State of New York City's Housing and Neighborhoods 2011

State of New York City's Housing and Neighborhoods 2011
Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, New York University

Been, V., S. Dastrup, I.G. Ellen, B. Gross, A. Hayashi, S. Latham, M. Lewit, J. Madar, V. Reina, M. Weselcouch, and M. Williams.

The Furman Center is pleased to present the 2011 edition of the State of New York City’s Housing and Neighborhoods. In this annual report, the Furman Center compiles statistics on housing, demographics and quality of life in the City, its five boroughs and 59 community districts.This year we examine the distribution of the burden of New York City’s property tax, analyze the changing racial and ethnic makeup of city neighborhoods, evaluate the state of mortgage lending in New York City, and compare federally-subsidized housing programs across the five most populous U.S. cities.

Searching for the Right Spot: Minimum Parking Requirements and Housing Affordability in New York City

Searching for the Right Spot: Minimum Parking Requirements and Housing Affordability in New York City
March, 2012

Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy

Increasingly, local governments are trying to meet the parking needs of their residents and visitors more efficiently, and in ways that are more consistent with broader sustainability, transportation, and land use goals. Concerns about traffic congestion, housing affordability, and anticipated population growth have even prompted some policy analysts and policymakers to reexamine the well-entrenched practice of mandating a minimum number of parking spaces that developers must include in residential developments

Growing Older in Hong Kong, New York and London

Growing Older in Hong Kong, New York and London
The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust. Hong Kong.

Chau, P. Woo, J. Gusmano, MK. Weisz, D. and Rodwin, VG.

Declining birth rates, increasing longevity and urbanization have created a new challenge for cities: how to respond to an ageing population. Although population ageing and urbanization are not new concerns for national governments around the world, the consequences of these trends for quality of life in cities has only recently started to receive attention from policy makers and researchers. Few comparative studies of world cities examine their health or long-term care systems; nor have comparisons of national systems for the provision of long-term care focused on cities, let alone world cities.

By extending the work of the CADENZA and World Cities Projects , this report investigates how three world cities -- Hong Kong, New York and London -- are coping with this challenge. These world cities are centers of finance, information, media, arts, education, specialized legal services and advanced business services, and contribute disproportionate shares of GDP to their national economies. But are these influential centers prepared to meet the challenge posed by the “revolution of longevity?” How will these world cities accommodate this revolutionary demographic change? Are they prepared to implement the health and social policy innovations that may be required to serve their residents, both old and young? Will they be able to identify the new opportunities that increased longevity may offer? Can they learn from one another as they seek to develop creative solutions to the myriad issues that arise? Finally, can other cities learn from the experience of these three cities as they confront this challenge?

To address these questions, we examine comparable data on the economic and health status of older persons, as well as the availability and use of health, social and long-term care across and within these cities. In the report “How Well Are Seniors in Hong Kong Doing? An International Comparison”, a first attempt was made to compare the situation in Hong Kong with five economically developed countries. This report extends this study by comparing the situation in Hong Kong with two other world cities—New York City and London, which are more comparable in terms of population size and economic characteristics.

The Emergence of the "Super-Commuter"

The Emergence of the "Super-Commuter"
Rudin Center for Rudin Center for Transportation, New York University Wagner School of Public Service, February, 2012

Moss, Mitchell L. and Carson Qing.

The twenty-first century is emerging as the century of the "super-commuter," a person who works in the central county of a given metropolitan area, but lives beyond the boundaries of that metropolitan area, commuting long distance by air, rail, car, bus, or a combination of modes. The super-commuter typically travels once or twice weekly for work, and is a rapidly growing part of our workforce. The changing structure of the workplace, advances in telecommunications, and the global pattern of economic life have made the super-commuter a new force in transportation.

Many workers are not required to appear in one office five days a week; they conduct work from home, remote locations, and even while driving or flying. The international growth of broadband internet access, the development of home-based computer systems that rival those of the workplace, and the rise of mobile communications systems have contributed to the emergence of the super-commuter in the United States. Super-commuters are well-positioned to take advantage of higher salaries in one region and lower housing costs in another.

