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CitySCOPE Podcast

Welcome to CitySCOPE, a podcast about cities and inclusive economic development from Kate Cooney and her students at the Inclusive Economic Development Lab at the Yale School of Management.

CitySCOPE show art

Kate Cooney

Senior Lecturer in Social Enterprise and Management
Kate Cooney

Kate Cooney's research uses institutional theory to study the intersection of business and social sectors. Current work focuses on the cross-country comparisons of new social business legal forms, corporate supply chain transparency, social return on investment methods and inclusive economic development strategies in the American city. To understand how hybrid organizations are shaped by commercial and institutional isomorphic pressures, she has studied commercialization in the nonprofit sector, social enterprise, workforce development programs, and the emergence of new social business legal forms. She has also written broadly about market based approaches to poverty alleviation the negotiation of competing institutional logics in social enterprise organizations. Projects underway include CitySCOPE podcast, a series examining inclusive economic development in American Cities (Listen to Season 1 Charting the Opportunity in Opportunity Zones) and a MacMillan Center funded grant titled Consumer Activism and Supply Chain Transparency: Anti-Slavery Movements in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Prior to joining the faculty at Yale SOM, Dr. Cooney was on the faculty at Boston University teaching courses on nonprofit management, urban poverty and economic development, and community and organizational analysis. Kate Cooney currently serves on the Board of Directors of Dwight Hall at Yale, Center for Public Service and Justice.


  • Podcast
    Season 3
    Episode 1
    Duration 23:21

    Supporting and Scaling Black Businesses

    Welcome to Season 3 of the CitySCOPE podcast! In episode 1, we introduce our theme–Supporting and Scaling Black -owned and Black -led businesses. To kick things off, Kate Cooney from the Yale School of Management and James Johnson-Piett from Urbane discuss the importance of the current moment and the surge of attention and support for Black businesses. As always, we conclude with a sneak peek of the conversations to come over the future episodes of the 2021 season. We have some great guests lined up and we can’t wait to share our conversations with you!

  • Podcast
    Season 2
    Episode 8
    Duration 52:16

    Reflections for New Haven

    Join us for episode 8 as hosts Alexandra Sing, Marisa Berry and Kate Cooney wrap up Season 2 of the CitySCOPE podcast rethinking community engagement and the role of narratives in inclusive economic development. In this episode, we reflect on how the lessons learned from other cities might apply in New Haven, the city where we live!

  • Podcast
    Season 2
    Episode 7
    Duration 51:41

    Envisioning the Future City

    In the U.S. political economy, some economic regions grow and gain in prosperity in sustained ways while other cities' fortunes rise and fall over time. How do cities come together to shape these trajectories? In this week's episode, our co-hosts Evan Oleson and Stephen Henriques speak with Prabal Chakrabarti from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston about the lessons learned from the Working Cities Challenge aimed at supporting catalytic cross-sector initiatives to reimagine economic paths forward in smaller, post-industrial cities. We also speak with James Johnson-Piett from Urbane Development about his work on the Sunnyside Yard Master Plan where multiple communities came together to envision the way a major public development project could support future visions of the city. James shares how this envisioning process can also be used at the neighborhood level, using an example from Philadelphia to illuminate different development pathways for a neighborhood as it evolves alongside broader strategic initiatives at the city level.

    Photo credit: Urbane Development

  • Podcast
    Season 2
    Episode 6
    Duration 49:10

    Changing the Regional Story for Workforce Development

    What is your mental model of an ideal worker? Is your mindset creating blind spots about talent development? In this week's episode of the CitySCOPE podcast, our co-hosts Norbert Cichon and Brice Eidson speak with leaders of two workforce intermediaries that have developed creative strategies for regional workforce development. David Dodson, past President of MDC Inc., (and Yale SOM graduate!) highlights the importance of connecting young people to work and learning opportunities early in their education-to-career trajectory, both for the young people and for their employers. His experience with the Made in Durham effort in Durham, North Carolina illustrates both the opportunities and the challenges in this work, even in an economically strong region, home to innovative, globally competitive companies. Jerry Rubin of Jewish Vocational Services in Boston, shares lessons from his decades of work developing smart and responsive initiatives building bridges to career opportunities in the healthcare sector. At a time when the American economy is producing both highly paid jobs for those with higher levels of education and large numbers of low wage jobs, Jerry shares what he's learned about how to direct supply side training toward demand-side needs and the importance of pairing those initiatives with strategic efforts to address job quality at the sector level. Join us for a great conversation!

    Photo credit: Made in Durham

  • Podcast
    Season 2
    Episode 5
    Duration 37:46

    Meaningful Inefficiencies in Civic Engagement

    We commonly hear calls for government to operate more efficiently from legislators, oversight groups, and government executives alike. While public sector efficiency may be valuable for functions like street repair, permitting, and waste collection, can it also raise barriers to meaningful civic engagement between residents and their governments?

    This week on the CitySCOPE Podcast, our co-hosts Uzma Amin and Tessa Ruben speak with Eric Gordon, director of the Engagement Lab and professor at Emerson College about creating meaningful inefficiencies that allow people to engage with government systems. Gordon draws a parallel between civic engagement and play: games are full of inefficiencies, it is games' intentionally cultivated difficulty within a clear rules structure that make them fun and meaningful.

    At a time when trust in government in the United States is at an all-time low, Gordon challenges us to ask: how might we create opportunities for a play-like sense of engagement in civic processes to connect communities to public systems, and to each other, in meaningful ways?

