The Greatest Grid: The Master Plan of Manhattan, 1811-2011

The Greatest Grid: The Master Plan of Manhattan, 1811-2011
January 2012

Ballon, Hilary

Laying out Manhattan's street grid and providing a rationale for the growth of New York was the city's first great civic enterprise, not to mention a brazenly ambitious project and major milestone in the history of city planning. The grid created the physical conditions for business and society to flourish and embodied the drive and discipline for which the city would come to be known. Published to coincide with an exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York celebrating the bicentennial of the Commissioners' 1811 Plan of Manhattan, this volume does more than memorialize such a visionary effort, it serves as an enduring reference full of rare images and information.

The Greatest Grid shares the history of the Commissioners' plan, incorporating archival photos and illustrations, primary documents and testimony, and magnificent maps with essential analysis. The text, written by leading historians of New York City, follows the grid's initial design, implementation, and evolution, and then speaks to its enduring influence. A foldout map, accompanied by explanatory notes, reproduces the Commissioners' original plan, and additional maps and prints chart the city's pre-1811 irregular growth patterns and local precedent for the grid's design. Constituting the first sustained examination of this subject, this text describes the social, political, and intellectual figures who were instrumental in remaking early New York, not in the image of old Europe but as a reflection of other American cities and a distinct New World sensibility. The grid reaffirmed old hierarchies while creating new opportunities for power and advancement, giving rise to the multicultural, highly networked landscape New Yorkers thrive in today.


Efficient Funding: Auditing in the Nonprofit Sector

Efficient Funding: Auditing in the Nonprofit Sector
Manufacturing & Service Operations Management. 13(4) 471-488.

N. Privett and F. Erhun

Nonprofit organizations are a critical part of society as well as a growing sector of the economy. For funders there is an increasing and pressing need to ensure that society reaps the most social benefit for their money while also developing the nonprofit sector as a whole. By routinely scrutinizing nonprofit reports in an effort to deduce whether a nonprofit organization is efficient, funders may believe that they are, in fact, giving responsibly. However, we find that these nonprofit reports are unreliable, supporting a myriad of empirical research and revealing that report-based funding methods do not facilitate efficient allocation of funds. In response, we develop audit contracts that put funders in a position to enact change. Auditing, perhaps obviously, supports funders; however, we find that it also benefits the population of nonprofits. Moreover, auditing results in improved efficiency for the nonprofit sector overall. Indeed, our conclusions indicate that nonprofits may want to work with funders to increase the use of auditing, consequently increasing efficiency for the sector overall and impacting society as a whole.

Reusing and Repurposing New York City's Infrastructure: Case Studies of Reused Transportation Infrastructure

Reusing and Repurposing New York City's Infrastructure: Case Studies of Reused Transportation Infrastructure
RCWP 10-005

Brooks, Galin

The High Line, Brooklyn Navy Yards, Pier 40 and Myrtle Avenue Station, are examples of projects that are reinventing how we think about the use of infrastructure spaces in New York City. What are the characteristics that define such projects and how is that they have been successful? This paper attempts to provide answers to this question by reviewing four case studies of repurposed transportation infrastructures, drawing out their commonalities and discussing their policy implications. 

Health Care in World Cities: New York, London and Paris

Health Care in World Cities: New York, London and Paris
Johns Hopkins University Press, April

Gusmano, M.K., Rodwin, V.G. & Weisz, D.

New York. London. Paris. Although these cities have similar sociodemographic characteristics, including income inequalities and ethic diversity, they have vastly different health systems and services. This book compares the three and considers lessons that can be applied to current and future debates about urban health care.

Highlighting the importance of a national policy for city health systems, the authors use well-established indicators and comparable data sources to shed light on urban health policy and practice. Their detailed comparison of the three city health systems and the national policy regimes in which they function provides information about access to health care in the developed world's largest cities.

The authors first review the current literature on comparative analysis of health systems and offer a brief overview of the public health infrastructure in each city. Later chapters illustrate how timely and appropriate disease prevention, primary care, and specialty health care services can help cities control such problems as premature mortality and heart disease.

