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Urban Policy Analysis and Management



Students in the Urban Policy Management program learn the theories, techniques and practices necessary for improving the quality of life for urban communities. Click here to find out more.

Professor Jeff Smith Discusses Topics from his E-Book ‘Ferguson in Black and White’

Urban Policy Professor Jeff Smith has been a vocal expert in the aftermath of the death of Michael Brown, the Grand Jury decision not to indict the police officer involved in the shooting, and the tensions of racial and class inequality simmering and boiling over in St. Louis and other cities across the U.S.  On December 2nd, Jeff Smith discussed his new E-book “Ferguson in Black and White”, with a brief commentary from Justyn Richardson, Treasurer of New Black School and Milano Urban Policy student.  The discussion is an example of the importance of creating a space where members of The New School community and the larger New York City community can come together to speak about and better understand these issues.



The Lab Experience

The Urban Policy Lab is designed to expose students to real-time, client-based policy analysis. Lab clients include a wide array of public agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Recent public sector clients include the New York City departments of Corrections, Design and Construction, Housing Preservation and Development, Parks and Recreation, and Probation; the Mayor’s Office for Environmental Coordination, the Mayor’s Office for Food Policy, and the Mayor’s Office for Operations; the New York City Housing Authority; and several members of the New York City Council.

Recent nonprofit clients include the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Citizens Committee for New York City, Community Environmental Center and its affiliate Build it Green, Human Service Council, Services and Advocacy for LGBT Elders, Southwest Leadership Academy (a charter school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), and WEACT for Environmental Justice.

“The CEC has consistently received incisive analysis and actionable recommendations from Milano students.”

Richard M. Cherry
President and CEO, Community Environmental Center (CEC)

Find out What Our Clients Say about the Urban Policy Lab.
Read about the Urban Policy Lab Projects.



Lisa Servon’s New York Times OP-ED Looks At The Cost of Using Banks

lisaLisa Servon is a Professor of Urban Policy at The New School, but has worked briefly at Check Center and RiteCheck in the South Bronx to better understand why so many people are using check cashers and payday lenders, prepaid cards, and lending and savings circles instead of banks.  In the OP-ED Servon highlights the staggering number of Americans that are “unbanked”, nearly 25 million.  Another 68 million Americans are “underbanked”, meaning they have bank accounts but also rely on alternative financial services such as payday loans and prepaid cards.


The problem, according to Servon’s piece, “is not that people are unbanked, but that banks are becoming too prohibitively expensive for people to use them”.  The fees and charges associated with formal banking services often deter people from using their services and in some cases the barrier to entry is too great for America’s low-income population to access.

Urban Policy Alumna Heather Sheridan Advocates for Maryland’s Homeless as Director of Homeless Services

Heather SheridanHeather Sheridan is a graduate of the M.A program in Urban Policy Analysis and Management at The New School. She has extensive experience in working on programs that address the needs of formerly homeless and low-income residents. Prior to Milano the foundation of her career was in community organizing and public policy work on a number of issues affecting low-income communities around the nation.  Upon graduation from The New School she began working with Common Ground, a successful supportive housing developer in New York City. Most recently, Heather has taken a position as the Director of Homeless Services with the Department of Human Resources for the State of Maryland.




“On the Run”: Urban Surveillance & New School Courses

on the run

“On the Run” book cover, and author Alice Goffman

The War on Drugs has spawned an expansive network of policing as a unique feature of the urban landscape. This outgrowth was the focus of the 2014 Nathan Levin Lecture on Public Policy titled, “Surveillance City: The War on Drugs in Urban Neighborhoods.” The talk featured Alice Goffman whose book “On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City” has inspired a range of critiques of urban surveillance and its literature in The New Yorker, Times Higher Education,and The New Inquiry. The New School conference partnered Alice Goffman with Jamelle Bouie a writer from Slate, and New School Urban Policy professor Jeff Smith to discuss Goffman’s book. In the extensive interview below Professor Smith describes the significance of the conversation and how it parallels coursework he will helm in the fall.

Interview conducted by Benjamin Ndugga-Kabuye

Why do you think it is important to understand urban surveillance in the American city?

The nation’s mass incarceration crisis demands that we understand the root causes of why so many people end up ensnared in the system. That’s something you can’t grasp without understanding our nation’s pervasive urban surveillance net.