After the World Trade Center: Rethinking New York City by Michael Sorkin, Sharon Zukin

By Michael Sorkin, Sharon Zukin

The terrorist assaults of September eleven have created an exceptional public dialogue concerning the makes use of and meanings of the important zone of reduce ny that used to be the area alternate middle. whereas town sifts in the course of the particles, opposite forces shaping its destiny are at paintings. builders jockey to manage the best to rebuild "ground zero." monetary companies line up for sweetheart bargains whereas proposals for memorials are gaining in charm. In After the area alternate Center, eminent social critics Sharon Zukin and Michael Sorkin name on New York's such a lot acclaimed urbanists to contemplate the impression of the terrorist assault at the global alternate heart and what it bodes for the way forward for manhattan. individuals take an in depth examine the response to the assault from numerous long island groups and speak about attainable results on public lifestyles within the urban.

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Expediting auto traffic to suburbia took priority over the community of politically powerless city dwellers. The Syrians had to leave and restart their businesses and their lives somewhere else. Many moved across the harbor to Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. But other logics contributed to the evisceration of port-city culture. The 1924 Immigration Restriction Act championed by Protestant fundamentalists shut off the immigration supporting the then-thriving port zone of Lower Manhattan. The twenties were an era of 100 percent Americanism, a xenophobic movement of cultural cleansing driven by eugenic obsessions: Keep out undesirables.

And corporations managed by a footloose elite won't prop up Wall Street forever. These institutions will not invest in Lower Manhattan without clamoring for big public subsidies, as the commodities and stock exchanges have already shown us, with their threats to move from the capital of hubris into the eager arms of humble New Jersey across the river. Even the saddest firm that was left bereft by the World Trade Center's demise—the stock and bond traders at Cantor Fitzgerald—has shown us how companies quietly shift their business strategies without thinking about the social costs.

At five months and counting, many people still didn't have phones. While so much news and details about September 11 once saturated the airwaves, suddenly all but the most iconic stories were dropped. Incessant coverage gave way to back page clips. Those waves of ongoing grief were reduced to isolated pockets of mourning and remembrance. Official statistics can't begin to assess the long-term impact upon workers, immigrants, the poor, and the homeless. One even begins to wonder whether anyone cares.

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