In providing empirical comparisons of access to care in these three health systems, the authors refute inaccurate claims about health care outside of the United States.

Click here for a brief excerpt of the content.

Book review in Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law.

Infrastructure Impacts and Adaptation Challenges

Infrastructure Impacts and Adaptation Challenges
Chapter 4 in New York City Panel on Climate Change 2010 Report, Climate Change Adaptation in New York City: Building a Risk Management Response, C. Rosenzweig and W. Solecki, Eds. Prepared for use by the New York City Climate Change Adaptation Task Force.

Zimmerman, R. & Faris, C.

Creating an overall climate change adaptation strategy for urban infrastructure poses considerable conceptual and operational challenges. An understanding of the characteristics of a city's infrastructure that make it particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change is a critical foundation for understanding the severity of the impacts and the means for adaptation. Historical events that have compromised a city's infrastructure under conditions similar to those associated with climate change also provide information about what a city might expect in the way of consequences from a future of increased temperatures, precipitation, and sea level rise. This chapter explores the challenges to climate change adaptation in major urban infrastructure sectors with a focus on New York City, draws lessons from adaptation efforts under way in other large metropolitan regions, and discusses the role of the private sector in urban adaptation.

Bonding, bridging, and linking: How social capital operated in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina

Bonding, bridging, and linking: How social capital operated in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina
British Journal of Social Work, 40(6), 1777-1793.

Hawkins, R. L. & Maurer, K.

In the past decade, social capital has been explored internationally in the disaster and social work literature, particularly in terms of historical oppression and limited economic resources of disadvantaged communities. Social capital in the United States, however, has had less integration. Using a qualitative grounded theory approach, we examine the different types of social capital (bonding, bridging, and linking) through a social work lens. We examine how social capital operated in the lives of 40 families following Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana. We attempt to understand how residents utilized their social capital to survive the storm, relocate, and rebuild their lives and communities. Results indicate residents, especially those with low incomes, relied on, built upon, and collapsed all levels of social capital for individual, family, and community survival. Participants described a process through which close ties (bonding) were important for immediate support, but bridging and linking social capital offered pathways to longer term survival and wider neighborhood and community revitalization. This paper also discusses how social capital inclusion in social work can strengthen or hinder individual and community development following a catastrophic event.

Distribution of Federal Anti-Terrorism Funds in the United States: a Comparison of Data-Driven Approaches Based on Electric Power Generation

Distribution of Federal Anti-Terrorism Funds in the United States: a Comparison of Data-Driven Approaches Based on Electric Power Generation
Terrorism Issues: Threat Assessment, Consequences and Prevention. Edited by F. Columbus. Hauppauge. NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.

Greenberg, M. & Zimmerman, R.

Environmental Justice

Environmental Justice
Encyclopedia of Quantitative Risk Assessment. Edited by B. Everitt and E. Melnick. John Wiley Publishers. New York, NY,

Restrepo, C. & Zimmerman, R.

Quantitative risk assessment is a growing, important component of the larger field of risk assessment. The need to understand the risks of an activity, be it economic, environmental, public health/biomedical, or even based on terrorist or other hazardous impacts, has led to a number of methods of analysis for many different application scenarios. Indeed, all major areas of the larger endeavor - hazard identification, dose-response assessment, exposure assessment, and risk characterization - rely on and benefit from quantitative operations. Within these contexts, enhanced understanding of both the variability and the uncertainty inherent in the risk identification process is critically dependent upon proper implementation of appropriate statistical methodologies.

Public Opinion toward Legislating for the Future: An Update

Public Opinion toward Legislating for the Future: An Update
Policy Report for New York University's Brademas Center for the Study of Congress,

Light, P.C.

The past two years have been unsettled at best for Congress. Public approval toward Congress remains low, legislative debates have been contentious, polarization remains high, and Congress has a mixed record in dealing with major long-term issues such as Social Security and Medicare. The State Children's Health Insurance program has been delayed awaiting a compromise that might expand coverage, immigration reform has been waylaid by the intensity of opposition across the party lines, energy reform was diluted by ongoing disputes about how to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil, and the war in Iraq continues to dictate the pace of major legislative debates.


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