urban decay

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Rethinking Money: How New Currencies Turn Scarcity Into Prosperity by Bernard Lietaer, Jacqui Dunne

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3D printing, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, BRICs, business climate, business process, butterfly effect, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, clockwork universe, collapse of Lehman Brothers, complexity theory, conceptual framework, credit crunch, discounted cash flows, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, fiat currency, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, full employment, German hyperinflation, happiness index / gross national happiness, job satisfaction, Marshall McLuhan, microcredit, mobile money, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, more computing power than Apollo, new economy, Occupy movement, price stability, reserve currency, Silicon Valley, the payments system, too big to fail, transaction costs, trickle-down economics, urban decay, War on Poverty, working poor

Strategies for Governments 151 TOREKES Rabot is an immigrant district in Ghent, the fourth-largest city in Belgium. Rabot is the poorest community in the entire region. Most of the population lives in low-income apartment buildings in one of the most densely populated localities in Europe. Well over 20 languages are spoken, with Turkish the most prominent. Rabot suffers from high unemployment and the usual symptoms of urban decay, which have profound effects, both physical and metaphysical. In 2009, one of the authors was asked what could be done to improve the area. The starting point was a survey to find out what residents wanted for themselves. Many, particularly those living in high-rise apartment buildings, wanted to have access to a few square yards of land for gardening, growing vegetables, and flowers. Ghent, Belgium.

See Alchemy Transportation, 126–128, 201, 218–219 Trash, 141–142, 143, 145, 165–166 Treaty of Maastricht, 231n14 Triangle, 171 Trickle-down economics, 217 Trueque club, 182–184, 183 Trust, 19–20, 46; creating community, 171–172; in Friendly Favors, 132; WIR and, 100 Tutoring, 82 Twister, 156–157 Two-body problem, 30– 31 Uang kepeng, 189, 237n4, 237n5 Underclass, 216 Unemployment, 15–18; college and, 226–227n13; JAK bank and, 113; LETS and, 76; Nazi Party fueled by, 180; Patch Adams Free Clinic and, 164; in Rabot, 151; in Weimar Republic, 236n10; Wörgl and, 175–178 UN Happiness Resolution, 131 Union, 16, 119 United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), 144 260 INDEX Unit of account, 58; money defined as, 28; professionals describing, 1–2; time as, 80– 81. See also Terra Trade Reference Currency University, 153–154, 193, 226–227n13 Unused resource, 59– 60, 80, 92, 120–121; in Curitiba, 142, 144; Terra and, 137 Upper class, 29, 50 Urban decay, 151 Urbanization, 103 Uruguay, 121, 124, 126–128 Value neutrality, 9, 46– 47 Velocity of circulation, 63– 64, 68– 69, 101–102, 178 Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR), 102–103 Vespasian, 197–198, 238n23 Veteran, 171–172 Victim, 78–79 Virtual reality, 57– 58 VISA, 192 Visiting Nurse Ser vice, 83 Volunteer, 34, 120 Voting, 147, 193 Voucher currency, 170 Wales Institute for Community Currencies, 160 War, 34 Wära, 175–176, 178–179 War on drugs, 134 Water rights, 187 Weimar Republic, 236n5, 236n10 Whitewashing, 198 WIR, 5, 74–75, 99–102, 235n12 WIR Bank, 100 Wispelberg School, 156–157 Wispos, 156–157 Women, 20, 205, 222–223 Word of mouth, 111–112 Wörgl, 175–178, 177, 180–181 Work, 219–220, 239n10 World Bank, 144, 188 World War I, 178–179 World War II, 99, 119, 153, 181 Writing, 24 Youth Advocate program, 83 Zeitgeist, 2 Zumbara, 82 Zutu, 207 ABOUT THE AUTHORS Photo credit: Rick Cummings.


pages: 281 words: 86,657

The Great Inversion and the Future of the American City by Alan Ehrenhalt

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anti-communist, big-box store, British Empire, crack epidemic, David Brooks, deindustrialization, Edward Glaeser, Frank Gehry, haute cuisine, Honoré de Balzac, housing crisis, illegal immigration, Jane Jacobs, manufacturing employment, McMansion, New Urbanism, postindustrial economy, Richard Florida, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, too big to fail, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, walkable city, white flight, working poor, young professional

