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The terrorist attacks of September 11 have created an unprecedented public discussion about the uses and meanings of the central area of lower Manhattan that was once the World Trade Center. While the city sifts through the debris, contrary forces shaping its future are at work. Developers jockey to control the right to rebuild "ground zero." Financial firms line up for sweetheart deals while proposals for memorials are gaining in appeal. In After the World Trade Center, eminent social critics Sharon Zukin and Michael Sorkin call on New York's most acclaimed urbanists to consider the impact of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and what it bodes for the future of New York. Contributors take a close look at the reaction to the attack from a variety of New York communities and discuss possible effects on public life in the city.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780415934794
ISBN-10: 0415934796
Format: Hardback
(229mm x 152mm x 24mm)
Pages: 240
Imprint: Routledge
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publish Date: 16-May-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Other Editions

Reviews

UK Kirkus Review » The reaction after the atrocity of September 11 for many Americans - particularly New Yorkers - was to mourn the destruction of the Twin Towers themselves along with the shocking loss of life. The immediate call was for architects, city planners and private finance to build in their place something that would be bolder, better - even bigger - than the WTC, something to show the rest of the world that the United States would not be defeated. Slowly, however, commentators have come to question the merits of the Towers, and to wonder whether it is appropriate to replace like with like. It is true that they were immediately recognizable icons of the city, famous the world over, yet the 16-acre site was not popular with all New Yorkers. For example, the historic Syrian quarter of narrow streets and neighbourhood shops was bulldozed in the late 1950s to make way for this monument to global capitalism, whose windswept plazas were no substitute for the public spaces that they replaced. Here, 17 of New York's best urbanists, while stressing that re-evaluating the benefits of the WTC should not be equated with a lack of patriotism, try to find a way forward for their beloved city, considering New York's history, political landscape and architectural aesthetics in a collection of thought-provoking and insightful essays. John Kuo Wei Tchen examines the territorial battles for the downtown area that have taken place over the centuries, from the war of attrition by the Dutch against the local Native American tribes in the 17th century, through the dispossession of the black, and then the Chinese, communities in the 19th century, and culminating in the dispersal of Little Syria; Beverly Gage tells the story of the Wall Street bomb planted by anarchists in 1920, in which nearly 40 were killed; and Eric Darton draws strange parallels between the lives of Minoru Yamasaki, the architect of the Towers, and the suicide hijacker Mohammad Atta. Now that the dust, both literal and figurative, has begun to settle, this collection of writing bravely points the way forward, and explains how decisions about the future of the city can be informed by lessons learned from the past. (Kirkus UK)


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Author Biography - Michael Sorkin

Michael Sorkin is principal of the Michael Sorkin Studio and director of the graduate urban design program at New York's City College. He is the author of Other Plans (2002), The Next Jerusalem (2002), Some Assembly Required (2001), Giving Ground (co-edited with Joan Copjec, 1999), Wiggle (1998), Exquisite Corpse (1994), Local Code (1993), and Variations on a Theme Park (edited, 1991). He also contributes to the New York Times Magazine, among other publications. Sharon Zukin is Professor of Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center and Broeklundian Professor of Sociology at Brooklyn College. She is the author of The Cultures of Cities (1995), Landscapes of Power (winner of the C. Wright Mills Award, 1991), Structures of Capital (co-edited with Paul DiMaggio, 1990), and Loft Living (1982).

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