparative advantages regarding costs, uses, and perceived advantages/challenges of each source. Findings suggest that household demand for piped water exists, but not on a sufficient scale to obviate more traditional sources, even though it is surprisingly affordable when compared to what residents pay for natural sources. Findings also suggest that the main perceived advantage of the piped system is not for its hygienic quality, but for aesthetic characteristics such as taste, smell,and color. Scholars might continue to pursue research in situations where households are not limited in their ability to choose water sources of varying qualities.

Title: An Emergent Landscape of Inequality in Southeast Asia: Cementing Socio-Spatial Inequalities in Viet Nam (PDF) (2010)
Publication Information: Contemporary versions of globalization assume that market deregulation is the precursor to democratic development and the growth of livable cities. This paper examines the specific case of Viet Nam to describe how the creation and construction of cities in the developing world may be laying the foundations for future social inequality. Using a futures oriented method, the paper reviews the development of urban poverty in North America during a period of rapid urban transition as a heuristic device for understanding some of the potentially unobservable, yet festering problems with the trajectory of development in Viet Nam. The paper uses the examples of new urban social institutions, residential and economic segregation, and the creation of ‘new towns’ to highlight the importance of new forms of local governance, as well the declining relevance of national authorities. The paper ends with a brief discussion of four ‘ideological cages’ that are likely to become increasingly constrictive to urban analysts as Vietnamese cities develop.

Title: Neighborhood Economic Development Effects of the Earned Income Tax Credit in Los Angeles: Poor Places and Policies for the Working Poor (PDF) (2007)
Publication Information: This paper explores the effect of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) on poor neighborhoods of Los Angeles during the late 1990s. To date, few analyses have empirically examined the impact of people-based policies on the economies of poor neighborhoods. The paper first documents the magnitude of this individual wage subsidy in Los Angeles as an unrecognized investment in poor neighborhoods on par with place-based policies such as Enterprise Zones. The paper then uses IRS and Economic Census data by ZIP Code to test whether increased EITC income has an effect on the neighborhood retail job base. Findings suggest an independent correlation between EITC investments and retail job gain. The conclusion uses these results to suggest better policy coordination and recommend four productive areas for future research.

Honors / Awards:

National Institutes of Health (2004)

Thomas J. Watson Fellow (1990)

Social Science Research Council Fellow (2006)

Environmental Leadership Program Fellowship (2000)


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