Publications

2019
City Design, Planning & Policy Innovations: The Case of Hermosillo
Diane E. Davis, Felipe Vera, Andreina Seijas, and Diego Arcia. 2019. City Design, Planning & Policy Innovations: The Case of Hermosillo. Cambridge: Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Publisher's VersionAbstract

In an increasingly urbanized world, cities have become platforms for innovation and change, particularly in developing countries. In Latin America and the Caribbean, emerging cities have taken center stage. While megacities face great challenges to distribute goods and services to large populations, intermediate cities provide a more sustainable alternative. Planning for their growth is one of the goals of the Emerging and Sustainable Cities (ESC) program at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which has supported more than 80 intermediate urban areas throughout the region. Hermosillo is the capital of the border state of Sonora. Located 280 km south of the U.S. border, Hermosillo has historically been influenced by bigger cities located in its northern neighbor, especially by Phoenix and Tucson. With 850,000 inhabitants, Hermosillo is not only the capital, but also the largest city—in demographic terms—of the state. It limits to the West with the Gulf of California and to the South with the Guaymas municipality, one of Mexico’s main ports in the Pacific Ocean.

Future of Streets
Diane E. Davis and Andres Sevtsuk. 2019. “Future of Streets.” In The Mathematics of Urban Morphology, edited by Luca D'Acci, Pp. 537-546. Cham: Birkhäuser. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Rapidly evolving mobility technologies and the associated behavioral adjustments of travelers are bringing about dramatic changes to the morphology of cities, some of which have already begun to take root. With the seemingly endless amounts of data that technology is producing about life in cities, new mathematical modeling techniques will be required to fully understand the impact these changes will have on society. As a consequence of innovation in personal mobility technologies, a combination of autonomous and electric vehicles is being seen by many as the solution to personalized and inexpensive urban transport. In this chapter, we explore some of the ways in which this version of the future of streets could reverse decades worth of efforts by cities to reduce congestion and contain sprawl unless policy-makers are proactive in responding to these disruptive forces. Without active efforts to prioritize shared, public, and active mobility, the introduction of automated modes for transporting both humans and goods in an already contested public realm could mean a reversion to Modernist practices of privileging speed, efficiency, and function over human-scale interactions and serendipity. Politically contentious decisions will need to be made around questions of social, environmental, economic, and public health priorities to ensure that streets are made livable and accessible, particularly for vulnerable and marginalized groups. Ultimately, recognizing that the interests of pedestrians, bicyclists, public transit users as well as stationary street users should take priority over those of personal vehicles (autonomous ones in particular) is key to guiding changing urban morphologies in a way that places sustainability and human-focused development at the forefront.
Review: Too Big: Rebuild by Design: A Transformative Approach to Climate Change
Diane E. Davis. 2019. “Review: Too Big: Rebuild by Design: A Transformative Approach to Climate Change.” Technology | Architecture + Design, 3, 1, Pp. 117-119. Publisher's VersionAbstract
When Hurricane Sandy hit the New York and New Jersey coasts in October 2012, the region was immobilized for days. Although Sandy’s status was reduced from a Category 3 hurricane at its peak to a Category 2 hurricane when it arrived at the northeast coast—and subsequently reduced to a tropical storm when it made landfall near Atlantic City on October 29th—Sandy’s impact on the United States was monumental and unprecedented. In New York City and its surrounds, the storm disrupted power supplies to millions of residents and businesses. Official statistics show that at least 233 people were killed along the path of the storm, and several hundred thousand homes were destroyed. What was colloquially called “Superstorm Sandy” was soon identified as the deadliest and most destructive storm of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season, inflicting nearly $70 billion (2012 USD) in damage. Because both the environmental devastation and property loss were enormous, Hurricane Sandy produced impassioned calls for action. The ways public authorities responded to this disaster soon became as significant as the storm itself.
2018
El Reajuste Espacial de Estategias de Seguridad: Tácticas de Estado y Respuestas Cuidadanas a La Violencia en la Ciudad de México
Diane E. Davis and Guillermo Ruiz de Teresa. 2018. “El Reajuste Espacial de Estategias de Seguridad: Tácticas de Estado y Respuestas Cuidadanas a La Violencia en la Ciudad de México.” In Gobernando la Ciudad de Mexico: Lo Que se Gobierna y lo Que No Se Gobierna en una Gran Metrópoli, edited by Patrick Le Galès and Vicente Ugalde, Pp. 131-160. Mexico City: El Colegio de México. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Muchas ciudades del mundo en desarrollo se han estado enfrentando a una creciente violencia e inseguridad (Moser, 2004; Rotker, 2002), acontecimientos que son evidentes por el aumento de las tasas de homicidios, robos, asaltos y secuestros, así como en la violencia relacionada con el contrabando (que muchas veces involucra drogas y armas).
