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City Topics is one of New York City's best resources for coverage of issues that define the fabric of urban affairs, which includes City Limits current stories and coverage, and archival history. Discover more about public policy issues in New York City and utilize the tools we provide to inform citizens to learn more about what's happening that affects the five boroughs.


A key factor in the city's history, but largely left out of today's discussions of crime, arson has seen a dramatic decline in New York. But changes in investigative techniques and cuts to the city's ... READ MORE»

Artificial Turf in New York

City Limits' award-winning investigation in how New York City became the world’s biggest buyer of fake grass.

Atlantic Yards

In a matter of months the Nets will be playing ball at the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic, as envisioned more than eight years ago by developer Bruce Ratner. British financial firm Barclays will pay ... READ MORE»

Bail (Prisoner's Dilemma)

"Prisoner's Dilemma" looks at New York City's bail system and investigates why city jails are populated with pre-trial detainees who mostly can't afford bail.

Beyond Promises: Bloomberg and Homelessness

In 2004, Mayor Bloomberg pledged a comprehensive effort to dramatically reduce homelessness in New York. Today, more people live in shelters than ever before. Figuring out the ways in which the plan s... READ MORE»

Black Male Unemployment

The recent recession etched deep pain across New York and throughout the United States. Yet no group fared worse than black men, a fifth of whom are now unemployed--more than twice the rate for whites... READ MORE»

Broken Adoptions

Sixteen years ago the federal government put new pressure on states to facilitate adoptions. But it never bothered to track how many of those adoptions fail. Now, there's increasing concern about chil... READ MORE»

Brooklyn Borough Presidency

If independent, Brooklyn would be the fourth-largest U.S. city, with a mayor to speak for its people. Instead, its spokesperson is a borough president. What has incumbent Marty Markowitz had to say? W... READ MORE»

Buy or Bust (War on Drugs)

Sean Gardiner's 2009 in-depth investigation on the 40-Year War on Drugs in New York City.

Campaign Consultants

A handful of influential firms in New York State lobby elected officials while also serving as consultants for political campaigns, a practice that is perfectly legal but raises several ethical questi... READ MORE»

Civil Liberties

City Limits' 2008 investigation into the shift in residents' civic liberties and essential freedoms in New York City, following the 9/11 attacks.

Firefighter Fatalities

Ten years after September 11th, City Limits revisits the day's very costly lessons and what the New York City Fire Department has learned them. This investigation was supported generously by the Fund ... READ MORE»

Five-Borough Ballot

The city faces an important election in 2013. Instead of only covering the candidates, why not cover the voters? In cooperation with City & State and WNET, we'll be following groups of residents in fi... READ MORE»

Gun Politics

A special investigative look at the effect of gun politics on the gun industry and policing in New York City

Harlem Children's Zone

Founded by a committed advocate for low-income children, nurtured by the politically powerful and Wall Street titans, and lauded by media around the world, the Harlem Children's Zone has raised a nati... READ MORE»

Lunchtime Tuesday, Hunger in Brooklyn

On Tuesday, September 13, we sent reporters to a dozen food pantries or soup kitchens in Brooklyn to learn what the people who run them are seeing, and what the people who need them are going through.

NYC in Congress

Of the 13 people who represent parts of the city in Congress, 10 are seeking—and very likely to win—reelection. But what do they do in Washington, on legislation, for their party and for their distric... READ MORE»

Occupy Wall Street

When the Occupy Wall Street protest began on Sept. 17, it was a "leaderless resistance movement" of a few hundred people without clear demands. Exactly a month later, thousands had joined the movement... READ MORE»

Participatory Budgeting

Borrowing an experiment in direct democracy from Brazil, constituents in four City Council districts are getting a direct say in how $1 million of discretionary capital funding is spent.

