Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Center for an Urban Future

Center for an Urban Future

  • Employers Reconsider College Degree Requirements in Post-Pandemic Economic Recovery

    Opening for business (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayoral Photography Office)


    The pandemic has produced both soaring unemployment in New York City and a host of booming industries hungry for employees. Business leaders and the young administration of Mayor Eric Adams, alike, are looking to spend significant resources to connect candidates to jobs in traditional and emerging sectors. But executives are beginning to see one long-time driver of economic inequality as a particular barrier to tapping New York's 250,000-strong unemployed workforce: the college degree

    ...
  • A Model for Accelerating Growth of Minority-Owned Businesses in New York City

    Opportunity for growth (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral

    ...
  • Strengthening New York City’s Natural Areas to Tackle Unemployment and Climate Change

     

    Trees and jobs (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's)


    New York City’s20,000 acresof natural areas have been a lifeline for New Yorkers throughout the pandemic and form the first line of defense against the harms of climate change. But decades of underinvestment in the care and preservation of these vital open spaces threatens their longevity, even as surging visitation adds new stresses.

    At a time when New

    ...
  • Identifying Programs from Elsewhere to Boost New York City's Economic Recovery and Transformation

    resource fair nyc jobs

    NYC resources for city residents in need (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    As the economic recovery from the covid pandemic continues to change the job market, experts are looking across the Hudson at a new model to get New York City's workforce ready for the leading sectors of the future.

    In June, New Jersey launched Pay It Forward, a bond initiative to fund workforce training programs for good-paying jobs in growing industries as part of an effort to address the lack of short-term education options for low-income residents. Economists and

    ...
  • Make Workforce Development Essential to Neighborhood Rezonings, Report Says

    nyc resource fair

    New York City resource fair (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    As New York City government changes land use rules and invests in communities through rezonings, it should make workforce development a key piece of the equation, according to a new report recently released by the Center for an Urban Future and JobsFirstNYC, two non-profit organizations focused on equitable growth in the city. This is especially true, the report says, given the economic impacts of the pandemic, whereby the city is still down roughly 500,000 jobs.

    “Rezonings, which by definition are

    ...
  • Eight Ideas to Drive New York’s Economic Recovery Now

    dep vic hpd

    Ribbon-cutting and more ahead (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    It'd be foolish to bet against New York City, but a full and robust comeback from the COVID-19 crisis is not guaranteed without bold action. It’s increasingly clear that the city’s recovery isn’t like any other. Companies are delaying return to work plans, the 10.2% unemployment rate is among the highest of any major city in the country, and the rates of joblessness among New Yorkers of color and young adults are particularly alarming. 

    Meanwhile, no other city is coping with

    ...
  • Think Tank Curates 250 Ideas for New York City’s Recovery

    library

    Hunters Point Community Library in Queens (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    On Thursday the Center for an Urban Future published a report,  “Blueprint for New York City’s Economic Recovery,” outlining some 250 proposals for the future of the city and drawing upon the ideas of over 175 New Yorkers. A think tank, Center for an Urban Future focuses on securing a robust and inclusive economy.

    The report comes as the city is not only recovering from the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic but selecting the next class of city government through the ongoing

    ...
  • Tech Jobs in the City are Growing; Here's How to Make Sure New Yorkers Can Fill Them

    robotics tech class

    Robotics and tech ed (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayor's Office)


    With more than half-a-million New Yorkers out of work amid a painful economic downturn, the continued growth of tech positions stands out as a beacon of economic recovery. Connecting more residents with these jobs presents an important opportunity for the next mayor to get New Yorkers working again.

    Despite months of grim economic news, tech firms have continued to double down on New York City. Over the past year, companies including Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Netflix have signed new

    ...
  • Schumer Says Big Infrastructure Package is on Deck; What's on New York City's List?

    rep clark us

    Senator Chuck Schumer at City Hall (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    As Mayor Bill de Blasio celebrated the passage of President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which will deliver $6 billion in direct aid to New York City government and many additional billions to New Yorkers, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer had more good tidings to offer as he promised that a massive infrastructure program is next on the agenda. 

