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Reflecting on Cityscape’s Most Cited Articles

Message From PD&R Senior Leadership
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Reflecting on Cityscape’s Most Cited Articles

Mark Shroder.Mark Shroder, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of Research, Evaluation, and Monitoring.

Cityscape, launched in 1994, is the scholarly journal of HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R). The journal, which publishes three issues annually, is aimed at policymakers, academics, and practitioners and features articles that contribute to the body of knowledge on housing and community development. I have been the managing editor of Cityscape since 2007.

The journal consists of three major sections: the Symposia, the Refereed Papers, and the Departments.

The papers in each issue’s Symposium section share a common theme and are selected by guest editors, sometimes with double-blind refereeing. In 2022, this section focused on three themes: Opportunity Zones, the measurement of blight, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on U.S. housing markets. The four themes planned for 2023 will explore housing technology projects, the reentry of ex-offenders into housing, recent zoning reforms, and a reconsideration of the past 100 years of the federally sponsored model planning and zoning codes.

The standard metric for determining the research value of a particular work of scholarship is the number of times it is cited in other research articles. All 20 of the most frequently cited Cityscape articles, as reported by Google Scholar, appeared in Cityscape’s Symposium section.

Authors Title Year Citations*
Quigley and Rosenthal The Effects of Land Use Regulation on the Price of Housing: What Do We Know? What Can We Learn? 2005 476
Glaeser Cities, Information, and Economic Growth 1994 363
Brophy and Smith Mixed-Income Housing: Factors for Success 1997 330
Schwartz and Tajbakhsh Mixed-Income Housing: Unanswered Questions 1997 222
Coulton, Theodos, and Turner Residential Mobility and Neighborhood Change: Real Neighborhoods Under the Microscope 2012 180
Nelson, Ehrenfeucht, and Laska Planning, Plans, and People: Professional Expertise, Local Knowledge, and Governmental Action in Post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans 2007 170
Dreier Community Empowerment Strategies: The Limits and Potential of Community Organizing in Urban Neighborhoods 1996 165
Moss Technology and Cities 1998 162
Ladd Spatially Targeted Economic Development Strategies: Do They Work? 1994 153
Rondinelli, Johnson, and Kasarda The Changing Forces of Urban Economic Development: Globalization and City Competitiveness in the 21st Century 1998 150
Ihlanfeldt The Importance of the Central City to the Regional and National Economy: A Review of the Arguments and Empirical Evidence 1995 144
Cox Developing a Framework for Understanding University-Community Partnerships 2000 141
Teitz and Chapple The Causes of Inner-City Poverty: Eight Hypotheses in Search of Reality 1998 142
Hwang and Lin What Have We Learned About the Causes of Recent Gentrification? 2016 137
Goetz Better Neighborhoods, Better Outcomes? Explaining Relocation Outcomes in HOPE VI 2010 137
Atkinson Technological Change and Cities 1998 131
Hollander Moving Toward a Shrinking Cities Metric: Analyzing Land Use Changes Associated With Depopulation in Flint, Michigan 2010 130
Rubin Evaluating University-Community Partnerships: An Examination of the Evolution of Questions and Approaches 2000 126
Herbert and Belsky The Homeownership Experience of Low-Income and Minority Households: A Review and Synthesis of the Literature 2008 122
Comerio Disaster Recovery and Community Renewal: Housing Approaches 2014 122
*per Google Scholar


The most frequently cited Cityscape paper is a 2005 article by John Quigley and Larry Rosenthal titled “The Effects of Land Use Regulation on the Price of Housing: What Do We Know? What Can We Learn?” Economists have long believed that local governments’ policy choices, including those involving code and zoning regulations, contribute significantly to the high price of housing in high-growth metropolitan areas. This view has become widely shared over the past decade as housing prices in many parts of the country have risen faster than inflation, and some states and localities have begun pursuing reform measures. Previous symposia on this subject can be found in Cityscape issues from 2005, 2009, and 2021. Additional symposia on this topic are planned for July 2023 and November 2023.

Our second most frequently cited article, by Edward Glaeser in 1994, is a literature review featuring a new theory on the role of cities in economic development. Companies (and employees) located in the center of densely populated urban areas must pay higher rents and experience congestion costs, so why do firms choose these locations? Further, if there are clear advantages to producing goods and services in the central city, what are the factors limiting that growth? Several of the most frequently cited papers in Cityscape explore this issue and the role of cities in exploiting and adapting to technological change, including the 8th (Mitchell Moss, 1998), the 11th (Keith Ihlanfeldt, 1995), and the 18th (Robert Atkinson, 1998).

Our third and fourth most frequently cited papers originated from a 1997 symposium on mixed-income housing. Intentional efforts to reduce class segregation may be fragile in the face of larger socioeconomic forces. Paul Brophy and Rhonda Smith emphasize that those who promote mixed-income housing have a dual mandate: to build attractive market-rate units and to create opportunities for the occupants of the subsidized units, whereas Alex Schwartz and Kian Tajbakhsh outline key research questions about the feasibility of income mixing in any given community.

The fifth most frequently cited paper (Claudia Coulton, Bret Theodos, and Margery Turner, 2012) describes the causes and consequences of neighborhood change as families move into and out of poor neighborhoods. They find that changes in the characteristics of those who enter and those who leave have far more impact than the career trajectories of those who stay, in part because poor neighborhoods have fairly mobile populations. Those who want to serve the people of those neighborhoods must consider the large number of families who are transitioning into and out of them. The 14th (Hwang and Lin, 2016) and 17th (Justin Hollander, 2010) most frequently cited papers share this focus.

In addition to the symposia, we sometimes present a Point of Contention on a topic on which experts have not come to a consensus, such as the equity and efficiency of local property taxes, the benefits of homeownership for children, or whether higher residential density is the future for most Americans.

The Refereed Papers do not share a common theme, and, as the name suggests, I select them after they have successfully completed a double-blind referee process. Authors and referees hail from locations throughout the United States and beyond, but they always address issues germane to HUD’s mission. In 2022, the refereed papers focused on the use of community land trusts to support the long-term affordability of affordable rental housing and the tendency of projects funded by the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program to be in areas of higher industrial air pollution.

The Departments are edited by current or former PD&R staff, and the papers in each department generally reflect specialized research activities. Articles in this section are intended to be accessible and useful for first- or second-year graduate students, although we hope that our other readers will find the material valuable. The departments include the following:

If you have research to share with policymakers, academics, and practitioners, please email

Published Date: 21 February 2023

The contents of this article are the views of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development or the U.S. Government.