Report - May 2024

50 Ideas for a Stronger and More Equitable Queens

Queens is the city’s largest gateway for immigrants, and is also arguably New York’s most important launchpad to the middle class. Yet, given rising rents, climate change, an aging population and other challenges, Queens has significant work to do to ensure all of its residents can fully participate in the borough’s prosperity. This report presents bold policy ideas from 50 Queens leaders for what city leaders can do to create a stronger, more equitable Queens.

Report - May 2024

Closing NYC’s College Attainment Gap

Most well-paying jobs in New York City today go to individuals with a postsecondary degree, and studies suggest that this will only accelerate in the decade ahead. But there are still glaring racial, ethnic, and geographic gaps in college attainment rates across New York City.

Report - March 2024

Boosting Transfer Student Success at CUNY

Thousands of New York City public high school graduates every year start at a City University of New York community college and then transfer to a four-year institution to obtain a bachelor's degree. But the large majority of CUNY students who intend to transfer and complete a credential fall short of doing so. Improvement is possible with a few strategic steps from CUNY and modest investments from city and state leaders.

Report - March 2024

Big Ideas to Help NYC Thrive in the Post-Pandemic Economy

New York has overcome the immediate economic tests of the pandemic, but the city still has to keep pace with a vastly changed landscape. Meeting this moment will require a seismic shift in how city officials approach economic development. This report offers five big, immediately actionable ideas that city policymakers can implement to make New York even stronger.

Report - March 2024

50 Ideas for a Stronger and More Equitable Brooklyn

In many ways, Brooklyn is a shining star of the city's post-pandemic recovery. Despite all its progress, Brooklyn has significant work to do to ensure all of its residents can fully participate in the borough’s growing prosperity. This report presents bold policy ideas from 50 exceptional Brooklynites for what city leaders can do to create a stronger, more equitable Brooklyn.

Report - February 2024

50 Ideas for a Stronger and More Equitable Bronx

It will be nearly impossible to create a more equitable economy in New York without putting the Bronx at the forefront. This report presents bold policy ideas from 50 exceptional Bronxites for what city leaders can do to create a stronger, more equitable Bronx.

Report - January 2024

Paying for the Growing Needs of NYC’s Parks: 20 Fresh Ideas to Fund Parks and Open Spaces

The cities that will prosper in the years ahead are those that boast an exceptional quality of life, and great open spaces are essential to that goal. Yet there is virtually no agreement on how to pay for parks' growing maintenance and infrastructure needs, while investing in new parks and open spaces in the places they’re needed the most. This report puts forth 20 concrete and achievable ideas to do just that.

Report - December 2023

State of the Chains, 2023

Our sixteenth annual ranking of national retailers in New York City finds a 3.1 percent downtick in chain stores across the five boroughs over the past year. This is the second-largest single-year decline in chain stores since the report began in 2008, and breaks a two-year streak of modest recovery after the unprecedented plunge of 2020.

Report - October 2023

Boosting Tech Career Success for CUNY Students: Doubling Down on CUNY 2X Tech

The CUNY 2X Tech initiative is expanding access to internships in tech firms, boosting employment outcomes for graduates, bringing industry expertise into classrooms, and helping to hire the faculty and advisors needed to support booming enrollment in tech degree programs. To make further progress toward a more equitable economy, city leaders should expand this initiative and maintain its momentum.

Report - October 2023

Upstate’s Creative Spark: How the Arts Is Catalyzing Economic Vitality Across Upstate New York

To reverse decades of economic stagnation and population declines in upstate New York, policymakers should look to one powerful but often overlooked catalyst: the arts. By better integrating the arts into New York State economic development planning, policymakers have an opportunity to build on recent momentum and lay the groundwork for a more vibrant, sustainable, and equitable economy.

Report - September 2023

Preparing Today’s Asylum Seekers to Be Tomorrow’s Workforce

New York City has long struggled to help many of the city’s 2.79 million working age foreign-born residents—including over 1.4 million who have limited English proficiency—get on the path to employment. Now, tens of thousands of new asylum seekers are settling here, and the city is further behind. These newest New Yorkers can be a major boon for the city's economy, but workforce development providers need new investment to support them.

Report - September 2023

Expanding on CS4All: Training NYC’s Future Teachers to Integrate Computing Education

By training thousands more future teachers to integrate computing education in the classroom, New York City can help far more New Yorkers access technology-powered careers. Fewer than 5 percent of CUNY teacher education graduates are equipped to teach computational thinking, preventing many of the most disadvantaged students from receiving the full benefits of the Computer Science for All (CS4All) initiative.

Report - August 2023

5 Steps for Expanding Skills-Based Hiring in New York City

This new report finds that expanding skills-based hiring may be the greatest untapped opportunity to build a more equitable economy in New York City. It urges private sector companies and the City of New York to eliminate degree requirements for some jobs and instead hire based on an assessment of demonstrated skills, laying out five steps to get there.

Report - July 2023

Strengthening SYEP: Introducing NYC Youth to Higher-Wage Career Paths

The Summer Youth Employment Program is in many ways a resounding success, connecting over 100,000 young New Yorkers to paid work opportunities. But there is one critical area the program has fallen short—expanding employer partnerships in high-wage, growing industries that are shaping the city’s economic future.

Report - June 2023

7 Ideas for Boosting NYC’s Newest Businesses

Neighborhoods across New York City—from the South Bronx to Sunset Park—are experiencing an unprecedented entrepreneurial renaissance. This brief explores insights from a Center for an Urban Future policy forum on what exactly city government officials should do to ensure that a significant share of the city's newest businesses prosper for many years to come.

Report - June 2023

NYC’s Stalled Retail Recovery

Retail is one of New York City’s largest industry sectors, and home to an outsized share of the most accessible jobs. But the retail sector is lagging well behind the city’s overall jobs recovery and other face-to-face industries, including restaurants, that were hit hard during the pandemic, raising concerns about whether this vital and diverse part of the city’s economy will ever get back to its pre-pandemic employment level.

Report - March 2023

Playing New York City’s ACE Card

Few student success programs nationally have been as effective as CUNY’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) initiative, which has grown to serve 25,000 community college students. CUNY has a promising program modeled on ASAP that is helping students at senior colleges complete their bachelor’s degrees on time: the Accelerate, Complete, and Engage (ACE) program. But the ACE program has considerable room to grow.

Report - January 2023

Keeping Pace with an Aging New York State

New York State’s older adult population is booming, with more residents ages 65 and above—nearly 3.5 million—than the entire population of 21 states. An expanding share of the state’s older adults are immigrants and people of color. Alarmingly, older New Yorkers living below the poverty line increased by 37 percent over the past decade.

Report - January 2023

Strengthening NYC’s Nonprofits by Reducing Administrative Burdens

Government contract requirements are often unnecessarily complicated and inconsistent, forcing nonprofits to spend an exorbitant amount of time toiling over paperwork. Reducing these burdens could offer much-needed relief to the sector.

Report - December 2022

State of the Chains, 2022

Our fifteenth annual ranking of national retailers in New York City finds a slight 0.3 percent uptick in chain stores across the five boroughs. However, despite the continued recovery from the sector’s steep contraction in 2020, this year’s bump in chain locations was a fraction of last year’s 2.7 percent increase.

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