Manuel Pastor

Manuel Pastor is professor of geography at the University of Southern California and co-author of This Could Be the Start of Something Big: How Social Movements for Regional Equity are Reshaping Metropolitan America.

Recent Articles

Putting Poverty in Its Place

Neighborhood-based approaches can succeed, if they're part of a broader urban strategy.

Geoffrey Canada, head of Harlem Children's Zone, talks to a participant of he HCZ Summer Olympics. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
The Harlem Children's Zone (HCZ) has given new meaning to the adage that failure is an orphan but success has a thousand parents. The zone, a public-private partnership founded and led by the charismatic Geoffrey Canada, has produced significant gains in student achievement in the context of a deeply troubled neighborhood. This has made it both a darling of some conservatives and a supposed paradigm for the Obama administration's approach to urban distress. It is a worthy model, but utilizing it to make a dent in our national poverty problem will require two realizations: first, that the conservative enthusiasm, most recently voiced by columnist David Brooks, is decidedly partial, and second, that any neighborhood-based approach, including the HCZ, must be nested in a far broader strategy to revitalize urban America -- including everything from the expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit to changes in transportation funding to targeted training for the emerging green economy...