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UPP 101 Introduction to Urban Studies Fall 2003 -- Research and Information Sources Prof John A. Shuler alfred@uic.edu The roots of urban studies literature The field of urban studies draws its theory, research, practice from several information sources:

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upp 101 introduction to urban studies

UPP 101 Introduction to Urban Studies

Fall 2003 -- Research and Information Sources

Prof John A. Shuler

alfred@uic.edu

the roots of urban studies literature
The roots of urban studies literature

The field of urban studies draws its theory, research, practice from several information sources:

  • Original Research – academic institutions, professional associations, independent researchers
  • Journals and Periodic Reports
  • Government records, legal documents and other forms of public information (scientific, regulatory, economic, social, environmental and health)
  • Private and Public Interest Organizations
  • Commercial publishers
  • Historic records, archives (newspapers, personal accounts, oral traditions)
understanding the nature of urban studies literature
Understanding the nature of Urban studies literature

Evaluating the validity and usefulness of urban studies literature depends on how well one grasps the following conditions:

  • The elemental governmental mechanisms (and policies) that make an urban environment a viable human community
  • The authority/accuracy of information sources
  • A basic understanding of how the information was gathered and for what purpose (i.e. an academic study, required by the public authorities, anecdotes from the local community, propaganda from special interest groups.
how urban studies literature is organized in libraries i
How Urban Studies literature is organized in Libraries I

Life in traditional libraries are organized along three schemes. The first is:

  • The Library Catalog (UICCAT): which organizes books, journals/magazines, other types of publications purchased from all kinds of publishers or organizations.
    • Traditional scheme of access: subject, title, author
    • Material organized on physical shelves according to title, library classification scheme, or accession number.
    • Material can be accessed in the building or checked out one person at a time.
how urban studies literature is organized in libraries ii
How Urban Studies literature is organized in Libraries II

The second scheme involves the use of indexes, abstracts, guides, bibliographies, and other “reference tools” to identify “non-book” material. This includes:

  • articles in periodicals,
  • government documents, reports, legal cases, studies
  • Dissertations, special studies, “gray literature” produced by professional organizations, interest groups, and/or advocates of particular policies
how urban studies literature is organized in libraries ii cont
How Urban Studies literature is organized in Libraries II, cont.

Examples of these kinds of indexes and abstracts include (in many cases, there are both electronic and paper versions):

  • PAIS International
  • Sage Urban Studies Abstracts
  • Social Sciences Abstracts
  • Social Services Abstracts
  • Social Work Abstracts
  • Sociological Abstracts
  • TRAN - Journal article index from Transportation Library, Northwestern University
how urban studies literature is organized in libraries iii
How Urban Studies literature is organized in Libraries III

In some cases, Libraries organize material into special collections, arrangements or formats. At UIC this includes:

  • The Special Collections and University Archives (contains a good deal of primary material about the Chicago metro area, local neighborhood organizations)
  • The Map Collections: atlases, sheet maps, air photography
  • The Documents Collections: information produced by local, state, and federal governments
  • The Microforms Department
urban social groups and change
Urban Social Groups and Change

What information sources inform the research:

  • Census/statistical reports
  • Economic analyses
  • Environmental studies
  • Legal and regulatory regimes
  • Political and legislative decisions
urban public health and safety
Urban Public Health and Safety

What sources of information inform the research

  • Criminal justice statistics and reports
  • Public health studies
  • Epidemiological analyses
  • Mediation of biological, industrial, and natural conditions (i.e. sewage and waste treatment
  • Transportation and “flow patterns” within an urban region
some suggested sources of information about the chicago
Some suggested sources of information about the Chicago

Selected Bibliography

Andreas, A.T. History of Chicago from the Earliest Period to the Present Time. Chicago: A.T. Andreas, 1884-86.

Holli, Melvin G. and Peter d'A. Jones, eds. Ethnic Chicago: a Multicultural Portrait. 4th ed. Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 1995.

Holt, Glen E. and Dominic A. Pacyga. Chicago a Historical Guide to the Neighborhoods: the Loop and South Side. Chicago: Chicago Historical Society, 1979.

Pierce, Bessie Louise. A History of Chicago. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1975.

Schulze, Franz and Kevin Harrington, eds. Chicago's Famous Buildings: a Photographic Guide to the City's Architectural Landmarks and Other Notable Buildings. 4th ed., rev. and enl. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993.

