Winter/Spring line-up for The Gotham Center

Winter/Spring 2017 Schedule
Our events are free and open to the public. No RSVP’s are required this season. All take place at CUNY’s Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Ave., between 34th and 35th St. Questions: gotham@gc.cuny.edu

Skyscrapers: Boon or Blight?
Thursday, March 16th, 6:30-8 PM
Skylight Room (9th Floor)

Jason M. Barr, author of Building the Skylineprovides a new myth-busting  history of Manhattan’s skyscrapers, as well as some thoughts on how the buildings could help Gotham meet the challenges of the twenty-first century.Kate Wood, president of the award-winning preservation group Landmark West!, discusses the current protestsover the De Blasio administration’s rezoning of midtown, and the new “supers” rising in the city. Alex Marshall, Senior Fellow with the Regional Plan Association and Governing columnist, joins and moderates the discussion. 

Co-sponsored by Rutgers University-Newark, Preservation League New York State, the Society of Architectural Historians, and ​Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts

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The History and Future of Criminal Justice Reform in NYC
Wednesday, March 22nd, 6:30-8 PM
Elebash Recital Hall (Ground Floor)

Shannon King (College of Wooster) discusses his research on policing and criminal justice reform in New York City between the 1920s and 1970s. Alex Vitale, author of City of Disorder and the forthcoming work The End of Policing, details the rise of “broken windows” theory and practice in the decades afterward. Martin F. Horn, former Commissioner of the departments of Probation and Correction under Mayor Bloomberg and the current Executive Director of New York’s Sentencing Commission, shares his thoughts on the future of the carceral system.gabriel sayegh, a key figure in the legislation rolling back the “Rockefeller Drug Laws,” speaks about reform under De Blasio and Cuomo, and where it might go in the era of Trump. Alice Speri, multimedia reporter at The Intercept, leads the discussion. 

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Fixing Elections
The Politics of Electoral Reform in NYC, Then and Now 

Wednesday, April 5th, 6:30-8PM
Skylight Room (9th Floor)

Gerald Benjamin, distinguished expert in constitutional and charter reform and former Director of the Center for New York State and Local Government Studies, provides a history of the city’s electoral administration. Daniel O. Prosterman talks about New York’s forgotten experiment with proportional representation (the most common form of representation in the modern democratic world), and its effects on diversity and choice. Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause New York, discusses the steep decline of voter turnout in the city in recent decades, and the major push underway to overhaul the electoral system this year. Rob Richie, Executive Director of FairVote, reflects on ways to increase participation by moving beyond the winner-take-all model, including the push to introduce ranked-choice voting in New York. Brigid Bergin, City Hall Reporter for WNYC, moderates.

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Is New York’s Future Sustainable?
A History of Environmental Impact, and Planning for More Growth

Wednesday, April 19th, 6:30-8PM
Elebash Recital Hall (Ground Floor)

Ted Steinberg, author of Gotham Unbound, talks about the ecological history of greater New York, and the limits of “sustainable” planning. Michael Sorkin, award-winning president and founder of Terreform, a non-profit dedicated to just and sustainable urbanism, shares his recommendations for a greener Big Apple. Nilda Mesa reflects on her experiences as NYC’s first Director of Sustainability, and the challenges ahead. Janet Babin, Economic Development Reporter for WNYC, moderates.

Co-sponsored by The Museum of the City of New York

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NYC’s Fiscal Crisis and the Rise of Austerity Politics
Monday, May 8th, 6:30-8PM
Skylight Room (9th Floor)

Kimberly Phillips-Fein (NYU) speaks about her new book, Fear City, which challenges the orthodox view of the 1975-76 fiscal crisis as the result of wasteful, profligate spending under Mayor Lindsay, and the moment when labor, business, citizens, and financial interests joined in common sacrifice to keep New York City alive. The Graduate Center’s Joshua B. Freeman and Frances Fox Piven reflect on what drove the crisis, and how its resolution permanently changed life and politics in the city.

Co-sponsored by The Museum of the City of New York