urban policy


The L Train Shutdown May Spawn a New Generation of Bike People

Will subway-addicted New Yorkers really go in on bikes when America's largest subway shuts down one of its major lines? Experts and advocates sure hope so.


Art in the Time of Gentrification: Can NYC's Culture Be Saved from Its Economy?

Last week, MoMA PS1 held a a panel discussion about art and gentrification. To figure out exactly how gentrification is affecting culture in New York City, we spoke with three experts about the issue.


How the Gangs of 1970s New York Came Together to End Their Wars

We spoke to the director of 'Rubble Kings' about the bad old days in the Bronx and whether his film will resonate with contemporary gangs.


How Cardboard Signs Changed the Face of Panhandling in America

"Flying a sign," as it's called, is a way for the homeless to make their pleas to passersby quickly, silently, and without defying laws against aggressive panhandling.


How New York's Massive Homeless Population Endured Winter 2015

I talked to homeless New Yorkers about taking refuge on the subway, watching out for the cops, and why sleeping on the street was sometimes better than staying in a homeless shelter.


San Francisco: Where Violent Street Gangs and Silicon Valley Tech Bros Coexist

There's gang violence on the same street corners where gentrifiers are paying thousands of dollars in rent.


The Battle in Colorado Over the Right to Smoke Weed at Movie Screenings and Comic-Cons

Denver has made life miserable for anyone trying to host a show or party that is advertised as allowing pot smoke. But the demand for cannabis clubs and weed-friendly venues is putting the massive grey areas of Colorado's marijuana laws to the test.


​The Human Billboards of New York City

With fliers, menus, and business cards serving as their advertising arsenal, these street workers—mostly immigrant men—struggle to survive in America's largest city.


Is New York’s Latest Graffiti Crackdown Backfiring?

Crime rates are low and the new mayor is an outspoken progressive, so why is the NYPD going after graffiti artists like it's 1994?


How Illegal Cigarettes Get Smuggled and Sold in New York City

I spent a day with a guy who traffics "loosies" in Staten Island.


Does Publicly Shaming Landlords Make Them Better People?

As members of a broadly liberal society, we love to cast judgment on our peers. But castigating shady landlords on the internet may not achieve all that much for average renters.


Is Newark's New Mayor Going to Decriminalize All Drugs?

Tuesday's vote produced a mayor-elect who has embraced the idea of blanket decriminalization, but will he carry that wish to fruition in a city tormented by violent crime?