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Gotham: The Fall And Rise Of New York – Watch the trailer for the new NYC documentary

The transformation and revival of New York City from 1990 to 2013 is one of the most remarkable stories in urban history.

It was not the result of broader social or economic forces. Instead, it was an intellectual paradigm shift and revolution that only came about because of courageous political leadership, a new set of ideas about governing and established tradition being questioned and changed at the grassroot level.

Sadly, Americans are oblivious to New York’s true history – a failing city that in 1990 had over 2,200 murders, 93,000 violent robberies and 147,000 car thefts annually with a declining middle class, depressed property values and embarrassingly low educational attainment.

But we know the truth. New York City became what it is today through the blood, sweat, hard work, innovation, and creativity of a handful of heroes who were willing to challenge the status quo.

Today, the world sits at a unique moment in urban city history. Our cities are falling apart. Rampant homelessness, increasing crime, mounting drug use, unaffordable housing – once a beacon of innovation and success, today our cities are failing.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. New York City faced worst challenges in its past and managed to overcome them.

More than ever, the country needs to know the story of New York’s revival. Politicians need to understand how this happened, so they have an example to model the future. Community leaders need to recognize the grassroot efforts that turned New York around and the policies that contributed to her rehabilitation. And residents need hope that things will get better and encouragement that it is worth staying and contributing to help their city recover.

We need a blueprint on how to revitalize and save our great cities.

Nothing could be more important than telling the story of the transformation of New York and its revival in the words and through the stories of those who were there and did the work. Gotham: The Fall and Rise of New York does just that.

Directed by Matthew Taylor, the documentary features Rudy Giuliani, Scotty Walker, William J. Bratton, Richard Weinberg, and Peter Vallone.

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