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City planners are looking to redevelop the eastern part of midtown Manhattan. How can they preserve its character, economic importance, and functionality? Wikimedia Commons

Hong Kong on the Hudson?

Good historians know that history rarely teaches clear lessons. When it does, we should heed them. In the 1920s, urban visionaries completely refashioned midtown Manhattan, making it the most modern and…
Bianca Rodriguez, one of nation’s nearly 600,000 homeless at a Chicago underpass. Andrew Nelles/Reuters

Did we lose the War on Poverty?

This year marks the 51st anniversary since Lyndon Johnson launched his War on Poverty and made poverty reduction the centerpiece of his Great Society domestic agenda. Whether we won this war, however…
The debate over fracking in New York state was especially polarized. Andrew Kelly/Reuters

Fracking resolution in New York - escalation of fracking politics across the nation

Drilling in the Marcellus Shale, and in other unconventional oil and gas formations across the US, has led to a boom in domestic natural gas and oil production -– largely due to advances in high volume…
Does this look like community policing? Flikr/Jamelle Bouie

With identity crisis in police, more Fergusons inevitable

Recent social unrest across the country protesting the police shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson and the police chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York has reopened wounds and revealed deeply…
Rising costs, the growing difficulty of securing loans, and a lack of curating talent have made the blockbuster exhibition a hazardous enterprise. Barney Livingston/Flickr

What happened to the blockbuster art exhibition?

A blockbuster art exhibition can double the annual attendance of an art museum and pull in significant amounts of money. Bring Vermeer’s The Girl with a Pearl Earring to the Frick Collection in New York…
Immigrant faces from the early 1900s watch Ellis Island visitors pick their way through a crumbling hospital. Aimee VonBokel

Artists' installations raise questions about abandoned buildings

This fall, French street artist JR and American cinematographer Bradford Young each installed a series of portraits in crumbling New York buildings. The two projects were not coordinated, but together…
The new normal? … Climate change will be at the forefront of discussion in the weeks following Hurricane Sandy. Wandering the World/Flickr

After the deluge, what hope the politics of climate response?

I am writing with Hurricane Sandy having brought devastation to New York and the East coast of the United States. Much has been written on the politics of climate change. But until a few days ago, a severe…
The numbers in Manhattan streets are far outnumbered by those on social media. Don Emmert/AFP

#OccupyWallStreet …? I’ll be there, but on Twitter

On Saturday, hundreds of protestors congregated in the Wall Street area of New York at the start of a protest dubbed #OccupyWallStreet. The aim? To “flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens…

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