Many workers are not expected to physically appear in a single office at all: the global economy has made it possible for highly-skilled workers to be employed on a strictly virtual basis, acquiring clients anywhere and communicating via email, phone and video conference. Furthermore, the global economy has rendered the clock irrelevant, making it possible for people to work, virtually, in a different time zone than the one in which they live. Simply put, the workplace is no longer fixed in one location, but rather where the worker is situated. As a result, city labor sheds (where workers live) have expanded over the past decade to encompass not just a city's exurbs, but also distant, non-local metropolitan regions, resulting in greater economic integration between cities situated hundreds of miles apart.

NYU's Rudin Center has found that super-commuting is a growing trend in major United States regions, with growth in eight of the ten largest metropolitan areas.


Efficiency Considerations of Donor Fatigue, Universal Access to ARTs and Health Systems

Efficiency Considerations of Donor Fatigue, Universal Access to ARTs and Health Systems
Sex Transm Infect 2012;88:75-78

Grépin, Karen

Objectives: To investigate trends in official development assistance for health, HIV and non-HIV activities over time and to discuss the efficiency implications of these trends in the context of achieving universal access to treatment and health systems.

Methods: Official development assistance for health, HIV programmes and non-HIV programmes were tracked using data from 2000 to 2009. A review of the literature on efficiency, treatment and health systems was conducted. Findings The rate of growth of donor funding to HIV programmes has slowed in recent years at levels below those required to sustain programmes and to move towards universal access to treatment. These trends are likely due to increased pressure on foreign aid budgets and donor fatigue for HIV programmes.

Conclusions: There is great need to consider how the limited resources available can be used most efficiently to increase the number of lives saved and to ensure that these resources also benefit health systems. Improving efficiency is much more than just improving the productive efficiency and also about ensuring that resources are going to where they will be the most beneficial and making investments that are the most efficient over time. These choices may be essential to achieving the goal of universal access to treatment as well as the sustainability of these programmes. 

Medicare’s Flagship Test Of Pay-For-Performance Did Not Spur More Rapid Quality Improvement Among Low-Performing Hospitals

Medicare’s Flagship Test Of Pay-For-Performance Did Not Spur More Rapid Quality Improvement Among Low-Performing Hospitals
Health Affairs; 31(4):797-805.

Ryan, Andrew M., Jan Blustein, Lawrence P. Casalino.

Medicare’s flagship hospital pay-for-performance program, the Premier Hospital Quality Incentive Demonstration, began in 2003 but changed its incentive design in late 2006. The goals were to encourage greater quality improvement, particularly among lower-performing hospitals. However, we found no evidence that the change achieved these goals. Although the program changes were intended to provide strong incentives for improvement to the lowest-performing hospitals, we found that in practice the new incentive design resulted in the strongest incentives for hospitals that had already achieved quality performance ratings just above the median for the entire group of participating hospitals. Yet during the course of the program, these hospitals improved no more than others. Our findings raise questions about whether pay-for-performance strategies that reward improvement can generate greater improvement among lower performing providers. They also cast some doubt on the extent to which hospitals respond to the specific structure of economic incentives in pay-for-performance programs.

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.


How New York City Won the Olympics

How New York City Won the Olympics
Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management. New York University. November 2011

Moss, Mitchell

This report demonstrates that New York City has successfully achieved almost all of the key elements in the NYC2012 Olympic Plan, despite the fact that it was not chosen to host the 2012 Games. For New York City, planning for the 2012 Olympics provided the framework to shape the future of the city, through new mass transit, rezoning, and investment in parks, recreational facilities, and housing throughout the city. Long neglected and underused industrial areas have been transformed as a result of the NYC2012 Plan, including the far west side of Manhattan, which will soon be linked to the rest of the city through an extension of the #7 subway line. This report describes how many projects, long the subject of public discussion and civic debate, were able to be carried out as a result of the NYC2012 Olympic Plan.

A la santé de l'oncle Sam: regards croisés sur les systémes de santé; américain et français (To Uncle Sam's Health: Cross perspectives on the American and French Health Systems)

A la santé de l'oncle Sam: regards croisés sur les systémes de santé; américain et français (To Uncle Sam's Health: Cross perspectives on the American and French Health Systems)
Paris, Jacob-Duvernet

Tabuteau, D., Rodwin, V.G.