Governmental Capacity and the Smart Mobility Transition
Diane E. Davis. 2018. “Governmental Capacity and the Smart Mobility Transition.” In Governance of the Smart Mobility Transition, edited by Greg Marsden and Louise Reardon, Pp. 105-122. Bingley: Emerald. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Using materials drawn from San Francisco and Stockholm, this chapter assesses the extent to which recent efforts to upgrade transport services through smart mobility technologies have advanced short- or long-term urban policy aims in the arena of transport governance for sustainability. We argue that positive governance impacts depend largely on degrees of coordination and oversight. Our findings suggest that these aims are not going to be easily met by a network of competing private firms or individuals using smart technology to achieve their own singular trip priorities. Stated in the lingo of social science, the smart mobility transition will produce a ‘collective action problem’ if it remains in the hands of individual firms without some larger territorial and service coordination by governing authorities. To counter this possibility, we argue that transparent implementation processes involving multiple stakeholders will offer the best opportunity for ensuring that smart technology innovations will become a means for expanding governance capacity.
Reflections on 'The Politics of Informality': What We Know, How We Got There, and Where We Might Head Next
Diane E. Davis. 2018. “Reflections on 'The Politics of Informality': What We Know, How We Got There, and Where We Might Head Next.” Studies in Comparative International Development, 53, 3, Pp. 365-378. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Building on the methodological and empirical contributions of the various authors in this special symposium, this concluding reflection acknowledges the important role that informality plays in urban and national politics in the global South, even as it proposes a range of alternative ways, this critical topic could and should be inserted into contemporary scholarship in comparative politics. It begins with a discussion of two decades of research on urbanization and economic globalization, thus introducing a wider set of disciplinary concerns than merely urban servicing into the study of informality, ranging from the transformation of property rights regimes in the context of ascendant neo-liberalization to the recent emergence of more decentralized political structures for claim-making and governance. The essay then suggests that greater historical and contextual specificity in the study of informality, along with the methodological innovations highlighted in the papers, will further help reveal the range of responses to informality seen across the different case studies. Specifically, it proposes that closer attention to divergent urban and national pathways of democratization, attention to institutional variations within and across democratic regimes, political party dynamics at the local and national level, and the existence of urban violence, among other factors, will help explain how and why bureaucrats and elected officials may choose to deal differently with the existence of informality. The essay concludes by arguing that informality should be considered as both a form of governance and a means of enacting citizenship. It thus asks scholars to question the longstanding conceptual dichotomies that permeate much of the literature on informality, including the stark conceptual divide between the formal and informal, and instead to recognize that complex, interactive, and iterative relationships between citizens and the state in the arena of informality are what drive urban servicing and sociopolitical change.
Diane E. Davis. 2018. “Review: Street Democracy: Vendors, Violence, and Public Space in Late Twentieth-Century Mexico.” The American Historical Review, 123, 5, Pp. 1706-1707. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Democracy, street vending, violence, and public space are well-addressed themes in the literature on twentieth-century Mexico. In addition to my own account (Diane E. Davis, Urban Leviathan: Mexico City in the Twentieth Century [1994]), among the best works in this regard are books from John Lear (Workers, Neighbors, and Citizens: The Revolution in Mexico City [2001]), Pablo Piccato (City of Suspects: Crime in Mexico City, 1900–1931 [2001]), and John Cross (Informal Politics: Street Vendors and the State in Mexico City [1998]). In most of the writings on these interconnected themes, whether historiographical, sociological, or otherwise, the geographic site of inquiry is usually Mexico City.
Diane E. Davis. 2018. “Review: The Routinization of Violence in Latin America: Ethnographic Revelations.” Latin American Research Review, 53, 1, Pp. 211-216. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This essay reviews the following works:

In Harm’s Way: the Dynamics of Urban Violence. By Javier Auyero and María Fernanda Berti. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015. Pp. xi + 239. $24.95 paper. ISBN: 9780691164779.