Chicago Fact Book Consortium, ed. Local community fact book: Chicago metropolitan area based on the 1990 census. Chicago: University of Illinois at Chicago, 1995

Taken, in part, from: Research Guides: Chicago History

some suggested sources of information about the chicago11
Some suggested sources of information about the Chicago
  • Chicago Timeline- includes links to information sheets compiled by the Chicago Municipal Reference Library such as:
    • Eastland Disaster
    • Brief History of the Chicago Fire Department
    • Chicago's Historic Watertower
    • Great Fire
    • Brief History of the Chicago Police Department
  • Chicago Daily News Photographs- A collection of over 55,000 images of urban life captured on glass plate negatives between 1902 and 1933 by photographers employed by the Chicago Daily News, then one of Chicago's leading newspapers. From the Library of Congress' American Memory Project.
  • Chicago's Mayors- Photographs, Chronology, Biographical Information, Inaugural Addresses and Gravesites. Compiled by the Municipal Reference Library.
  • Columbian Exposition- Information on the Worlds Fair - Columbian Exposition of 1893 compiled for the Internet 1996 World Exposition.
  • Facts about Chicago- Most recent 2001 facts. Compiled by the Municipal Reference Collection, City of Chicago.
  • Great Chicago Fire and the Web of Memory- A commemorative exhibition created by the Chicago Historical Society and Northwestern University. Includes lots of information and resources on the Chicago Fire.
  • Urban Experience in Chicago: Hull-House and Its Neighborhoods, 1889-1963- Sponsored by the Jane Addams Hull House Museum and the University of Illinois at Chicago, this online project contains a variety of primary source documents, documentary photographs, and scholarly essays that explore the legacy of social reform movements in Chicago and the community's history.

Taken from: Research Guides: Chicago History

some suggested web sites relevant to urban studies
Some suggested Web sites relevant to Urban Studies
  • Center for an Urban Future - dedicated to incubating and promoting equitable and practical solutions to complex urban problems.
  • Center for Urban Studies - conducts applied research and tests demonstration projects. It also provides technical assistance and a wide variety of data to many constituents.
  • Centre for Urban History - inter-disciplinary research centre engaged in the study of urban development principally in Britain and Europe, from classical times until the twentieth century.
  • Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies - IHS - an international training institute providing training, institutional development, advisory services and research in the field of urban management, housing and urban environment.
  • Institute of Metropolitan Studies - Portland State University - service and research center serving the region and furthering the urban mission of Portland State University.
  • Lincoln Institute of Land Policy - nonprofit educational institution established to study and teach land policy, including land economics, and land taxation.
  • Megacities 2000 Foundation - assemble knowledge and understanding for all imaginable disciplines, in an attempt to draw up a "Codex Megacities".
  • Urban Institute - objectives are to sharpen thinking about society's problems and improve government decisions and their implementation.
some suggested web sites relevant to urban studies13
Some suggested Web sites relevant to Urban Studies
  • Centre for Urban Ecology - working to promote and create ecologically integrated human settlements.
  • Douglas College - Institute of Urban Ecology - sustaining the livability and health of urban areas, especially British Columbia's Lower Mainland, through the preservation and enhancement of their natural environment.
  • Urban Ecology - nonprofit with several projects related to eco-city development and design.
  • Urban Ecology & the Architecture of Ecopolis - discusses connections between the city and the biosphere.
  • About: Cities and Urban Geography - articles and resources examining the cities of the world and their development, growth, and distribution.
  • California State University, Los Angeles - Geography & Urban Analysis
  • Center for Land Use Interpretation - dedicated to the increase and diffusion of information about how the world's lands are apportioned, utilized, and perceived.
  • Center for Urban Policy and the Environment - public policy discourse and decision making through service, scholarly publications, and applied research.
  • Urban Land Institute - providing leadership in the responsible use of land to enhance the total environment.
  • UrbanFutures.org - devoted to providing market oriented analysis of land use and economic development issues. A program of the Reason Public Policy Institute.
  • Urban Affairs Association - international professional organization for urban scholars and researchers; sponsors the Journal of Urban Affairs, and holds an annual meeting every spring.
  • Urban Drift - collaborative platform for contemporary urban strategies.
  • Urban Issues in Developing Countries - features several papers on urban studies and development.
researching the concept of urban some final thoughts
Researching the concept of “Urban”: some final thoughts

Think very carefully about your research question; just because you can frame your query does not mean that there is an answer

Understand how information is arranged or organized – and use this knowledge to enhance your research

Shuler’s law of libraries: take the amount of time it will take you to finish a project and multiply that number by three to get the actual amount of time it will take you to finish.

The concept of “urban” is based understood as a process rather than something static; so too information about the urban