Victor Rodwin, professor of health policy and management at NYU Wagner, and his colleague Didier Tabuteau, counselor of state and professor of health policy at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques and the University of Paris Descartes, have published a new book (published by Editions Jacob Duvernet) in which they challenge the conventional wisdom that the French health care system is a government-managed, public and collective enterprise and the American system a private, market-oriented and individualist system. Based on six months of debates in Paris while Professor Rodwin held the Fulbright-Toqueville Chair (spring semester, 2010), this book compares public health, health insurance, the power of physicians, health care reform, and the silent revolution that is transforming health care organization in both France and the United States.

The New York Transportation Journal

The New York Transportation Journal
Vol. XI No. 1, Fall

de Cerreño, A.L.C., Publisher, Sterman, B.P., Editor, Panero, M.A., Associate Editor.

The lead article for this issue of the Journal presents an interview by Rachel Weinberger of Elliot G. "Lee" Sander, Executive Director and CEO of the MTA, and our former publisher and Director of the NYU Wagner Rudin Center. In his interview with Rachel, Lee talks about the challenges facing the MTA and his vision for the agency. Then, in a timely article on Financing Transportation, Linda Spock discusses research she conducted for the Rudin Center regarding programmed transit fare increase policies. A Suburbs of New York article, written by Gerry Bogacz of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council (NYMTC) describes the continuing efforts to establish a sustainable development program on the eastern end of Long Island. Another, Beyond the Region, article written by three authors – Paul Noumba, Gyeng Chul Kim, and Patchareporn Talvanna – describes the implementation of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in Seoul, South Korea. Notice that BRT is deemed as a key component of PlaNYC. Finally, the congestion of the Northeast Corridor's air and surface transportation system are addressed in a Surface, Air, and Waterways article by Allison L. C. de Cerreño, Director of the NYU Rudin Center for Transportation Management and Policy. She introduces a megamodal approach that looks at all transportation modes along the entire corridor, and begins to develop a vision for how passengers and freight can most effectively share the system while creating the highest level of mobility and access for both people and goods. Her article relates to a recent conference held by the Rudin Center, titled: "Thinking Bigger: New York and Transportation in the Northeast Megaregion."

Civic Engagement & National Belonging

Civic Engagement & National Belonging
International Journal of Public Administration and Management .

Kersh, R.

In his essay “All Community Is Local,” political scientist William Schambra urges that researchers and activists “direct our gaze away from the failed project of national community and focus once again on the churches, voluntary associations, and grass-roots groups that are rebuilding America’s civil society one family, one block, one neighborhood at a time.” Schambra’s is a rather extreme version of a view expressed by many theorists of citizenship, as well as by political figures from both right and left: that the nation is too distant from most people’s lives (or its governing officials too impersonal or corrupt) to inspire a sense of shared purposes or civic spirit. Only intense local involvement yields rightly-constituted citizens, and small communities are the likeliest realm for realizing the public good.[1]

Upcoming Fels Public Policy Challenge Stirs Proposals by 9 Student Teams at Wagner

Upcoming Fels Public Policy Challenge Stirs Proposals by 9 Student Teams at Wagner

Get ready, get set: NYU Wagner is looking to make it two-wins-in-a-row at the upcoming National Invitational Public Policy Challenge hosted annually by the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania and presented by Governing magazine. The Challenge invites students to develop creative policy proposals and civic engagement solutions to pressing social problems.

Last year, a team of Wagner students won the inaugural Fels Challenge with their pattern-busting proposal "Kinvolved," a project involving a new app to help New York City teachers keep track of student attendance and communicate with parents. Upon winning, the team received $15,000 to bring the project to life.

This year’s Fels Challenge is annother exciting opportunity for future leaders in public service to make a difference on issues that matter. Modeled after MBA business plan competitions, the Challenge asks student teams from policy schools around the country to develop a policy that can bring about significant change in their community.

