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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.

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.



Student Spotlight: Benjamin Ndugga-Kabuye

for articleBen Ndugga-Kabuye is a student in the Urban Policy Program at Milano. He holds a bachelors in Criminology, Law and Society from the University of Caliornia at Irvine, and is passionate about political advocacy. At Milano, Ben also works as a Project Assistant for the Urban Policy Program, and is involved in immigrant rights work. As a junior in college, Ben participated in the Public Policy and International Affairs Junior Summer Institute fellowship program in the summer of 2010.




Urban Policy Professor Alex Schwartz Publishes Third Edition of Textbook

Alex_SchwartzProfessor Alex Schwartz recently published the third edition of his textbook, Housing Policy in the United States. The classic primer for its subject, Housing Policy in the United States, has been substantially revised in the wake of the 2007 near-collapse of the housing market and the nation’s recent signs of recovery. Like its previous editions, this standard volume offers a broad overview of the field, but expands to include new information on how the crisis has affected the nation’s housing challenges, and the extent to which the federal government has addressed them. Schwartz also includes the politics of austerity that has permeated almost all aspects of federal policymaking since the Congressional elections of 2010, new initiatives to rehabilitate public housing, and a new chapter on the foreclosure crisis. The latest available data on housing conditions, housing discrimination, housing finance, and programmatic expenditures is included, along with all new developments in federal housing policy. This book is the perfect foundational text for urban studies, urban planning, social policy, and housing policy courses.