We can begin where we live, because our neighbors and neighborhoods shape us in ways that are invisible but invigorating.
Crisis Cities is a public symposium on the 2020 crises and their impact on urban life, co-organized by Public Books and the NYU Cities Collaborative.
Global Inequality and the Corona Shock
COVID-19 is the first truly comprehensive crisis of the Anthropocene era, affecting virtually everyone on the planet.
The World Is a Factory Farm
If factory farming is the source of pathogens like SARS-CoV-2, could smaller-scale farms and communities—even in China—be the safest alternative?
Picturing the Lost
In segregated neighborhoods throughout New York, memorials to those claimed by COVID-19 have appeared and evolved.
Withholding accurate information obscures both the impact of the pandemic on the most vulnerable and the resurgence of institutional violence.
Are We in Denial about Denial?
Across the political spectrum, people deny how bad the state of the world is. No wonder the far right’s lies have such purchase.
Housing-justice movements ask: How can unhoused people be considered trespassers on state-owned land?
The Violence of Urban Vacancy
Houses without people, people without homes: New York has invested in empty storefronts and empty districts, even as most New Yorkers suffer.
Fast Food, Precarious Workers
Today—as in 1968—it remains to be seen if McDonald’s pivot toward racial justice will mean anything for how it treats its scores of Black workers.
Can the Crowd Speak?
Occupy Wall Street’s great achievement was to briefly create a community that prefigured a robust democratic culture.
The Enduring Disposability of Latinx Workers
When employers fail to provide PPE, testing, sick pay, or job protection, the message is clear: Latinx laborers are “not us.”
How to Defund the Police
The inconvenient truth of police history in the United States is that police departments were not designed to keep a generic public safe.
To Heal the Body, Heal the Body Politic
Before 2020, the relationship that is the body was already ailing. COVID-19 heightens the need to heal it.
The Vulnerable Foundations of India’s Urbanism
In Delhi—a city of 17 million people—7.2 million residents already qualified for food aid before the pandemic. After, the numbers skyrocketed.
The Limits of Telecommuting
Perhaps the lesson to take from this year of living online is not about making better technology. It’s about recognizing technology’s limits.
Rage and Uprising
A politics of rage does not equate emotions with irrationality or impulsive behavior, but can affirm equality, claim agency, and ask for justice.
Defund the Police and Refund the Communities
The dueling crises of the pandemic and police brutality have brought many problems to the surface of our society and made them impossible to continue to ignore.
Pandemic Déjà Vu
The COVID-19 global pandemic has been described as an unprecedented global event. Yet for some, the virus arrives with uncanny familiarity.
Preexisting Conditions: What 2020 Reveals about Our Urban Future
Crisis Cities brings together some of the world’s leading social scientists and humanists to grapple with the 2020 crises of our cities.