In all, nine student teams at Wagner have drafted proposals. From these promising submissions, three semi-finalists will be selected, and one will go on to the nationals on March 17 at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

To attend the event, please RSVP here.

The plans submitted by the Wagner students offer fresh thinking and solutions to challenges such as gun violence, food waste, childhood obesity, and gestational diabetes.

Wagner competed in the nationals against three other policy schools across the country in 2012.  This year, nine schools have joined the competition. Good luck to all the participants!

"There's nothing comparable to public service" - Former Mayor Edward I. Koch [Video]

"There's nothing comparable to public service" - Former Mayor Edward I. Koch [Video]

Former New York City Mayor Edward I. Koch, who died in the early-morning hours Feb. 1, led an informative, entertaining hour of discussion in the fall of 2010 at NYU Wagner about his eventful three terms at City Hall – years that sparked a remarkable turnaround in the condition and character of much of New York City, noticeable to this day.

Joining Koch was Jonathan Soffer, NYU Polytechnic associate professor of history and author of a critically acclaimed biography, Ed Koch and the Rebuilding of New York City (Columbia University Press, 2010), as well as Wagner's dean Ellen Schall, who introduced Koch as “my mayor," noting that she had worked extensively for city government, including as the commissioner of juvenile justice.

“City government, I say to all my students, is really the most amazing opportunity,” she commented. “It allows you to work on incredibly important issues, have much more authority as a young person that you have any reason to have, and make a huge amount of difference.”

Koch spoke passionately about the merits of embarking on a career in public service.

“There’s nothing comparable to public service,” he said. “More than saying ‘How am I doin’?’ … more than that I said 10,000 times that public service is the most noble profession if it’s done honestly and if it’s done well. And that’s why people serve. There’s nothing like it.”

In this videotape of the Oct. 14, 2010 conversation at Wagner, the former mayor begins speaking at marker 15:48.



Firm Recognizes NYU Wagner Graduate as Rising Star in Economic Development

Firm Recognizes NYU Wagner Graduate as Rising Star in Economic Development

Harold Pettigrew

A top marketing firm for cities, states, and other jurisdictions has identified NYU Wagner graduate Harold Pettigrew (MUP ’05) as a rising star in the field of economic development.

Development Counselors International (DCI) named Pettigrew to its “40 Under 40” roster of public service awardees for 2013.

Pettigrew is director of the Department of Small and Local Business Development  (DSLBD) for the District of Columbia.

“The District’s economy has benefited tremendously from Harold’s leadership in aggressively rolling out and reforming services that support our small and local businesses,” declared Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray, in a press release. “He is an important part of the District’s economic success story, he exemplifies the world-class talent in my Cabinet, and I congratulate him for this outstanding and well-deserved recognition.”

Commented Pettigrew, “This award speaks to the excellent work taking place to maximize the launch and growth of businesses in the District of Columbia. I am honored to receive and share this recognition from DCI with the team at DSLBD, and the public and private sector partners who share our commitment to making the District of Columbia a world-class business destination.”

New Report Explores Technology and the Nonprofit Sector

New Report Explores Technology and the Nonprofit Sector

The Aspen Insitute today released a new report in Washington, D.C., by NYU Wagner Visiting Professor Beth Noveck and Daniel L. Goroff. The report, "Information for Impact: Liberating Nonprofit Sector Data," shows how new technology designed to improve data on the nonprofit sector can prompt greater innovation and effectiveness.

Noveck is former director of the White House Open Government Initiative. Goroff, while at the Office of Science and Technology Policy, helped establish the new Interagency Task Force on Smart Disclosure. He is a program director with the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.


Professor David Elcott to Receive MLK Jr. Faculty Award

Professor David Elcott to Receive MLK Jr. Faculty Award

Professor David Elcott

NYU Wagner Professor David Elcott has been chosen to receive the Provost’s prestigious 2013 Martin Luther King, Jr. Faculty Award, presented to outstanding faculty members - nominated by students - who exemplify the spirit of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., through their teaching excellence, leadership, commitment to social justice, and community-building work.

Professor Elcott is Wagner’s Taub Professor of Practice in Public Service. He is senior research fellow at the Research Center for Leadership in Action (RCLA) and Faculty Director of the Executive MPA program.