Environmental Protection Agency, February 2009. 7 “I woke up this morning”: Lyrics from the song “Gentrification Blues,” by Judith Levine and Laura Liben, 1982, quoted in Tom Slater, “A Literal Necessity to Be Replaced: A Rejoinder to the Gentrification Debate,” International Journal of Urban and Economic Research, March 2008, p. 216. 8 “The bear pit of gentrification debates”: Rowland Atkinson, “Gentrification, Segregation and the Vocabulary of Affluent Residential Choice,” Urban Studies, November 2008, p. 2634. 9 What is new in the past decade: See, for example, Lance Freeman, There Goes the ’Hood: Views of Gentrification from the Ground Up (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2006), and Jacob L. Vigdor, “Is Urban Decay Bad? Is Urban Revitalization Bad Too?” National Bureau of Economic Research, working paper 12955, March 2007, www.nber.org/papers/w12955. SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY Abbott, Carl. Greater Portland: Urban Life and Landscape in the Pacific Northwest. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2001. Ackroyd, Peter. London: A Biography. New York: Nan A. Talese, 2000. Alexiou, Alice Sparberg.

New York Times, February 22, 2009, p. RE1. Troianovski, Anton. “Downtowns Get a Fresh Lease.” Wall Street Journal, December 13, 2010. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. “Housing the Olympics: Atlanta 1996.” U.S. Housing Market Conditions, Summary, Spring 1996. Vigdor, Jacob L. “Does Gentrification Harm the Poor?” Brookings-Wharton Papers on Urban Affairs, 2002, pp. 133–82. ——. “Is Urban Decay Bad? Is Urban Revitalization Bad Too?” National Bureau of Economic Research, working paper 12955, March 2007. Wolfgang, Laura. “The Sheffield Neighborhood: North Side’s Mini Melting Pot.” Midwest Magazine, Chicago Sunday Sun-Times, July 23, 1972. Wyly, Elvin, and Daniel Hammel. “Commentary: Urban Policy Frontiers.” Urban Studies 45, no. 12 (November 2008): 2643–48. PHOTO CREDITS 1.1 Paris: akg-images 1.2 Vienna: akg-images 2.1 Chicago’s Armitage Avenue: David Kidd 2.2 Chicago’s Sheffield: David Kidd 3.1 Cipriani Building: David Kidd 3.2 Hudson Street: David Kidd 4.1 Gwinnett County: David Kidd 4.2 Hindu Temple, Gwinnett County: David Kidd 5.1 Cleveland Heights: The Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, Ohio 5.2 Clarendon: David Kidd 6.1 Walnut Street: David Kidd 6.2 Kensington: David Kidd 7.1 Houston’s Third Ward: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Collection of Ray Carrington III 7.2 Waterway Cruiser: The Woodlands Convention & Visitors Bureau 8.1 Charlotte: Mike Rumph and Charlotte Center City Partners 8.2 Phoenix: Valley Metro (Phoenix) 9.1 Stapleton: Infinity Home Collection 9.2 Lakewood, Colorado: Visit Denver A NOTE ABOUT THE AUTHOR Alan Ehrenhalt was the executive editor of Governing magazine from 1990 to 2009.


pages: 349 words: 95,972

Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives by Tim Harford

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affirmative action, Air France Flight 447, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, Atul Gawande, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Basel III, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, call centre, Cass Sunstein, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, crowdsourcing, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Erdős number, experimental subject, Ferguson, Missouri, Filter Bubble, Frank Gehry, game design, global supply chain, Googley, Guggenheim Bilbao, high net worth, Inbox Zero, income inequality, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Merlin Mann, microbiome, out of africa, Paul Erdős, Richard Thaler, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, telemarketer, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Turing test, urban decay