Payday Loans

New York State has one of the nation's toughest bans on payday lending, which involves small loans that come with high interest rates. But the ban hasn't stopped online lenders from operating in the E... READ MORE»

Placing Our Bets: Gambling in New York

New York is on the verge of deciding whether to allow casino gambling. But the state has long been in the business of drawing revenue from games of chance. This series looks at the winners and losers ... READ MORE»

Private Contractors

City Limits special investigation "Beyond City Time" reports that the past 10 years have seen a profound change not just in the amount New York City spends on outside contractors, but what they are b... READ MORE»

Public Housing (Last Stand)

City Limits' 2009 investigation on the complicated past, troubled present, and uncertain future of the nation's oldest and largest public housing system. This project was funded by the Independence C... READ MORE»

Reading Room

Far from obsolete in the digital age, New York City's libraries are filling critical gaps: offering technology to low-income neighborhoods, a lifeline to immigrants, a safe space for after school. Usa... READ MORE»

Searching for El Primero: Latinos & the Mayoralty

In the 43 years since the first serious mayoral candidacy by a Latino, the community's numbers in New York have only grown. But to break the ethnic barrier in 2013 or beyond, a Latino candidate must c... READ MORE»

Sexual Abuse of Female Inmates

Behind Bars: Female Inmates, Male Guards, and Sex Crimes in New York's Prisons is a special investigation funded by the Fund for Investigative Journalism.

Stop and Frisk Policy

No precinct saw more police stops in 2011 than the 75th Precinct in East New York, Brooklyn. Within that sprawling district, one seven-by-nine block area was the site of more police encounters than an... READ MORE»

Straphangers Speak

Providing 5.3 million rides a day, the New York City subway system is a city underground. We sent a team of student reporters to ask commuters how they felt about schedules, crowds, crime and their fe... READ MORE»

The Bronx Votes

No county in true-blue New York state boasts a higher proportion of Democratic voters than the Bronx. But even though the 2012 vote in the Bronx will largely be taken for granted, hundreds of thousand... READ MORE»

The Class of 2013

Over the current academic year, City Limits will follow a few members of the class of 2013 to see how this group of young people navigates the final hurdles of their public school careers, and to look... READ MORE»

The Federal Poverty Line

The United States defines the poverty line as $18,000 per year for a family of three. By this measure, over 1.5 million New Yorkers, approximately 18 percent, live in poverty. City Limits provides on-... READ MORE»

The Lessons of Willets Point

Queens' Iron Triangle has seen one of the longest-running development disputes of the Bloomberg years and embodied many of the signatures of the mayor's approach to development—particularly a willingn... READ MORE»

The MWBE Program

In 2005 New York City set out to reverse historic patterns of discrimination in contracting by adopting goals for the share of city procurement spending received by minority- and women-led businesses.... READ MORE»

Three-Quarter Homes

Three-quarters houses give people who are homeless, leaving prison or seeking substance-abuse treatment a place to stay, and government agencies indirectly fund them. But critics say the houses are un... READ MORE»


Whether we're breathing their exhaust or stuck behind one on an exit ramp, most New Yorkers hate trucks. But trucks' imprint on the city is complex: They don't cause most traffic, but they have a bigg... READ MORE»

Unequal NY

In 1980, the richest 1 percent of New Yorkers received about 12 percent of income in the city. In 2007, they received 43 percent. As income inequality has grown nationwide and across New York State, ... READ MORE»

Waste to Energy

New York is thinking about diverting garbage from out-of-state landfills and using it to generate electricity locally. The plan pits concerns about city spending and carbon emissions against fears of ... READ MORE»


Shaun Donovan

Shaun Donovan is New York City's former head of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and is currently the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in President Barack Obama's cabin... READ MORE

Andrew Cuomo

In November 2010, Andrew Cuomo became the 56th Governor of New York. After graduating from Fordham Law School, Cuomo briefly experimented with a law career. However, Cuomo left his job in 1988, foundi... READ MORE

Cathleen Black

In November 2010, Mayor Bloomberg chose Cathie Black to replace Joel Klein as Chancellor of New York City schools. As a longtime magazine executive, Black had no experience in education. Black resigne... READ MORE