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Urban Policy

Civic Innovation Beyond Civic Technology

May 15, 2014

A sneak peek of New America's recent civic innovation brainstorm. More soon.

Technology has become part of nearly everything we do in our public and private lives. It shapes the way we connect with our friends and family, move through our cities and hometowns, and relax after a tough week. Technology also increasingly provides avenues for public interaction -- within our communities (online and off) and with our government. We use tech to vote, communicate with neighbors, access government services, follow politics, and participate in decision-making. “Civic tech” innovations have helped us fundamentally shift the way we understand our world and our place in it. But technology alone doesn’t cause this change. We do.

A Victory for Digital Justice (Your Tax Dollars at Work)

May 13, 2014

In 2009, digital justice coalitions in Detroit and Philadelphia seized an opportunity to turn a new federal policy into a lasting transformation of the Internet’s role in their local communities.

NOTE: An edited version of the attached essay will appear in Strategies for Media Reform: International Perspectives, Des Freedman, Jonathan Obar, Robert McChesney, & Cheryl Martens, (Eds.), forthcoming from Fordham University Press. We welcome feedback on this version of the essay.

Brief: Methodology for Identifying and Addressing Urban Areas with Low Broadband Adoption

  • By
  • Greta Byrum,
  • Joshua Breitbart,
  • Georgia Bullen,
  • New America Foundation
March 13, 2014
This brief describes the different phases of research to prepare for planning and managing broadband interventions at various scales. Using this guide, researchers can compile geospatial broadband profiles including environmental and demographic data, local community assets, and available technical infrastructure.

New America NYC: Can Megacities be Resilient?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 - 6:30pm

Listen to the full audio of this event:


Asset Building News Week, August 13 - 17

August 17, 2012
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The Asset Building News Week is a weekly Friday feature on The Ladder, the Asset Building Program blog, designed to help readers keep up with news and developments in the asset building field. This week's topics include poverty in politics, financial services, and asset poverty.

Despite Economic Anxieties, Urban Developments Rise

July 23, 2012
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In downtown Washington D.C., the scaffolds of a $950 million development, the CityCenter DC, are rising. In the place of D.C.’s old convention-center-turned-parking-lot, the new three-block development will include residential units, commercial space, and public parks and plazas. It will be pedestrian-oriented, LEED certified, and gardens will line the rooftops.

Hard Landing

  • By
  • Phillip Longman,
  • Lina Khan,
  • New America Foundation
July 9, 2012

America’s air transport system is vital to the economic health of the nation, and to the well-being of every region of the country. Yet across much of America, the air transport system is breaking down as the few surviving airlines simultaneously jack up fares and slash service. This means citizens can’t get where they need to go. And it means large and vibrant cities – including St. Louis, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and Memphis – are having trouble keeping what businesses they have, let alone attracting new investors.

A New American Dream Becomes Reality As Cities Grow More Than Suburbs

June 29, 2012
Families bike together in Portland, by Steven Vance

According to the 2011 census estimates, for the first since 1920—nearly a century—cities are growing more than suburbs. A recent study shows 77% of millennials want to live in the urban core. 28 year-old Denver resident, Jaclyn King said, “I will never live in the suburbs… I just like being connected to everything down here—concerts, work, restaurants, all of it.

Getting More Traffic at Lambert

  • By
  • Lina Khan,
  • New America Foundation
April 4, 2012 |

Every St. Louisan knows the story. A decade ago, the metropolitan region enjoyed some of the best air service in America. But since 2001, the city has seen the number of flights tumble. Every year, it seems, the region's businesses and citizens here have had to make do with fewer seats flying to fewer places.

Why Don't American Cities Burn? A Conversation with Author Michael Katz

February 15, 2012
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We're hosting an event this Friday with author and urban historian Michael Katz (also a professor of history at University of Pennsylvania) to discuss his new book, Why Don't American Cities Burn? Devin Fergus, a professor of history at Hunter College in New York, will join us to offer his take on the issues in the book and Reid Cramer will moderate and help link Katz's work to the asset building field.

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