But more pertinent, it was our eagerness to believe what his fraudulent study was telling us—to overestimate the ill effects of mess, to imagine that tidying up would have profoundly transformative effects on our moral selves, rather than just make our morning commute more pleasant—that led to its generating so much publicity. Not all messes have redeeming features: a train station that isn’t strewn with litter is more pleasant than one that is. It’s worth sweeping the platforms. But tidying up isn’t going to turn us into better people. • • • The story of the “broken windows” theory of urban decay is another example of how we instinctively overestimate the benefits of tidying up certain kinds of urban mess. The theory was proposed in an influential article in The Atlantic Monthly in 1982 by criminologist George Kelling and political scientist James Q. Wilson. Kelling and Wilson argued that small signs of disorder led to the breakdown of community norms and, eventually, to serious criminality.

The psychologist Philip Zimbardo is mentioned by Kelling and Wilson: He arranged to have an automobile without license plates parked with its hood up on a street in the Bronx and a comparable automobile on a street in Palo Alto, California . . . The car in Palo Alto sat untouched for more than a week. Then Zimbardo smashed part of it with a sledgehammer. Soon, passersby were joining in. Within a few hours, the car had been turned upside down and utterly destroyed.27 Interesting, but it is a stretch to build a theory of urban decay on what happens after one psychologist takes one sledgehammer to one car in one California city. The truth is that social science has not been able to muster much support for the broken windows theory of policing, nor for the idea that it deserves credit for breaking New York City’s crime wave in the 1990s. There is no shortage of explanations for the decline in crime, and any plausible explanation must deal with the fact that crime fell across the United States, not just in New York.


pages: 327 words: 88,121

The Vanishing Neighbor: The Transformation of American Community by Marc J. Dunkelman

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Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blue-collar work, Bretton Woods, Broken windows theory, call centre, clean water, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, David Brooks, delayed gratification, double helix, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Gini coefficient, glass ceiling, global supply chain, global village, helicopter parent, if you build it, they will come, impulse control, income inequality, invention of movable type, Jane Jacobs, Khyber Pass, Louis Pasteur, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, McMansion, Nate Silver, Nicholas Carr, obamacare, Occupy movement, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, Richard Florida, rolodex, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, Thomas L Friedman, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban decay, urban planning, Walter Mischel, War on Poverty, women in the workforce, World Values Survey

Successful neighborhoods needed to contain buildings of both new and old stock, allowing a diversity of businesses and tenants to interact. Finally, each community needed a dense concentration of residents—a critical mass that would keep streetscapes lively.22 Jacobs’s approach was soon followed by more academic studies. Several decades removed from the Dickensian world of early twentieth-century American metropolises—and in the aftermath of the urban decay wrought, in some circumstances, by the successive riots of the late 1960s—Claude Fischer, a sociologist at Berkeley, decided to take a second look at the Chicago School’s assumption that the bonds of community were undermined by the process of industrialization. What he found largely contradicted the conventional view. The sorts of relationships found in small towns might not have mapped one for one onto the routines of urban neighborhoods, but cities were nevertheless helping to cultivate ties between people who had particular interests in common.

