USA TODAY’s longform investigative podcast The City is earning year-in-review accolades as 2018 comes to an end. The podcast, which launched in September with an accompanying narrated AR experience, examines the hidden power structures of urban America and is hosted by award-winning journalist Robin Amer, who also created the podcast. Last week, The City was included as a top podcast of 2018 on lists by Apple, The New York Times, and TuneIn.

The first season of The City begins in Chicago in 1990 and examines how a waste hauler with ties to the Chicago mob built a massive illegal construction debris dump in the black, working-class neighborhood of North Lawndale. The story reveals how this dump, which eventually rose to six stories and sprawled over a vacant lot the size of 13 football fields, sparked an undercover FBI investigation. Over the course of 10 episodes, The City also exposes how illegal dumping and other forms of environmental racism continue to plague Chicago and other cities across the country.

The New York Times named The City one of its Five Great Podcasts From 2018 and deemed it the “true-crime surprise” of the year. “In some ways this is the stuff Chicago crime stories are typically made of: the mob, corrupt politicians, greed. But the first season of ‘The City,’ a new long-form podcast series from USA Today, is far more surprising than that, also encompassing themes of class, gentrification and environmental racism,” writes critic Aisha Harris.

Apple also included The City on its list of the Best Podcasts of 2018, and TuneIn listed it as one of its Top 5 Binge-Worthy Podcasts of the Year.

“The positive responses to The City are a testament to the hard work of our team to tell the compelling story of the North Lawndale neighborhood,” said Amer. “It is exciting to see how the podcast has resonated with our audience and is encouraging important discussions about power structures.”

Amer leads the podcast’s team of investigative journalists and public radio veterans, including reporter Wilson Sayre, producers Jenny Casas and Taylor Maycan, editor Sam Greenspan, story consultant Ben Austen, and composer and audio engineer Hannis Brown.

Next season, The City will be heading west to focus on Reno, Nevada. 

To learn more about the podcast, visit: thecitypodcast.com.