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Urban West Revisited Offers Timely Look at Uncertain Times


You can’t fight City Hall, but you can strive to better understand the challenges facing those tasked with providing municipal services in an ever-changing political landscape. To that end, the College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs (SSPA) at Boise State University has released the second book in its Idaho Metropolitan Research Series.

Titled “Urban West Revisited: Governing Cities in Uncertain Times,” the book is a revision of an acclaimed 1990s study, updated and colorfully illustrated with more than 200 graphics and photos. The softbound volume sells for $29.95.

“Urban West Revisited” offers a solid primer on challenges faced by elected officials in 10 midsized western cities hit hard by the Great Recession: Boise, Idaho; Eugene and Salem, Ore.; Modesto, Calif.; Pueblo, Colo.; Reno, Nev.; Salt Lake City, Utah; Tacoma and Spokane, Wash.; and Tempe, Ariz. The book explores their common problems and illustrates hard-fought solutions in difficult times.

The Idaho Metropolitan Research Series illustrates a commitment to good scholarship, accessibly written and colorfully presented.

“Our new primer on city governments is especially timely,” said SSPA Dean Melissa Lavitt. “Written for policy makers, students and the general public, it shows how cities have responded to the challenge of lost revenue during our current recession. It offers hope that Boise and its peer communities can learn to think beyond the current crisis, to govern smartly and to cope.”

“Urban West Revisited” is masterfully written by Stephanie Witt, professor of public policy and administration, and James Weatherby, emeritus associate professor of public policy.

Topics covered include city governance, influences and trends in city administration, the history of municipalities and government, tax limitations and the impact of policies, among others. Timelines, tables and illustrations combine with text to educate readers about the day-to-day governance that affects so much of their lives.