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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
This study was supported by Contract No. HHS-100-00-001 between the National Academy of Sciences and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.
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Suggested citation: National Research Council. (2002). Equality of Opportunity and the Importance of Place: Summary of a Workshop. Joah G. Iannotta and Jane L. Ross. Steering Committee on Metropolitan Area Research and Data Priorities. Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
National Academy of Sciences
National Academy of Engineering
Institute of Medicine
National Research Council
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences.
The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering.
The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine.
The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.
STEERING COMMITTEE ON METROPOLITAN AREA RESEARCH AND DATA PRIORITIES
WILLIAM MORRILL (Chair),
Caliber Associates, Fairfax, VA
Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation, New York, NY
Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School
George Washington Institute of Public Policy, Department of Political Science, George Washington University
The National Research Council (NRC) recently conducted several projects concerning urban poverty, racial disparities, and opportunities to change metropolitan areas in ways that have positive effects on residents’ well-being. In reports such as Governance and Opportunity in Metropolitan America (1999), place, space, and neighborhood have become important lenses through which to understand the factors affecting opportunity and well-being. After the publication of Governance and Opportunity, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services became interested in what insights research focused on place might offer in terms of improving the conditions of vulnerable families—a population about whom ASPE is particularly concerned. Because of its interest in the topic, ASPE provided generous support to the NRC to hold a workshop on the importance of place and to produce a report based on the findings of the workshop. This report, Equality of Opportunity and the Importance of Place, is the culmination of the NRC’s work on behalf of ASPE.
This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the Report Review Committee of the National Research Council. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional
standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Burt Barnow, Institute for Policy Studies, Johns Hopkins University; Keith Ihlanfeldt, Devoe Moore Center, Florida State University; Margo Schwab, Risk Sciences and Public Policy Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health; David Wright, Urban and Metropolitan Studies, Rockefeller Institute of Government, Albany, New York.
Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Robert Moffitt of the Department of Economics at Johns Hopkins University. Appointed by the NRC, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of the report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authors and the institution.
Many individuals deserve recognition for their contributions to the workshop and this report. Gordon Berlin, William Morrill, Barbara McNeil, and Harold Wolman served on the planning committee for the workshop. The five paper authors—Tama Leventhal, Claudia Coulton, Jeffrey Morenoff, George Galster, and Timothy Smeeding—are to be commended for the work they put into preparing original research for the workshop. Gordon Berlin, Harry Holzer, Bill Morrill, Sue Popkin, and Harold Wolman provided feedback on the first draft of the workshop summary and offered many insightful comments that significantly improved the manuscript. Paul Jargowsky responded to time-sensitive requests for information without hesitation, helping the authors to finish the second draft of the manuscript on schedule. Paula Melville and Sonja Wolfe deserve special recognition for their assistance in ensuring that the workshop ran smoothly and successfully. We thank them for their efforts.