    Biden has proposed a $2 trillion “Build Back Better” plan to invest in infrastructure and combat climate change. It’s

    ...
  • CUNY Chancellor on What's Next for the Public University System and New York's Recovery

    1 cuny outlines

    CUNY Chancellor Matos Rodriguez (photo: Chancellor Felix Matos Rodriguez)


    For the City University of New York’s hundreds of thousands of students and millions of alumni, the largest urban university system in the United States has long served as a springboard. A 2017 study by Harvard economist Raj Chetty and coauthors, ranked five CUNY schools in the top 10 of their economic mobility index, meaning these schools have achieved high success in propelling lower-income students to

    ...
  • Forum Offers Ideas from Other Cities for Rebuilding New York

    1 comfort items the

    An uphill effort to recover in New York (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    As New York City continues to recover and rebuild after the devastation of the COVID-19 outbreak, which had immense health and economic consequences, ideas are being offered to ensure a city that is more inclusive, creative, and responsive.

    During a recent event hosted by the Center for an Urban Future, a leading nonprofit think tank offering many ideas for the city’s short- and long-term recovery, panelists offered suggestions for New York City that have been

    ...
  • CUNY and New York City Could Recover Together, or the Public University System Could Be Left Behind

    cuny laguardia com

    CUNY Chancellor Matos Rodriguez and students, pre-pandemic (photo: City University of New York)


    College seniors who graduated this June faced a very different economic landscape from the one they saw at the beginning of the school year. A global pandemic shattered the job market, and many industries — including the performing arts, entertainment, restaurants, and hospitality and tourism — were in complete freefall after government-mandated closures. 

    The widespread financial strain that saw unemployment in New York City skyrocket from 4% to well over 20%

    ...
  • How New York City Might Begin to Revive Its Decimated Tourism Industry

    experts revive tourism

    Visitors to the Statue of Liberty (photo: Spencer T Tucker/City Council)


    New York City’s tourism industry has a long road to recovery and a lot to learn from other cities like London, which has kick-started its economy through hyperlocal tourism, to come out of the coronavirus pandemic recession. During a virtual policy forum this week hosted by the Center for an Urban Future, top

    ...
  • De Blasio Offers No Transit Plans as City Heads Toward 'Reopening'

    intervale ave bx

    Mayor de Blasio rides the bus (photo: Edwin J. Torres/Mayor's Office)


    New York City is set to begin a phased “reopening” on Monday, June 8, as indicators show significant progress in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. But as many New Yorkers start heading back to work, Mayor Bill de Blasio has offered no solutions to balance city residents’ need for transportation, maintaining public health by preventing new coronavirus infections, and preventing all-out gridlock if too many New Yorkers turn to cars.

    About 5.4 million people rode the New York City subway

    ...
  • Infrastructure Investment Can Restart the Economy, But Prioritize Fixing What We Have

    si water hurricane

    Existing infrastructure needs major investment (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Governor Cuomo traveled to Washington on Wednesday to meet with President Trump, where he pitched the president on infrastructure investments like an expanded Second Avenue Subway and a new Penn Station. The governor is right to push for a national public works program, which would get thousands of newly unemployed Americans working again while tackling urgent infrastructure needs. 

    The last time the nation embarked on a major public works program, it produced dozens

    ...
  • Could a Public Works Program Save New York City's Economy?

    maybdb arrival

    Could the reinvigoration of the New York economy come from public works? (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    Somewhere around a million New Yorkers are out of jobs and billions in tax revenue has evaporated as New York City bears the brunt of possibly the worst disaster in its history. The coronavirus has been devastating the city’s people, their way of life, and their livelihoods. As elected officials and experts look to the future, when the pandemic eventually subsides, they must plot a path out of the crises that will remain.

    New Yorkers will need jobs, and

    ...
  • Keys to 'Inclusive Economic Recovery' in New York City Include Investments in CUNY and Workforce Development, Experts Say

    reyna rob program

    Considering an inclusive recovery in New York City (photo: William Alatriste/City Council)


    As the COVID-19 public health and economic crises continue, so does the conversation about recovery. This past week, the Center for an Urban Future (CUF), a nonprofit think tank focused on economic opportunity and equitable growth, hosted a digital discussion, “Ensuring an Inclusive Economic Recovery in NYC,” featuring several public policy experts.

