Urban Policy in an Era of Fiscal Austerity - The 2012 Robert J. Milano Lecture

With the federal debt at $16 trillion, the fate of the nation's cities stands at a crossroads. While cities like New York appear to be doing better than ever, a rising tide of poverty and inequality threatens to undermine their progress. Meanwhile, a large group of second-tier cities, from Detroit and St. Louis to Stockton and San Bernardino, are besieged as never before.

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The Detention Dilemma: Families, Security and Immigrant Rights

Recent reports draw attention to the continuing expansion and privatization of immigrant detention centers and the violation of immigrants’ rights throughout the process of detention and deportation. What are the effects of the current situation on individuals who spend months or years in detention, and on their families?

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The "Just" City: Equality, Social Justice and the Growing City

Mayors and city governments want to promote economic growth to fill coffers, pay for services and raise incomes. But what about growth that corrects social injustices like persistent inequality, racial and ethnic segregation? Can growth instead be harnessed to support equality, diversity and a higher quality of life for everyone? Harvard Professor Susan Fainstein speaks about her new book, The Just City.

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Struggling Schools, Hard Times: Teachers, communities and school improvement in a time of fiscal uncertainty

A conversation with Michael Mulgrew, President of the United Federation of Teachers, on turning around struggling public schools and boosting community collaboration. How will educators, parents and the city respond to the state fiscal crisis? And what is the future of school accountability in New York City?

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The Politics of Development: Moynihan Station and the Complexity of Major Public Projects

Nearly 400,000 people use Penn Station every day, twice as many as used it when it was built. In 1993, the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan proposed the conversion of the Farley Post Office building into a new Penn Station. Despite longstanding support from nearly every stakeholder, the project is only now ready to break ground 20 years later. What was behind the delays?

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Immigrant Electoral Power: The Changing Face of Leadership in NYC

New York City today has four Asian American elected officials, a far cry from only a decade ago. Although the city has numerous Latino legislators, it has yet to elect a Latino citywide or statewide official. As new generations of immigrants emerge and their children grow up, is New York's political character changing? Can new communities gain influence in government and society and help reshape our political leadership?

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Cities Respond to Climate Change: Locating Leadership in an Uncertain World

As North American cities cope with the impacts of global warming and the economic crisis, leadership for meaningful long-term change remains elusive. Can government take charge of the climate change response despite intensifying political and economic constraints? Is the desire for profit enough to drive businesses to provide a substantial and concrete response?

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The Growth Catalyst: Reviving New York City's Economy Through Infrastructure

As New York City struggles with the great recession, infrastructure development and renewal promise new jobs and long-term growth. Transportation, energy, high technology and communication infrastructure projects are all planned and funded. How quickly will they provide new jobs? Are they already?

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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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The Media and the Mayor: Michael Bloomberg's Transformation

Once he was described as an antidote to the old urban politics. Today he’s become an institution whose work could define a generation in government much like two other three-term mayors, Ed Koch and Robert Wagner. Are the news media revising their views on Mayor Bloomberg in this election year?

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The New Newark Part II: Creating a Government That Works

In the third year of his administration, Newark Mayor Cory Booker continues to learn new lessons about creating a culture of accountability in government. How do urban leaders inculcate new values and entrepreneurial passion in city bureaucracies that have long been unmovable, dependent on political appointments and patronage?

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Crime, Justice and the Economic Crisis

Like New York, most states face deepening budget gaps and are slashing education and human services. Nationwide, states pour $50 billion a year into incarceration. New York led the way in expanding its prison system more than 25 years ago; should it lead the way in the other direction today? Will the federal government take a new approach to criminal justice in an Obama administration?

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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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“Green-Collar” Jobs: A Solution to NYC’s Environmental and Workforce Ills?

Across the U.S., labor and political leaders advocate investment in a green economic recovery to boost employment and address climate change. Last year, Congress passed the Green Jobs Act which, if fully funded, would allocate $125 million to train workers in green trades. The Presidential candidates have sought even greater investments in green infrastructure.

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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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Class Struggles: Strengthening Schools by Strengthening Families

New York City’s public schools are held accountable for their students’ educational progress. But what happens when problems at home hold students back, or when young children aren’t coming to school? Could the city create a school-based safety net in the lowest-income neighborhoods?

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Cities Respond to Climate Change: The Challenge of Energy Efficiency

America’s cities are confronting growing populations, a changing climate and rising fuel prices. While political leaders debate the development of alternative energy sources, most experts agree energy efficiency is fundamental to the urban future. Can cities combat global warming and the high cost of power with less wasteful infrastructure and other strategies?

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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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