Photo via Geoff Stearns on Flickr
A report released Tuesday by the Center for an Urban Future found that while city parks are seeing record use by the public, officials have underinvested in their basic maintenance and infrastructure for decades. The average city park underwent its last major renovation in 1997, despite being on average 73 years old. The think-tank estimates an investment of $5.8 billion over the next decade is needed to address the repair and replacement of existing infrastructure, a number which does not include the cost of constructing new structures.
“The subway system isn’t the only vital piece of infrastructure in New York that is aging and in need of investment,” Jonathan Bowles, executive director of CUF, said in a statement. “Parks in every borough are experiencing infrastructure problems brought by age and magnified by record usage and decades of under-investment in parks maintenance.”
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Image via Kid Monkey for the Bushwick Collective
According to a new analysis by the Center for an Urban Future (CUF), the number of artists in New York City has grown in almost every discipline, borough and neighborhood between 2000 and 2015. Citywide, the number of artists has increased by an all-time high of 17.4 percent, to 56,268 as of 2015. Since 2000, the Bronx saw the number of visual and performing artists nearly double, to 2,920 from 1,524, while Manhattan saw a decline of 10 percent, from 28,454 artists to 25,650. On the other hand, Brooklyn grew 72 percent to 17,605, Queens grew at 35 percent to 8,726 and Staten Island experienced an 8 percent growth to total 1,367 in 2015.
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The lack of affordability in New York is typically, and justly, blamed on skyrocketing rents, but when it comes to the middle class it might be more closely tied to a lack of jobs. The Wall Street Journal shares a new report from the Center for an Urban Future, which finds that “while the city added a record number of jobs since 2011, middle-wage industries paying between $40,000 and $80,000 a year added the fewest positions, and a lot of those were temp jobs.” Additionally, middle-wage jobs lost the most employees. Low-wage industries (paying under $40,000) such as restaurants and home health care services disproportionately added the most jobs.
However, the report also points to a few factors that may indicate a comeback for the middle class. For one, middle-wage industries accounted for three of the eight sectors with a net gain of at least 10,000 jobs since 2011. These are employment services, building equipment contractors, and colleges/universities, respectively. In total, 23 middle-wage sectors added at least 1,000 jobs during this time, not far off from the low-wage sector’s 24 and high-wage’s 28. But are these figures enough to give the middle class staying power?
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Does it feel like there’s either a Starbucks, Chase Bank, or Duane Reade on every corner? Well, that’s actually quite a realistic feeling. According to the Center for an Urban Future‘s seventh annual State of the Chains report, national retailers in New York City experienced a 2.8 percent increase in 2014, the largest jump in four years and the sixth straight year to see a net increase. Queens is experiencing the fastest growth in new stores, and coffee king Dunkin Donuts maintains its top spot for the seventh year running with a total of 536 locations, 21 more than last year.
More on the findings here