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The Manhattan Institute celebrates City Journal's 20th anniversary

Cities are the primary source of economic growth and cultural dynamism. Today, more than half of the world's population lives in cities making urban management critical to keeping crime low, quality of life high, and the economy strong. The cities that embraced urban policy reforms are thriving, and the ones that have not are falling deeper into crisis.

City JournalTwenty years ago, the Manhattan Institute launched City Journal—the only quarterly to focus on cities and urban life—as an intellectual and journalistic response to New York City's downward spiral and to the illness of the American city generally. City Journal's ideas not only dramatically transformed New York during the 1990's, but have spread to other cities in the U.S. and the world.

To honor its twenty years of publication, City Journal dedicated its fall issue to the past, present, and future of the city.


City Journal 20th Anniversary Conference

On Wednesday, November 17th, City Journal marked twenty years of publication with a major conference on the past, present, and future of cities.


Brian Anderson, City Journal editor, gave the welcoming address:

Looking at today's city . . . our radically improved reality has a lot to do with the implementation of ideas developed and argued for in the pages of this magazine.

New York City Deputy Mayor Stephen Goldsmith gave the introductory remark:

If you think of a city as a great place with a mixture of great people, great policies, and great spaces, it all comes together in City Journal. I have a wonderful opportunity here to take these ideas and see if I can make a little bit of a difference in New York City . . . I honestly believe that there is no other organization that has had such a positive influence on urban spaces and urban opportunities and the people that live in them as has City Journal.

Heather Mac Donald, "How the Conservative Urban Agenda Has Been Proven Right":

Conservative ideas, that are routinely mocked in the mainstream culture, are responsible for the two great urban policy successes of the last quarter century: the breathtaking drops in crime and welfare dependency.

Steven Malanga, "The Future of Urban Reform—Newark to Detroit":

Reform is not just about doing a few things here and there . . . Reform really is about rejecting the past and heading off in a completely new direction.

Nicole Gelinas, "How to Do Infrastructure Right":

Cities can certainly generate themselves, but it requires good ideas and good leaders.  It is a much bigger challenge if there is one other ingredient that is missing—and that is Congress that is hurting more than helping.  And unfortunately that is what we've had over the past few years. And we've seen something very pernicious happening that could affect the future progress of cities and could roll back some of the progress that we've made if we're not careful about it and if we don't understand what's going on.

Michael Barone, American Enterprise Institute resident fellow, delivered the keynote address focusing on City Journal's contribution to urban renaissance:

City Journal goes far afield, to explore American and foreign cities, to find out where enlightened reform is breaking out and where the deadening hand of the overlarge state is preventing it from doing so . . . City Journal has had an enormous influence for the good in public policy, but it has also enriched the lives of its readers by making them more aware of the wonders that the great central cities, for all their blemishes, nevertheless still are.

City Journal Celebration Party

On the evening of November 17th, City Journal friends and colleagues from New York and around the country along with top leaders in business, media and policymakers gathered at a mid-town loft overlooking the Empire State Building to toast the magazine's success.

Anniversary Wishes:

This is a very appropriate time to celebrate the 20th anniversary of City Journal because it is probably now needed more than ever with government budgets–city, state and federal–in great stress. The journal has been the leading thought-provoker for good ideas for straightening out cities and states over the last 20 years. Congratulations to City Journal on 20 years urban intelligence and urban transformation–I'm looking forward to 20 more.
—Rudolph Giuliani

Video Message from Rudy Giuliani

Happy Birthday, ‘City Journal’

A tip of The Scrapbook’s homburg to our friends at the Manhattan Institute, whose handsome and influential quarterly, City Journal, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this week.
City Journal is perhaps best known for having done the intellectual spadework that enabled Mayor Rudy Giuliani';s successful reclamation of a great American metropolis. More than that, the journal came along at a time when the idea of city life had become synonymous with crime, homelessness, rioting, and decay to insist that through creative policy-making, courageous political leadership, and sound governance our cities could again become cradles of civilization and urbanity.
For that and much amusement and edification along the way, we congratulate editor Brian C. Anderson, his predecessor Myron Magnet, and the many talented writers who have graced the pages of City Journal. Check them out, if you don't already subscribe, at , and raise a glass to their next 20 years.
—The Weekly Standard

Yours is the only political magazine I know of whose editors are far more interested in getting it right than in getting it slanted. That has always been at the heart of your success at changing government policies....Have a glorious anniversary!
—Tom Wolfe

It's an honor to be included in City Journal's birthday celebration, as it is to serve on its publication committee. City Journal is, quite simply, one of the best things in the entire intellectual conservative movement, and thus one of the best things for intellectual life in America. City Journal is critical reading, each and every time it publishes. It takes on those issues so many of us have thought about, but about which we need more education and thought—and it always delivers. Reading it every quarter gives me ideas for my radio show, not to mention guests. Brian is one of the best editors in America and has a unique knack for soliciting articles on the most important topics of the day from the best writers and thinkers in the country. Happy birthday City Journal, may there be many, many more.
—William J. Bennett, radio host, Washington fellow, The Claremont Institute

The decision to bind City Journal in a sturdy cover and on paper meant to last was bold and prescient. The words between those strong covers each quarter for 20 years have kept alive, I daresay singlehandedly, the always-fragile idea of New York City as a center of civilized life. The jury is always out on the city. Not so City Journal. We await the next 80 editions.
—Daniel Henninger, deputy editor, Editorial Page, The Wall Street Journal

In a world where some magazines are being sold for a dollar, City Journal remains a priceless must-read.
—Glenn Reynolds, editor of

Because Congress can, under the modern (mis)construing of the Commerce Clause, do whatever it wants, I have a modest proposal. Congress should add a fifth quarter to the calendar. Then we could get five issues of the City Journal every year. Nothing would do more to serve the public interest.
—George F. Will

A Roadmap to Save America's Cities
While cities have for decades been the biggest victims of failed liberal policies, they now stand a chance to provide America with a lesson in recovery. . . They would do well to turn to the Manhattan Institute and its quarterly magazine, City Journal, now celebrating its 20th anniversary. . .
Editorial, Washington Examiner

Renaissance Mag
Twenty years ago, the renaissance of New York City seemed unlikely—to put it mildly . . . That year, in 1990, a little magazine came into being. It was called NY, and in its inaugural issue, it offered a vision of a better future that seemed delusional . . . That little magazine was soon rechristened City Journal. It celebrates its 20th anniversary whose "rebirth" is now so taken for granted that it's easy to forget how close the city actually came to irreversible decline. . .
—John Podhoretz
, New York Post

Intellect and Influence in NYC
Today, City Journal celebrated its 20th anniversary at a luncheon. It was a gathering of New York right-world elites—reconstructed ex-leftists like Sol Stern, apostate academics like Professor Robert P. George, Judy Miller still scribbling notes on yellow paper, John Stossel shaking hands and prying brains, gadflies Henry Stern and Michael Meyers sharply questioning, a potpourri of businessmen who prefer markets to corporate welfare, and a small section of the New York literati sharing tips about survival as a conservative on the Upper West Side. . .
—Matthew Shaffer
, NRO The Corner




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