People Movers

Women in Motion

In a new series, People Movers, community organizers share how they shape the city from the ground up. First, Verónica Ramírez of the Queens-based Mujeres en Movimiento mobilizes immigrant moms to fight for safer streets.

Studio Reports

Design and Advocacy in the South Bronx

Nandini Bagchee shares her students' work to forge an equal exchange with activists fighting for community space in the South Bronx, in a studio where designers became advocates and advocates became designers.

Urban Memory Infrastructure

A city needs memory like it needs streets, trees, and people. But how do we build an infrastructure to contain and deliver the city's history? Ben Vershbow, former director of NYPL Labs, talks with Shannon Mattern about libraries as stewards of the past in the age of Google Maps.

The Story of Squats

Why does the history of squatting in New York matter? Artists, historians, documentarians, and writers reflect on a singular passage in the city's story, and what it can offer today.

Chinatown Shop Talk

As Manhattan's Chinatown experiences rapid change, a historic porcelain store on Mott Street reinvents itself as a space for intergenerational dialogue and community activation. UO talks to Mei Lum and Diane Wong, the minds behind the W.O.W. Project, about what they've learned and where they're headed next.

Codes of Conduct

Happy Birthday, zoning! The codes may have changed over 101 years, but as Andrea Renner and Eric Goldwyn explain, when it comes to how New Yorkers use zoning to advance their own visions of a perfect city, much remains the same.

For Sale: Nonprofits

DW Gibson reflects on the churches and community service providers put in jeopardy by a combination of policy and paperwork, and what can be done to stop vulnerable institutions from falling through the cracks in the city's annual tax lien sale.

Model Cities Redux

As the city makes moves to improve housing in Mott Haven, Susanne Schindler finds that current approaches bear a strong resemblance to long-forgotten efforts there.

Typecast: Row House

The Row House on Rising Waters

For our Typecast series, Henry Grabar visits Canarsie, where long rows of attached brick houses defy traditional flood-proofing elevation. Could rising flood insurance premiums pose a greater immediate threat to homeowners than rising sea levels?

In the Same Room Without Screaming

Can public art, oral history, and open dialogue help rebuild burned bridges between estranged community groups? Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani recounts her experience in the Lower East Side's Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA).