CaRDI Publications

CaRDI publications provide our readers with research-based information to help foster dialogue at the local, regional and state-level, and to inform public and private decision-making around critical community and economic development issues. Our publications are written by university faculty, state agency representatives, and CCE Educators, among other partners.

These publications are free for public reproduction with proper accreditation. For questions and comments about the CaRDI publications, please contact Jennifer Jensen at


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Fertility Rates Vary by Age and Income in New York State, Regional Patterns

Fertility Rates by region and income group
Nov 2, 2015
Issue No. 69 / New York Minute / September 2015
by Robin Blakely-Armitage and Jan Vink, Cornell University

As highlighted in our last NY Minute (Issue 68/July 2015), the number and timing of births women experience varies according to their age and income level, among other factors. We reported these patterns and trends over the past decade for New York State as a whole. But distinct regional differences also exist across the state. Read more

Fertility Rates Vary by Age and Income in New York State, Trends over Time

Fertility Rates graphics
Oct 30, 2015
Issue No. 68 / New York Minute / July 2015
by Jan Vink and Robin Blakely-Armitage, Cornell University

The number and timing of births a women experience varies according to their age as well as their income level. In NYS, as across the United States, this variation can be quite striking. Low income is strongly correlated with births among teenagers and women in their 20s, while higher income is associated with delayed childbirth (until ages 30-40). For teenagers, the income effect is particularly apparent, with those in the bottom 20% income bracket experiencing fertility rates similar to middle income women in their early 20s and higher income women in their late 20s. Read more

Analyzing Online Reviews: New Tools for Evaluating Visitor Experiences

Evaluating visitor experiences in NYS parks
Aug 1, 2015
Issue No. 67 / Research & Policy Brief Series / August 2015
By By Hari Prasad Udayapuram and Srinagesh Gavirneni, Cornell University

The New York State (NYS) park system consists of 214 parks and historic sites, over 2,000 miles of trails, 67 beaches, and 8,355 campsites. It attracts approximately 60 million visitors every year. The State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation is responsible for operating and maintaining the state park system, and one of its strategic priorities is to “Increase, Deepen, and Improve the Visitor Experience”. Visitor feedback is integral to achieving this objective, but traditional feedback methods – public meetings, web-based surveys and comment cards – are often tedious, expensive, and limited by low participation. Public online review platforms such as TripAdvisor, offer a large volume of visitor feedback that could vastly improve how NYS park managers and other community leaders concerned with tourism or business development currently understand and improve visitor experiences. Read more

An Opportunity to Make NY Smarter about Smart Growth

Sprawl image
Jun 1, 2015
Issue 66 / Research & Policy Brief / June 2015
By Russell Glynn and David Kay, Cornell University

Urban sprawl and its negative impacts have become a potent catalyst for new policy action—often termed “smart growth” policies—over the  last decade. At its worst, sprawl has drained urban and  village centers of key employment and retail opportunities while marginalizing the poor, degrading  farmland and open  space, and promoting growth in private vehicle use among those able to “buy in” to suburban living. New York State (NYS), arguably the creator of the development pattern now associated with the term, took decisive action against publicly subsidized sprawl with passage of the State Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Policy Act in 2010. Read more

NYS Communities and Changes to the American Community Survey

May 1, 2015
by Robin Blakely-Armitage and Jan Vink, Cornell University
In an effort to save money, the Census Bureau will eliminate its three-year American Community Survey (ACS) data program. The ACS is a survey that tracks changing economic and social conditions for a wide range of geographies, and communities and organizations use this data for grant writing, program valuation, and tracking general well-being. Data is collected on an on-going basis and tabulated for 1, 3, and 5 year periods. Up until the present, depending on population size, communities have had access to 1-year (communities 65,000+), 3-year (communities 20,000+), and 5-year tabulations (communities of all sizes). Access is more limited for smaller geographies because it takes a longer period to accumulate a sufficient sample size to produce statistically meaningful data. Read more

Engaging Researchers and Stakeholders in Improving New York's Water Management

Apr 1, 2015
Issue 65 / Research & Policy Brief series / April 2015
By Sridhar Vedachalam, Brian G. Rahm, Christina Tonitto, and Susan J. Riha, Cornell University

Water and wastewater infrastructure across NYS is aging and in need of repair and rehabilitation, with projected capital needs of approximately $60 billion over the next 20 years. The Water Resources Institute (WRI) at Cornell University continues to pursue its broad assessment of water resources infrastructure and community resilience, supporting projects with strong stakeholder involvement. WRI’s coordinated program is playing a vital role in the protection and expansion of New York’s water assets by effectively engaging the research community in this long-term mission. Read more