A Book Review of New Tools for Urban Management, by R. S. Rosenbloom and J. R. Russell, for Science.

by Garry D. Brewer


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A compendium of hard lessons learned by several urban model builders, analysts, and simulators in the course of (1) developing a subemployment model for Dayton, Ohio; (2) using operations research techniques to site firehouses in East Lansing, Michigan; (3) analyzing the progress of PPB in New York City agencies; (4) computerizing bookkeeping for the New Jersey Housing Finance Agency; and (5) aiding land use planning and development for the new city of Columbia, Maryland. The fundamental message for analysts searching for ways to cure urban ills is that major systematic constraints are political, economic, administrative, and operational, not methodological. Hard-headed and pragmatic in their approach, the authors spell out major problems confronting serious urban policy analysis. Profound mismatches exist between available analytic tools, the lack of supportive theory and data, and what policymakers desperately require and are capable of understanding and utilizing.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

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