Frescoln Wins Impact Award

Kirstin Frescoln

Kirstin Frescoln

The UNC-Chapel Hill Graduate School’s annual Graduate Education Advancement Board Impact Awards recognize graduate students for contributions they are making to our state. The longstanding Impact Award recognizes discoveries with a direct impact on our state in the present time. Kirstin Frescoln, UNC Center for Urban and Regional Studies researcher and City and Regional Planning doctoral candidate, was one of the Impact Award winners for her work examining the Charlotte Housing Authority’s work requirement policy.

The Charlotte Housing Authority (CHA) is one of eight public housing authorities nationwide that enforces a work requirement for work-able residents. The CHA contracted with UNC-Chapel Hill’s Center for Urban and Regional Studies to conduct a 10-year evaluation of a series of reforms including the work requirement. Frescoln directed research, as a part of the study, to inform policymakers on why and how the work requirements have been implemented, and the policy’s effect on family well-being. Her work and that of the Center is believed to be the only empirical evaluation of public housing work requirements.

Frescoln’s findings indicate that Charlotte’s public housing work policy, which is implemented with case management and employment supports, largely fulfills the CHA’s goal of enhancing family economic mobility. A majority of residents she interviewed said they support the work requirement. Wage employment was found to increase while eviction rates did not, and family well-being was not found to decrease as a result of the policy. Frescoln interviewed housing authority staff from the eight U.S. housing authorities with work requirements, and CHA leadership, managers, front-line staff and residents subject to the work requirement. She interviewed residents subject to the Charlotte policy three times and shared her reports with interviewees to ensure accuracy and gain their perspective on additional questions she should ask.

Frescoln’s findings are critical to state and national policymakers who are considering the potential effectiveness of public housing work requirements and the needs of people living within these communities.

“There is very little research on the effects of work requirements on public housing residents who would lose their housing assistance if they do not work. Kirstin’s dissertation research has the potential to have wide-ranging implications for housing policy and practice in Charlotte and throughout the United States,” said adviser Mai Nguyen, Ph.D.

Local Entrepreneurship Workshop in Italy

On March 13-14, 2017, two representatives from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will take part in a CURS-supported international workshop in Trento, Italy on The Realm of Entrepreneurship: The Local Perspective. The workshop will highlight the nature and role of entrepreneurship in modern developed and emerging economies, and its relation to governments, universities and the nonprofit sector.

Buck Goldstein

Buck Goldstein

It aims to explain the growth and performance of economies and resilience or vulnerability to crisis with an emphasis on innovation processes and patterns at the local level and in small- and medium-sized enterprises.

University Entrepreneur in Residence Buck Goldstein, professor of the practice in the Department of Economics at UNC-Chapel Hill and Researcher Mary Donegan from UNC-Chapel Hill’s Center for Community Capital will attend. Goldstein will present on “Universities as Vehicles for Local Innovation and Economic Development” with Donegan speaking on “Innovation from the Edge: Universities, Entrepreneurship and the Rise of Localism.”

The workshop will take a comparative approach in looking at entrepreneurship and its interplay with governance and the generation of knowledge by focusing on three distinct international cases: a dominant emerging economy (China), a developed independent market economy (United States) and integrated developed market economies – both resilient and vulnerable – within the Eurozone common currency area.

Mary Donegal

Mary Donegan

Partners in this effort include: the DELoS (Development Economics and Local Systems) Ph.D. program, Doctoral School of Social Sciences, Department of Economics and Management and School in Social Sciences, University of Trento; the Department of Economics and Business Sciences, University of Florence; the Department of City & Regional Planning and Center for Urban and Regional Studies, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and the School of Economics and Centre for Research of Private Economy, Zhejiang University.

This workshop, at the University of Trento in Italy, is the first of three, to be followed by future events hosted in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Zhejiang, China.

Former CURS Director Jonathan Howes Dies at 78

Jonathan Howes / Photo by Dan Sears, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Jonathan Howes / Photo by Dan Sears, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

June 2, 2015

Jonathan Broome Howes, director of the Center for Urban and Regional Studies from 1970 to 1992, passed away last weekend at the age of 78. He will be remembered as a vibrant, dedicated and compassionate leader and public servant.

In 1959, Jonathan, who was completing his master’s degree in City and Regional Planning at UNC-Chapel Hill, worked at the Center as a research assistant. After graduation, he left Chapel Hill to work at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development but was recruited back to the University by F. Stuart Chapin, Jr., the outgoing director, to lead the Center into a new era of translating research into practice. Jonathan encouraged his staff to apply the Center’s research expertise to the problems facing urban America and to engage with local and state agencies. He led by example, serving as City Council member for the town of Chapel Hill for over a decade, and as a two-term mayor of Chapel Hill, all while continuing his leadership of the Center and teaching at the UNC Department of City and Regional Planning. Continue reading