By Barbara Caress

Sharp differences in Black and White life expectancy, infant mortality, and premature death in New York City are due to racism and its most vicious manifestation, poverty. For just about every leading cause of death in the city, there is a disadvantage by color and by neighborhood -- the consequences of a malignant double whammy of being Black and being poor.


By Ayling Zulema Dominguez

You weren’t supposed to run for office. Mother from La Isla and dad from the South Bronx. Born in a place where zip code determines your destiny. Bearing a long, hyphenated name peppered with R’s to roll. Working class and never had a plan to go into politics. But there you are. Beating out a powerful, nearly 20-year Democratic incumbent. Eyes wide and mouth agape as you were told the news. Telling us that your victory belongs to us. It is our victory. And you couldn’t be more right.


Are cities a curse on land, air, water and mineral resources, not to mention on animals, birds, plants and creatures of the sea – an insult to nature? Contrarily, are they the best alternative that humans have for protecting the natural environment and its many resources and ecologies? What can be done in the face of continued population growth and the unrelenting urbanization that together fuel consumption and deplete and degrade the material world?


I know that there’s no magic wand to make some of the Bronx's imperfections disappear. Still, there are moments of beauty and joy to be found in the place we call home.


When I was a child, the city of Newark, New Jersey was often the punchline of bad jokes about urban blight and decay. But to me it was home. And it shaped my understanding of what I would dedicate my life to pursuing: Environmental justice.


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New York-Presbyterian, a world-renowned hospital, research center and medical school, is also a landlord in Northern Manhattan’s Washington Heights. Recently, it hit one of its commercial tenants – Coogan’s, a neighborhood restaurant and bar – with a rent hike that the owners said would force Coogan’s to close. Then the community rallied to Coogan’s side – and persuaded the hospital to relent. Here’s the backstory, and its larger implications.



Future of New York City's Health + Hospitals

On November 15, 2017, The Center for New York City Affairs at The New School and the New York State Nurses Association jointly sponsored a forum on critical issues surrounding the public hospitals of NYC: The Future of New York City's Health + Hospitals Corporation--Preserving and Expanding Access to Care for All New Yorkers.

The forum featured leaders from New York City's hospital and healthcare community. There was a brief presentation by the authors of the new report, "On Restructuring the NYC Health + Hospitals Corporation," by Barbara Caress and James Parrott.

Speakers include: James Knickman, former President of the NYS Health Foundation; Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, former Deputy Mayor and former board chair NYC H+H; Andrea Cohen, NYC H+H Vice President; Jill Furillo, NYSNA President, Jeff Kraut, Northwell Health, Exec. VP.

Urban Matters | The City and its neighborhoods

Congestion Pricing and the Working Poor: Few Would Pay, Many Could Benefit

By Nancy Rankin and Irene Lew

Next month, an advisory panel appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to deliver its recommendations for coming up with the hundreds of millions of dollars that experts agree is needed to make badly needed fixes to New York City’s ailing, 113-year old subway system. That will set the stage for what’s likely to be a major element in the budget the Governor sends to the State Legislature in January. 


News Brief | The City and Its Neighborhoods

Gotham Gains: Family Incomes Up, Poverty Down. Higher Minimum Wage Fuels Broad Economic Progress

By James A. Parrott, Ph.D.

New data for 2016, released by the U.S. Census Bureau last week, shows continued healthy gains in median family incomes and significant drops in poverty, especially childhood poverty, in New York City.

The Census Bureau found that real median family income in New York City rose 5.2 percent in 2016, and is up 9.5 percent since 2013. Real median family income in the city had fallen by 5.2 percent from 2008 to 2013, during and after the Great Recession. The 2016 median family income level of $65,440 was 3.8 percent greater than the 2008 level (expressed in 2016 dollars).


Urban Matters | The City and Its Neighborhoods

More Jobs, Rising Wages, Broader Advances: Seven Indicators of New York’s Economic Health

By James A. Parrott, Ph.D.

New York City is in the eighth year of recovery from the 2008-09 Great Recession. This period has been one of historically strong job growth, declining unemployment, and rising minimum wages that are starting to translate into real wage and income gains.

Here are seven views of New York City’s economic health in mid-2017.


Urban Matters | The City and Its Neighborhoods

Getting New Yorkers Back on the Bus

By Tabitha Decker

New Yorkers take 2.5 million daily rides on MTA New York City Transit buses, but the busiest bus system in the country is not delivering the service New Yorkers need. Reliability and speed have been in decline for years, and congestion in many parts of the city means it’s often faster to walk than to take a chance on a bus.


Parks Without Borders (2016)

NYC Parks, the Center for New York City Affairs, and the Tishman Environment and Design Center at The New School bring together thought leaders from a range of disciplines to explore the future of parks and public space.

Nature's Benefits - Climate Protection and Inspiration 

Jennifer Greenfeld, Nilda Mesa, Arturo Garcia-Costas, Timon McPhearson, David Seiter

Click here to see all videos from this event

Edgy Explorations: The Transformative Effects of ‘Parks Without Borders’ (2016) 

 By Mitchell J. Silver
In our densely populated city, people look to parks to serve many purposes. New Yorkers use parks as backyards and living rooms, public squares and nature preserves. However, New York’s public sphere has not always been designed for this multitude of uses, especially not around park edges. 


Event | The City and Its Neighborhoods

Crossing Broadway: 
How Community Activists Rescued Washington Heights from Crime (2014)

How did Washington Heights in New York City emerge from the crime and decay of the crack years? Historian Robert Snyder argues that community activists who crossed racial and ethnic lines played a vital role in restoring order and vitality to ravaged streets in upper Manhattan, only to see the fruits of their labors threatened by growing economic inequality. 

Robert W. Snyder, author, Crossing Broadway; associate professor of American studies and journalism, Rutgers University-Newark; Led Black, Dominican-American writer-blogger, Uptown Collective; Dave Crenshaw, president, Uptown Dreamers Alumni Association; Victoria Neznansky, chief program officer, YM/YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood; Michael Powell, reporter, New York Time

Event | The City and Its Neighborhoods

Moynihan Station and the Complexity of Major Public Projects (2010)

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? Why are delays inherent to so many major public development projects? Are there lessons to be learned here for future planning? 

Timothy Gilchrist, president, Moynihan Station Development Corporation; Christopher O. Ward, executive director, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; Vishaan Chakrabarti, director, Real Estate Development Program, Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University; Anna Hayes Levin, commissioner, New York City Planning Commission, Manhattan Community Board No. 4; Juliette Michaelson, senior planner, Regional Plan Association; Tokumbo Shobowale, chief of staff, Office of NYC Mayor for Economic Development; Greg David, director, Business Reporting Program, CUNY Graduate School of Journalism

Event | The City and Its Neighborhoods

Reviving New York City's Economy with Infrastructure (2010)

As New York City struggles with the recession, infrastructure development and renewal promise new jobs and long-term growth. New transportation, energy, high technology, and communication infrastructure projects are being planned and funded. How quickly will they provide new jobs? Are they doing so already? What are the prospects for long-term structural improvements to the citys economy? What is missing from current plans?

Christopher O. Ward, executive director of The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; Seth W. Pinsky, president of the New York City Economic Development Corporation; Joan Byron, director of the Sustainability and Environmental Justice Initiative at the Pratt Center for Community Development; Kathryn S. Wylde, president and CEO of the Partnership for New York City; Robert Yaro, president of the Regional Plan Association.