This book provides in-depth comparative studies of the two largest cities and metropolitan areas in the United States: New York City and Los Angeles. The chapters, written by leading experts and based upon the most current information available from the Census and other sources, discuss and explicitly compare politics, economic prospects and the financial crisis, and a host of social issues. Reform movements in education, ethnic politics, budget stringency, strategies to deal with crime, the development and political context of infrastructure, rising inequality, immigration and immigrant communities, the segregation of the poor and minorities and the new segregation of the economic elite, environmental impacts and attempts to deal with them, the image of both cities and regions in the movies, architectural trends, and the differential impact and response to the financial crisis, including foreclosure patterns, are all examined in this volume. This comparative framework reveals that old paradigms such as urban "decline" or "resurgence" are inadequate for grasping the new challenges and complexities facing America's two major global cities. Each is responding in sometimes similar and different ways to the challenges brought on by two events that defined the last decade: the attack of 9/11 and its aftermath, and the continuing effects of the financial crisis. How all of these events, institutions, and trends play out in the New York and Los Angeles regions is important not only for the two cities, but also as a harbinger for other U.S. cities, the entire nation, and cities worldwide. New York and Los Angeles provides an essential guide for understanding the many forces that determine the future of our cities.