The NYU Provost, in partnership with the NYU Division of Student Affairs, will present the Faculty Award to Professor Elcott and five other faculty members Wednesday, February 6, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Pless Hall Lounge, 82 Washington Square East. 

To view a Wagner video interview with Professor Elcott, click here.

Click here to view photos from the event.


Banking the World: Empirical Foundations of Financial Inclusion - Jonathan Morduch

Banking the World: Empirical Foundations of Financial Inclusion - Jonathan Morduch

Jonathan Morduch, professor of public policy and economics at NYU Wagner, has co-edited a new collection about the world’s vast “unbanked” population. The book, Banking the World: Empirical Foundations of Financial Inclusion, examines how to realize the goal of extending banking and other financial services to the estimated 2.5 billion people, just over half the adult population globally, who lack them. It. is published by The MIT Press and can be ordered here.

Morduch, a contributor to the volume, is the executive director and co-founder of the Financial Access Initiative, an inter-university research center housed at the Wagner school. The full gamut of essays explore such topics as the complexity of surveying people about their use of financial services; evidence of the impact of financial services on income; and the occasional negative effects of financial services on poor households, including disincentives to work and over-indebtedness. Along with Murdoch, the book's co-editors include Robert Cull and Asli Demirglic-Kunt.

About the Editors:

Robert Cull is a Lead Economist in the Finance and Delivery Private Sector Development Team of the World Bank’s Development Research Group. Asli Demirgüç-Kunt is Director of Development Policy in the World Bank’s Development Economics Vice Presidency and Chief Economist of the Financial and Private Sector Development Network (FPD).

Asli Demirguc-Kunt is Senior Research Manager, Finance and Private Sector, in the World Bank's Development Economics Research Group. She is the coeditor of Financial Structures and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Comparison of Banks, Markets, and Development (MIT Press, 2001).

Jonathan J. Morduch is Professor of Public Policy and Economics at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. He is the coauthor of The Economics of Microfinance (MIT Press) and Portfolios of the Poor: How the World's Poor Live on $2 a Day.

Global Social Change Leadership Institute Early Admissions Deadline Feb 15

Global Social Change Leadership Institute Early Admissions Deadline Feb 15

RCLA’s Global Social Change Leadership Institute offers college and graduate students and young professionals from across the United States and around the world a chance to develop practical knowledge and skills to advance social justice in their communities.

Program participants learn from experts at the forefront of policy reform and advocacy, coalition building and direct service, and the curriculum draws on a decade of rigorous research RCLA has conducted with award-winning social change organizations about the essential role these nonprofits play in an informed and engaged civil society. Interactive workshops are paired with site visits throughout New York City, offering participants a robust understanding of both the theory and practice of leadership and social change.

Participants emerge with an understanding of social change leadership, a plan for taking action in their school or community, and a network of other advocates committed to social justice.


What to Expect from President Obama's Second Term - Jan. 17

What to Expect from President Obama's Second Term - Jan. 17

Paul Light, NYU Wagner’s Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service, will lead a  lively and informative exchange on the expectations and goals of President Barack Obama’s second term on Thursday, Jan. 17, at 5:00 p. m. in Washington D.C.

“Executing a Second Term” will feature former presidential advisors Thomas F. McLarty and Kenneth M. Duberstein, and will take place at  New York University's Abramson Family Auditorium at 1307 L Street NW. The event - free and open to the public - is sponsored by NYU Washington, D.C. and the University's John Brademas Center for the Study of Congress.

Professor Light is founding principal investigator of NYU’s Global Center for Public Service and the author of 25 books, including works on social entrepreneurship, the nonprofit sector, federal government reform, public service, and the baby boom. Kenneth Duberstein is chairman and CEO of the Duberstein Group, an independent strategic planning and consulting company, and was chief of staff to President Ronald Reagan in 1988 and 1989. Thomas "Mack" McLarty III is  president of  McLarty Associates, an international advisory firm based in Washington, and was chief of staff to President Bill Clinton in 1993 and 1994.

Registration is required - please visit


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