Violence at the Urban Margins. Edited by Javier Auyero, Philippe Bourgois, and Nancy Scheper-Hughes. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015. Pp. vii + 323. $24.95 paper. ISBN: 9780190221454.

Bruno: Conversations with a Brazilian Drug Dealer. By Robert Gay. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2015. Pp. ix + 219. $23.95 paper. ISBN: 9780822358497.

The Spectacular Favela: Violence in Modern Brazil. By Erika Robb Larkins. Oakland: University of California Press, 2015. Pp. xi + 231. $29.95 paper. ISBN: 9780520282773.

Cities, Business, and the Politics of Urban Violence in Latin America. By Eduardo Moncada. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2016. Pp. vii + 219. $65.00 cloth. ISBN: 9780804794176.

Living with Insecurity in a Brazilian Favela: Urban Violence and Daily Life. By R. Ben Penglase. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. 2014. Pp. ix + 197. $26.95 paper. ISBN: 9780813565439.

Transforming Urban Transport
Diane E. Davis and Alan Altshuler. 2018. Transforming Urban Transport. London: Oxford University Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Transforming Urban Transport brings into focus the origins and implementation pathways of significant urban transport innovations that have recently been adopted in major, democratically governed world cities that are seeking to advance sustainability aims. It documents how proponents of new transportation initiatives confronted a range of administrative, environmental, fiscal, and political obstacles by using a range of leadership skills, technical resources, and negotiation capacities to move a good idea from the drawing board to implementation. The book's eight case studies focus on cities of great interest across the globe--Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Seoul, Stockholm, and Vienna--many of which are known for significant mayor leadership and efforts to rescale power from the nation to the city. The cases highlight innovations likely to be of interest to transport policy makers from all corners, such as strengthening public transportation services, vehicle and traffic management measures, repurposing roads and other urban spaces away from their initial function as vehicle travel corridors, and turning sidewalks and city streets into more pedestrian-friendly places for walking, cycling, and leisure. Aside from their transformative impacts in transportation terms, many of the policy innovations examined here have altered planning institutions, public-private sector relations, civil society commitments, and governance mandates in the course of implementation. In bringing these cases to the fore, Transforming Urban Transport advances understanding of the conditions under which policy interventions can expand institutional capacities and governance mandates, particularly linked to urban sustainability. As such, it is an essential contribution to larger debates about what it takes to make cities more environmentally sustainable and the types of strategies and tactics that best advance progress on these fronts in both the short- and the long-term.
2017
Violence, Fragmented Sovereignty, and Declining State Capacity: Rethinking the Legacies of Developmental Statism in Mexico
Diane E. Davis. 2/2017. “Violence, Fragmented Sovereignty, and Declining State Capacity: Rethinking the Legacies of Developmental Statism in Mexico.” In State Building in the Developing World, edited by Miguel Centeno, Atul Kohli, and Deborah Yashar, Pp. 63-92. Cambridge University Press. Publisher's Version
Diane E. Davis and Amy R. Olsson. 2017. “Expanding the Scope of Sustainability Planning: Lessons from Stockholm’s Congestion Charging Policy.” Urban Planning, 2, 4, Pp. 81-92. Publisher's VersionAbstract
In 2007, after years of unresolved debate, the Swedish parliament approved a congestion charge for Stockholm applied to cars crossing the city’s inner boundary. Since its introduction, congestion charging has led to an even more lasting reduction of car trips to the city center, in part because the policy generates revenues for financing new subway extensions and uses these same resources as the basis for negotiating new transit oriented housing in subway extension areas. As such, congestion charging is arguably as much a sustainable housing solution as it is a narrowly defined transit policy for reducing automobile congestion or pollution. This article investigates how and why Stockholm, despite considerable political conflict, technical complexity and negative public opinion, was able to turn a long-standing and controversial debate over moderating automobile traffic via tolls into widespread support for a national congestion tax, which itself laid the groundwork for a more expansive sustainability agenda. It further suggests that only when congestion charging was strategically reframed and widely recognized as addressing the concerns of multiple and competing constituencies, did efforts for its adoption translate into larger sustainability gains.