    Listen to find out more!

    Photo credit: Courtesy of Craig Walker / Boston Globe Staff

  • Podcast
    Season 2
    Episode 4
    Duration 47:18

    Real Integration in Public Schools #stillnotequal

    On episode 4 of the CitySCOPE Podcast, Arianna Blanco and Naomi Shachter, co-hosts from episode 3, continue the conversation about race and place focusing this week on education. We speak with Barbara Biasi of the Yale School of Management on the role of finance in shaping racial and class based inequities in public schools and efforts to remediate them. Biasi describes the highly decentralized nature of public education in the United States, resulting in a trade-off between local control and inter-district funding equity. We also interview Sarah Medina Camiscoli, founder and former executive director of IntegrateNYC, a youth-led organization seeking integration and equity in New York public schools, on their efforts to integrate the largest, and also one of the most segregated, public school districts in the country.

    Join us for this week's episode!

    Show Notes:

    1. Supreme Inequality by Adam Cohen, Penguin Press 2020, mentioned in the podcast can be ordered online; listen to a book talk with Adam Cohen at Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington, D.C. here.

    2. Learn more about Professor Rucker C. Johnson's research on school desegregation.

    3. IntegrateNYC

    4. UCLA Civil Rights Project report on NY school segregation, released in 2014, mentioned in the podcast here, see recent report from UCLA Civil Rights Project on NY, published in 2019, showing decline in segregation in gentrifying neighborhoods here.

    Photo credit: Sarah Medina Camiscoli, IntegrateNYC

  • Podcast
    Season 2
    Episode 3
    Duration 54:15

    Geography of Race and Space

    Americans live in a landscape of race and space inherited from an earlier era. How do historical narratives about the places we call home shape our understanding of them? What is left out of those narratives? And how can new understandings spark movements that drive equitable economic development?

    This week on the CitySCOPE Podcast, in episode 3, Naomi Shachter, Arianna Blanco and Kate Cooney talk to Kirsten Delegard and Kevin Ehrman-Solberg about the Mapping Prejudice Project in Minneapolis, the first project in the country to gather a comprehensive count of racially-restrictive housing covenants in a regional housing market.

    Kirsten Delegard, one of the co-founders of Mapping Prejudice, and her team at the John R. Borchert Map Library at the University of Minnesota, set out to unearth the complex past of their hometown not knowing how the story would end. They were soon joined by 3,000 volunteers in the region, who were inspired by public workshops about the project and joined the effort.

    Tune in to learn about what they found and to hear about what happened next!

    Photo credit: The Mapping Prejudice Project, the University of Minnesota Libraries

  • Podcast
    Season 2
    Episode 2
    Duration 01:07:16

    Community Engagement and Housing

    This week, on episode 2 of the CitySCOPE podcast, Joy Chen, Charles Gress and Kate Cooney speak with Anika Singh Lemar and David Schleicher, both from Yale Law School about the ways in which land use community engagement practices might actually hinder rather than help the development of new housing supply. Access to safe, suitable, and affordable housing is a cornerstone of inclusive community and economic development, but cities around the United States are experiencing significant shortages in affordable housing and housing supply in general does not always keep up with demand. We discuss models to overcome barriers to equitable participation processes in affordable housing development. We also discuss how process reforms, such as procedural rules, "zoning budgets" and comprehensive plans with binding targets, might allow for more housing supply.

    Tune in for an interesting conversation!

  • Podcast
    Season 2
    Episode 1
    Duration 41:21

    Rethinking Community Engagement

    In episode 1, Allen Xu and Kate Cooney talk to Elihu Rubin, from the Yale School of Architecture about his work on the built environments of the 19th and 20th centuries. In thinking about the American landscape of wealth, poverty, race and space, a first step in mobilizing for new arrangements is to consider how a city's current landscape encapsulates notions of place-making from earlier eras. These earlier era settlements live on in both the built environment and in the mental and emotional models of space in cities that structure the American mind. Elihu Rubin's work on critical heritage sheds light on how the past is both elided and selectively commemorated in building reuse. We also speak with Robert Shiller, Nobel Prize-winning economist from the Yale School of Management, about his new book Narrative Economics: How Stories Go Viral and Drive Major Economic Events. Both of these conversations help us set up our themes for Season 2 of the CitySCOPE podcast. We conclude with a snapshot of the conversations to come over the future 7 episodes of the 2020 season

  • Podcast
    Season 1
    Episode 8
    Duration 37:50

    Opportunity Zones in New Haven and Final Reflections

    Opportunity Zones in New Haven and Final Reflections, podcast hosts Song Kim, MBA candidate and Professor Kate Cooney begin by reviewing the work done in the Spring 2019 Inclusive Economic Development Lab class, where teams of students learned about 4 neighborhoods in New Haven that contain OZ tracts and made suggestions about how the models we studied (Food Halls, Fab Labs, CLTs) might be deployed in each neighborhood. The neighborhoods are: Hill South, Dixwell, Newhallville and Fair Haven. Next, Song and Kate review some of the key insights from the interviews with the guests we met over Season 1 of CitySCOPE podcast and highlight some general takeaways about the challenges and opportunities in inclusive economic development work. We finish with some general reflections of our own.

    Thanks for taking this journey with us, we hope it is useful in sparking your imagination about how to make Opportunity Zone investment create real opportunities for the communities currently living in the zones.