    Jonathon Bowles, the executive director of CUF, opened the discussion saying “the immediate priorities are clear: keep people

    ...
  • Experts Look Ahead to Post-Virus Restart of City Economy Amid Fear of Urban Flight

    economy rendering jobs

    When will the city economy re-open, and how? (image: Mayor's Office)


    Billions of dollars in typical commerce isn’t happening as the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has brought the local economy to a near-standstill, and with the shutdown hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions in expected tax revenue lost from city coffers. The unparalleled scale of the crisis, with no clear end in sight, has made forecasts unpredictable. What’s not in doubt is that the city will eventually have to revive and rebuild its communities, its industries and job market,

    ...
  • 40 Suggestions to Help Especially Vulnerable Seniors During Coronavirus Crisis: Report

    seniors amid coronavirus

    Seniors are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 & its social effects (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    The outbreak of the deadly new coronavirus, COVID-19, throughout New York City has led to over 11,400 fatalities. One group particularly hard-hit by both the virus and its cumulative social effects has been senior citizens, older adults who often have underlying health conditions and less ability to fight off a serious infection.

    Data provided by the New York City Health Department shows that more than 70% of the

    ...
  • With Cuomo Promising Gig Economy Regulations, New York Leaders Consider Pros and Cons of California Model

    gocvuomo center

    (photo: Don Pollard/Office of the Governor)


    This year, more than 40% of New Yorkers will be employed in the so-called gig economy, Governor Andrew Cuomo said in his State of the State speech earlier this month. It was an acknowledgement that the nature of work is changing, or rather has changed, and also a concession that labor rules have not evolved to keep up. Gig economy workers lack the same benefits that full-time workers enjoy, which has helped billion-dollar companies make substantial profit on the backs of unprotected and often underpaid workers. And

    ...
  • First Mandated Survey of Small Businesses Identifies Problems But City Points to Existing Services

    bdb rec business

    Mayor de Blasio & Council Member Cornegy stop at a small business (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    New York City’s small businesses need more employees but struggle with hiring, and lack the time and resources they need to find and train talent. Their operational costs continue to be a challenge, including the cost of rent, insurance, and utilities. They need more financial support for growth and more assistance to comply with government rules and regulations.

    Those are just a few of the findings of a limited and first-of-its-kind survey conducted by

    ...
  • Solving New York City’s Next Big Census Problem

    resource cm carlos menchaca attends sbs

    (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    New Yorkers got some great news last week when President Trump abandoned plans to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. Adding the question to the Census would have resulted in a massive undercount of the city’s population, causing New York to lose its share of billions in federal funding for vital programs and services.

    But there’s another wrinkle in this upcoming Census that could significantly depress participation across the city: the move to a digital Census. This will be

    ...
  • Two Years After New York City Expanded Protections for Freelancers, State Yet to Act

    freelancers rally

    Council Members Rafael Espinal, left, & Brad Lander (photo: City Council)


    Two years ago, the New York City Council’s Freelance Isn’t Free Act went into effect, giving freelance workers legal protections against wage theft, delayed payments, employer retaliation, and lack of contracts for their work. The first-of-its-kind law has since allowed the city to recoup thousands of dollars in wages for

    ...
  • The Opportunity Ahead for the New CUNY Chancellor

    cuny office matos

    Former CUNY Chancellor James Milliken, left, & incoming Chancellor Felix Matos Rodriguez (photo: CUNY)


    Today -- Wednesday, May 1 -- Felix Matos-Rodriguez assumes the post of CUNY chancellor following a year-long search. After successfully leading two CUNY colleges, Chancellor Matos-Rodriguez takes over an institution that has made important strides in recent years, including opening an innovative new community college and launching nationally renowned programs like CUNY ASAP.

    To help grow New York City’s middle class and greatly expand economic

    ...
  • 15 Ideas for Expanding Economic Opportunity in New York in 2019

    govandcuomo oppagenda

    (photo: Governor's office)


    New York’s Legislature has been on a tear in the first days of 2019, passing the DREAM Act to help undocumented students pay for college, prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity, and overhauling the state’s antiquated election laws. Now lawmakers have an opportunity to take similarly bold steps to reduce income inequality statewide.  

    It’s time to build on early momentum and help lift more New Yorkers into the middle class. To do so, the Center for an Urban Future (CUF) has laid out 15

    ...