Participatory Budgeting in NYC: Thinking Critically and Looking Forward

New York City is experiencing a new kind of democracy. Through participatory budgeting, residents of eight City Council districts deliberated and voted this year on how best to spend about $10 million of public money for capital projects in their districts. Can participatory budgeting help strengthen community infrastructure and residents’ own investment in their neighborhoods?

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Brushes with the Law: Young New Yorkers, Neighborhoods and the Criminal Justice System

The city has overhauled its juvenile justice system to keep more young people out of confinement and in their communities. In the process, officials, organizers and providers also aim to strengthen families and neighborhoods. How can city government engage communities and tap into the strengths of local groups that work with teens and families?

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NYCHA & the Hurricane: Public housing learns from Sandy... What’s the plan for the next big storm?

The wrenching experience of thousands of New York’s public housing residents following Hurricane Sandy revealed vulnerabilities of physical structures and human services. Volunteers, tenant associations, social service providers and NYCHA technicians all stepped in to do what they could through the worst of the aftermath. What did we learn?

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NYC 1972-2012: Forty years of change and continuity

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of The New School’s graduate program in Urban Policy Analysis and Management, scholars and policymakers discuss our city's evolution since the early 1970s. Neighborhoods have been revived and rebuilt, migrations have transformed the five boroughs, local government has gone from the edge of insolvency to a steadier state. Yet the New York of 1972 is strikingly similar to the city of today.

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No Way to Pay Rent: What’s next for homeless families in NYC?

New York’s homeless population is near an all time high, with more than 40,000 New Yorkers living in shelters — including 16,500 children and their parents. Amid the continuing fiscal crunch, New York City and State recently ended a unique rent subsidy program that helped thousands move out of shelters and into apartments, and new federal rent subsidies are nowhere to be found.

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Combating Youth Violence: Concrete Solutions for New York City

Youth violence has declined sharply over two decades--more than 70 percent in New York State, according to the Center for Disease Control & Prevention. Yet in some neighborhoods there are now increasing reports of gang activity and violence. Tensions and distrust remain high between law enforcement officials and community members - especially young people.

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Landlords & Tenants: Preserving Affordable Housing in New York

Affordable housing is a hot topic in these difficult economic times, yet by some accounts, housing conditions for low-income New Yorkers are in decline. Many affordable apartment buildings, some purchased and rehabilitated using government subsidies, are in poor condition, and as apartments deteriorate and collect code violations, tenants fend for themselves.

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Community-Based Planning: The Future of Development in New York

For decades, deliberations over land use in New York City have included developers, community boards, elected officials, and city agencies such as the Department of City Planning. Do the people who live and work in city neighborhoods have a sufficient voice? Do residents improve the process or impede progress? Who is best positioned to determine a neighborhood’s needs, and what are the best structures for public participation?

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A New Landscape: Can NYC Keep Affordable Housing in Sight?

The current economic turmoil is taking a tremendous toll. Home foreclosures are common, market-rate condominium sales have stalled, owners of over-leveraged developments are defaulting, and unemployment is rising. This panel, hosted by the Center for New York City Affairs, explores the impact of the economic crisis on New York City housing by considering questions like the following: How are neighborhoods faring in the recession?

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Now What? NYC's Election Year Fiscal Crisis

The boom is over, and the city’s families and neighborhoods are beginning to feel the consequences. Mayor Bloomberg managed seven years of rapid budget growth but now, as he prepares a run for a third term, the city faces potentially massive shortfalls. How fast and how hard will a sputtering economy and shrinking revenues hit city services?

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On The Waterfront: Finding the Balance for Development and Communities

Space for new development is severely restricted in the New York metro region. While industrial uses of the waterfront continue to decline, there are still port jobs at stake and a thriving import/export industry. How can the city and region plan for the best use of the New York and New Jersey waterfronts, to benefit communities and the wider economy?

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The New Newark Part I: Maintaining Momentum for Renewal in a Slowing Economy

Foreclosures are rampant in Newark’s working-class neighborhoods as the credit crisis and economic slowdown threaten the city’s commercial recovery. What will it take to stabilize and invigorate a growth economy and new employment opportunities in a city that is New York’s largest urban neighbor?

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Maintaining Momentum: Can New York’s Ambitious Development Agenda Survive an Economic Downturn?

The city’s economy is slowing and construction costs remain extraordinarily high, but the Bloomberg administration still has its sights set on far-reaching development projects. Will New York be able to maintain its fast pace of residential and commercial renewal? How are neighborhoods responding to zoning changes intended to spur growth?

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The Long View: How Can New York Preserve Housing Affordability?

New York has long depended on subsidy programs to facilitate affordable housing development. But because most such incentives sunset over time, tens of thousands of units have reverted to market rate over the last decade, and 15,000 more may do so in the near future. What strategies and regulatory structures can be put in place to assure affordability not just for the present, but the future as well?

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A Roof Over Our Heads: How Will New York Save Its Public Housing?

The New York City Housing Authority is in dire financial straits. Although the state recently increased its rent subsidy, it will barely make a dent in the $225 million annual shortfall and renewed federal investment is nowhere on the horizon. A roundtable discussion with key stakeholders to determine what can be done to rescue public housing—the city’s primary source of affordable housing, and home to more than 400,000 New Yorkers.

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Opening the Schoolyard Gates: Reclaiming Urban Community Space

As part of PlaNYC 2030, Mayor Bloomberg has proposed opening 290 city schoolyards to the public during non-school hours. Reclaiming urban community space can strengthen families and neighborhoods, but it's never as easy as "throwing open the gates." What should the city do to ensure that these spaces benefit communities, families, and children?

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Promises I Can Keep: Poor Women, Motherhood and Marriage

The stereotypes and statistics of single motherhood in low-income urban neighborhoods are familiar enough. But what is the reality of these young women's lives, and why do so many postpone marriage – or avoid it altogether – but not childbearing? Kathryn Edin, co-author of Promises I Can Keep: Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage, joins us to discuss her book.

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Averting Crisis: Community Strategies for Supporting Families and Preventing Homelessness

The Bloomberg administration has invested new dollars and creativity in preventing family homelessness. As the number of families in shelter begins to drop, what more can New York do to help families stay in their homes and out of crisis? In a new report, the Center for NYC Affairs proposes the city unify its many family support programs to institutionalize a neighborhood-based safety net.

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