Urban form and globalization after September 11th: the view from New York


The attack on the World Trade Center will have a significant effect on urban development in New York City, not so much because it will change existing patterns, but because it will intensify them. The effect will come from the way leaders in the political and business community act after September 11th, more than from what the attack itself accomplished. Among the key effects will be a further barricading of spaces within the city, a concentrated deconcentration of business activities away from the center and their citadelization. The process of public planning is increasingly irrelevant; deplanning might be a better word for it. Decision–making is concentrated in quasi–governmental bodies, freed from the obligation to follow democratic procedures. Business groups, particularly those involved in global processes, are well organized and are pressing for planning and for subsidies serving their interests. There is publicly–oriented activity also, but less focused and not (yet?) raising distributional and social justice issues as central concerns. The net result is a further skewing of the benefits and costs of globalization.