Diane E. Davis. 2017. “Governing Cities Facing Chronic Violence: Implications for Democratic Culture and State Accountability .” In Ciudad Siglo 21: Un debate necesario, edited by Daniel González Romero, Elizabeth Rivera Borrayo, and Adriana Inés Olivares González. Guadalajara, Mexico: Centro Universitario de Arte, Arquitectura, y Diseno, Universidad de Guadalajara.
Diane E. Davis and Mariana Barrera. 2017. “Resource Led New Towns and the Challenges to Sovereignty.” In The City and the Camp: Territories of Extraction, edited by Luis Valuenzuela. Santiago, Chile: Universidad Adolfo Ibanez.
Apocalypse Now?
Diane E. Davis. 2017. “Apocalypse Now?” In The Politics and the Publics of Violence in Latin America, edited by Gema Santamaria and David Carey. Oklahoma University Press.
Globalization, Governance, and the Collision of Forces in Mexico City’s Historic Center
Diane E. Davis. 2017. “Globalization, Governance, and the Collision of Forces in Mexico City’s Historic Center.” In Urban Latin America: Inequalities and Neoliberal Reforms, edited by Thomas Angotti. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publications.
Informality and State Theory: Some Concluding Remarks
Diane E. Davis. 2017. “Informality and State Theory: Some Concluding Remarks.” Current Sociology, 65, 2, Pp. 315-324. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Building on the comparative insights of this monograph issue’s contributors, this article offers a theoretical research agenda intended to transcend dichotomization and developmental divides. It argues that instead of a priori ascribing an undesirable normative character to informality, its presence should be seen as an opportunity for understanding the conditions under which multiple forms of claims-making, democracy, and justice will materialize. It further argues that informality serves as an under-explored but critical analytical point of departure for theorizing governance, citizenship, and social order. The article concludes with some thoughts on state theory and how informality provides a lens for conceiving of governance as a system of practices that link citizens, states, and markets, in turn providing a new way of categorizing similarities and differences across various state and developmental contexts.
Introduction: A Processual Approach to Informalization
Diane E. Davis and Julie-Anne Boudreau. 2017. “Introduction: A Processual Approach to Informalization.” Current Sociology, 65, 2, Pp. 151-166. Publisher's VersionAbstract
This introduction briefly reviews the intertwinement of ‘informality’ and ‘modernization’ and their implications for the theory and practice of the city. The editors identify the importance of recognizing uneven processes of informalization, emphasizing the need to compare the quality of state–citizen–market relations more than the quantity of ‘informality.’ In the process they ask whether and how informal and formal practices can help to rethink modern concepts such as citizenship, universal infrastructural access, organized resistance, and the state itself. One way to do so is to reposition these concepts as relational processes involving various actors, spaces, and temporalities rather than as essentialized objects. Such epistemological moves will shed light on the extent to which basic social needs such as the distribution of justice, the production of authority, and the regulation of class relations are not the sole terrain of the state, but negotiated relationally. The article concludes by proposing three epistemological devices – iterative comparison, ambiguous categories, and the use of hermeneutics – that can help scholars avoid the biases associated with essentialized categories.
Diane E. Davis. 2017. “Policing the Streets, Securing the People.” In Mexibility, edited by Moritz Ahlert and Friedrich Von Borries. Berlin, Germany: Goethe Institute.
Diane E. Davis. 2017. “Preface.” In Urban Black Holes, edited by Jean-Pierre Crouse. Lima, Peru: Patronato Cultural de Peru.
Resilience, Security, and Spaces of Migrant Refuge
Diane Davis and Marianne Potvin. 2017. “Resilience, Security, and Spaces of Migrant Refuge.” In Handbook on Migration and Security, edited by Philippe Bourbeau. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing. Publisher's VersionAbstract
This Handbook provides a state-of-the-art analysis of the critically important links between migration and security in a globalising world, and presents original contributions suggesting innovative and emerging frontiers in the study of the securitization of migration. Experts from different fields reflect on their respective conceptualisations of the migration-security nexus, and consider how an interdisciplinary and multifaceted dialogue can stimulate and enrich our understanding of the securitisation of migration in the contemporary world. 

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