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Critical Condition: Saving America's Cities

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  • Obscure budget tricks of America's big cities Friday, 22 Nov 2013 | 12:19 PM ET

    Pension and health care burdens. Crumbling roadways. There's no end to big city budget woes, but some quirky tactics within municipal books.

  • The new city economy Thursday, 21 Nov 2013 | 9:45 AM ET
    Ford Motor Co. said it will invest $200 million to make four-cylinder engines at the Ford Motor Co. Cleveland Engine Plant in Brook Park, Ohio.

    Even struggling metros are having success in attracting investment. In the process, they are creating a virtuous cycle of creativity.

  • Baltimore's $3 billion water infrastructure crisis Thursday, 21 Nov 2013 | 9:37 AM ET
    Aging water pipes lie beneath the surface of Baltimore's bustling city.

    Baltimore's needs billions to fix its aging water infrastructure. The trickle down effect for residents: rising bills to clean up the system.

  • High cost of clean water  Thursday, 21 Nov 2013 | 11:25 AM ET

    CNBC's Scott Cohn reports from the Patapsco Wastewater Treatment Plant in Baltimore, Maryland, where the city has budgeted $3 billion over the next several years to fix the system.

  • Baltimore is leaking  Thursday, 21 Nov 2013 | 3:00 PM ET

    Senior correspondent Scott Cohn on how Baltimore's troubled water system might cause "America's Comeback City" some major setbacks.

  • US cities' exports surge. Yes, exports Thursday, 21 Nov 2013 | 7:00 AM ET
    Jack Brown Produce workers sort apples on a packing line in Sparta, Mich. The state, a big exporter of agricultural goods, is among U.S. regions raising its export profile.

    Aiming to generate growth and jobs, small- and mid-sized companies in more metro areas are making bigger bets on the global economy.

  • How Orlando and Phoenix are making a comeback Wednesday, 20 Nov 2013 | 8:47 AM ET
    Orlando, Florida

    These sunshine cities have focused their efforts on developing new industry niches to strengthen their local economies and promote future growth.

  • Clouds Over Miami  Wednesday, 20 Nov 2013 | 2:00 PM ET

    Senior correspondent Scott Cohn on how the SEC is urging more regulation in the municipal bond market.

  • Is the muni bond market about to blow up? Tuesday, 19 Nov 2013 | 9:26 AM ET
    Detroit city grate is missing a cover. With cut backs to city services, Detroit's infrastructure has fallen into disrepair.

    Detroit's bankruptcy, and rumblings about tax overhaul, have fueled a big sell off in the municipal bond market. What's next?

  • Miami vice: Shady muni deals cripple cities Wednesday, 20 Nov 2013 | 8:00 AM ET

    The ebbing economic tide from the Great Recession revealed some of the worst swindles in municipal finance in decades.

  • Chi-town's pension problem  Tuesday, 19 Nov 2013 | 1:49 PM ET

    CNBC's Scott Cohn reports Chicago, IL, along with being the murder capital of America, also has one of the worst pension situations in the country.

  • Pension Predicament  Tuesday, 19 Nov 2013 | 1:00 PM ET

    Senior correspondent Scott Cohn on how pension shortfalls have dealt a blow to America's cities.

  • Pension pandemic needs 'national conversation' Tuesday, 19 Nov 2013 | 6:00 AM ET
    Detroit firefighters protest the city's bankruptcy hearing in July.

    A CNBC.com analysis of large state and local municipal pension plans finds they face an array of financial burdens as workforces near retirement.

  • Cities face billions in pension fund shortfalls  Tuesday, 19 Nov 2013 | 11:54 AM ET

    No city has as serious a pension issue as Chicago, reports CNBC's Scott Cohn. Nationwide, the municipal pension debt ranges from $800 billion-$4 trillion, he adds.

  • America's cities are on the edge, and hard to fix Monday, 18 Nov 2013 | 8:09 AM ET
    A construction crew fixing aging water pipes in Baltimore, Maryland.

    Federal and state funding cutbacks are challenging Main Street. The future of America is at stake since cities contribute more than 90 percent to GDP.

  • Thinning Blue Line Tuesday, 19 Nov 2013 | 3:15 PM ET
  • Money woes: Can Oakland's fiscal mess be fixed?  Monday, 18 Nov 2013 | 1:27 PM ET
    View of downtown Oakland, California.

    Although Oakland is hiring again, CNBC's Scott Cohn reports some issues holding the city back from balancing its budget.

  • Pension pandemic Thursday, 7 Nov 2013 | 3:12 PM ET

    A CNBC.com analysis of more than 120 of the nation's largest state and local municipal pension plans finds they face a wide range of financial burdens as aging workforces near retirement.

  • Behind the scenes: 'Critical Condition' US tour Monday, 18 Nov 2013 | 8:34 AM ET
    Home of Charles Lang Freer, Detroit railroad car manufacturer.

    Visit any American city and it doesn't take a whole lot of imagination to see where its greatness came from—however faded it may seem to be.

  • A snapshot of urban America Friday, 8 Nov 2013 | 8:48 AM ET

    A look at the economic health of 384 major metro areas in the U.S. examining leading indicators such as jobless rates and industrial production.

About Saving America's Cities

  • The fiscal squeeze in Washington has trickled down to America’s cities. Senior Correspondent Scott Cohn traveled to five American cities in the midst of crisis—find out if one is yours.

U.S. News

  • Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia leaves the U.S. Supreme Court after oral arguments April 22, 2014 in Washington, DC.

    A bankruptcy court has allowed defunct video streaming company Aereo Inc to auction its TV streaming technology assets, court papers show.

  • Classic con-artist routines, namely three-card monte and the shell game, apparently made a return to New York City streets for the holidays.

  • An employee sorts packages at the UPS Worldport in Louisville, KY.

    Santa's sleigh delivered more on-time packages this year, though a few retailers still broke their delivery promise.

Economy