Games and Quizzes
Play Breakdown!
Play BREAKDOWN! - our newest interactive game - and see if you have the knowledge to help fix the city's crumbling systems. Play BREAKDOWN! - our newest interactive game - and see if you have the knowledge to help fix the city's crumbling systems.

Save The City From Kaput

New Yorkers rarely think about the hidden systems that keep the city running, until something breaks down. But those who monitor these systems say it is not just events like September 11 or the 2003 blackout that pose a threat to the city. The biggest threat may be the everyday wear-and-tear on the city's systems, and fixing New York City's underground infrastructure takes foresight, planning and billions of dollars.

Breakdown!

ARE ALL SYSTEMS GO?

Overview Articles

Keeping The City Running
(10/06/03) Will a system of rusting pipes, crumbling cables, shaky subways and rocky roads lead to an apocalyptic metropolis?

The Capital Budget
(11/17/03) When the mayor recently announced the most ambitious school construction plan in the city's history, he brought attention, at least briefly, to the oft-ignored capital budget, which funds major construction and repair projects critical to New York's future -- or at least is supposed to.

System By System

Electricity
(12/08/03) You can make all the electricity you want, but transmission is key, as much of the Northeast, including New York City, learned when it suffered through one of the worst blackouts in history on August 14.

Telecommunications - The 21st Century Office
(11/10/03) New York City is falling behind in providing the high-tech services that businesses need.

Natural Gas
(10/11/03) Once viewed as a pesky nuisance, natural gas has become more and more in demand - and more and more expensive. Sam Williams follows the journey that gas makes from prehistoric swamp to the grills, stoves, furnaces, clothing dryers and power plants of New York City.

Steam
(11/10/03) New York City remains the world's largest supplier of what some call a great, underappreciated asset: steam.

The Sewer System
(10/20/03) New York's sewer system began 150 years ago -- and some of the pipes have never been replaced. A look at the challenges: out-of-date equipment, harmful chemicals, constant spills, and some persistently weird beliefs about what's down there.

Water
(12/08/03) New York City's water supply system has been called a marvel of engineering -- the eighth wonder of the world. But leaks, pollution, and years of delay in building a new water tunnel threaten the city's water supply.

Garbage
(12/08/03) For years, city officials have wrestled with what to do with all of New York's trash.