Urban Pressures and Innovations: Sustainability Commitment in the Face of Fragmentation and Inequality

  • April 2017
  • Peer-Reviewed Articles
  • Multiple

Deslatte, A., Feiock R. Wassel, K. (2017).  “Urban Pressures and Innovations: Sustainability Commitment in the Face of Fragmentation and Inequality.” Review of Policy Research, 34(5): 700–724.

ABSTRACT: Local government innovations occur within environments characterized by high service-need complexity and risk. The question of how broader environmental conditions influence governmental willingness or ability to innovate has been a long-standing concern within organizational, management, and policy scholarship. Although wealth and education are robust predictors of the propensity to engage in a wide range of local sustainability activities, the linkages among governmental fragmentation, social inequality, and sustainability policies are not well understood. This study focuses on the conditions both within and across city boundaries in urban regions which inhibit adoption of sustainable development innovations. We utilize a Bayesian item response theory approach to create a new scale measuring sustainability commitment by local governments in the United States. The analysis finds service-need complexity and capacity within local governments’ organizational task environments have nonlinear influences on innovation in terms of both green building and social inclusion policy tools.

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