., 15, 50, 56, 187, 190 Chinatown Bus effect and, 47 gerrymandering and, xvi, 182–87, 189 of 2012, 7, 37–38, 184–85 Elks Lodges, 44, 116 e-mail, xi, 8, 109–10, 125, 145 End of History, The (Fukuyama), 230–31 England, xii, 81, 82, 157, 158, 166–67, 179, 194 entrepreneurialism, 82, 164 ethnicity, 32, 79, 147, 148, 231, 237 ethnic tensions, 4, 39 Europe, 81, 226, 230, 232 evangelism, 42, 71 evolution, 90–91 expectations, 30, 60, 70–71, 82 Facebook, 37–38, 45, 48, 108, 114, 124–25, 140, 145, 148–49, 152, 190, 194, 219 faith, loss of, xv, xvii, xviii, 14, 181–82, 193, 195 family, 70, 119, 125, 129, 139, 194 affirmation and, 104–7 extended (traditional), 12, 15, 16, 26–27, 68, 97, 106 health care and, 201, 210 income inequality and, 21–22 nuclear, 16, 26, 32, 84, 145 in Saturn model, 95, 96 single-parent, 26, 30–31, 43, 105, 216 Farmer, Paul, 64 fathers, 12, 106, 131 of author, 132–33, 134, 240 fax machines, 16, 35, 74 fear, 71, 84, 119, 128, 157, 233, 235 of hitchhiking, 133, 134, 135 homosexuality and, 42 quality of life and, 50–52, 55–57, 60 Federal Express, 147–48 Ferguson, Niall, 229 Fiddler on the Roof (musical), 69–70 filibuster, xvi, 182, 185, 188, 191, 248n Filter Bubble, The (Pariser), 37 Fiorina, Morris, 139 First Wave society, 16, 20, 31–32, 233 Fischer, Claude, 87, 88, 105, 106, 128–29, 237–38 Fishkin, James, 192–93 Florida, Richard, 83, 175 food, 51, 58, 62, 79, 136–37, 202 brain and, 90–91 see also agriculture Ford, Gerald, 47 Fortune, 4–5, 14 Fowler, James, 96 Fox News, 184, 187–88 France, 80 Franklin, Rosalind, 161 Freakonomics (Levitt and Dubner), 7, 133–34 freedom, 25, 26, 43, 49, 52, 60, 67, 82, 102, 161, 207 French and Indian War, 157 Friedman, Thomas, xiv, 17–21, 24, 141–42, 151–52, 240 friends, 8, 12, 24, 25, 91, 95, 99–100, 101, 119, 120, 122, 124, 152, 194 affirmation from, 102–3, 104, 107, 110, 111 agreement of, 148–49 health care and, 201, 210 Fukuyama, Francis, 230–31 Galbraith, John Kenneth, 52 Gans, Herbert, 144–45 Gates, Bill, 10 gay marriage, 42, 50, 69 GDP (gross domestic product), 17, 53, 99, 180, 198, 227, 230 gemeinschaft, 86 General Social Survey, 105, 119–20, 260n–61n generational succession, 135 genetics, 160–62 genius, 159, 160, 162 Genovese, Kitty, 84–85 Georgetown University, 118 gerrymandering, xvi, 182–87, 189 ghettos, 128 Gingrich, Newt, 14, 15 Gini coefficient, 22, 23 Girls (TV show), 30 Gladwell, Malcolm, 6, 91–92 globalization, 17–18, 20, 50, 138, 141, 152, 221 global village, 16, 142–43 Google, 37, 194 government, U.S., xii–xviii, 52, 67, 200, 234 dysfunction of, 181–90 French government compared with, 80 health care and, 201–5 public frustration with, xiv–xvii, 181–83, 195 urban decay and, 127 Graduate, The (movie), 4, 28, 30, 248n Granovetter, Mark, 168–69, 266n Great Depression, 60, 68, 85, 202–6, 210, 226 Greatest Generation, 51, 70 Great Migration, 40–41, 43, 137 Great Recession, xv, 54, 55, 62, 106 Great Society, 210, 255n Gresens, Mr., 220–22, 225 grit, 5, 6, 216–25 Grove, Andy, 10 Guest, Avery, 118 Gutenberg, Johann, 162 “habits of the heart,” 81, 89, 115, 138, 258n Habits of the Heart (Bellah), 65–66, 141, 258n Hampton, Keith, 118–19 Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ), 222, 224 health, health care, 101, 197–211 costs of, 198–200, 204–5, 206, 209–10 public, 197, 199, 204 quality of life and, 31, 51, 52, 57–60, 204 Hearst, William Randolph, 188 heart attack, 58, 200, 207 Heckman, James, 223 helicopter parent, 106 Henry, Peter Blair, 179–81 history, 51, 59, 67, 68, 230–34 affirmation and, 109, 110 of American community, 79–89 Dunbar’s number and, 94 Tofflers’ view of, 15–16 hitchhiking, 132–35 Hoffman, Dustin, 28 homogeneity, 46–47, 135, 147–48, 189, 191 homophobia, 42, 43, 51 homosexuality, 42–43, 87, 88 hospitals, 197, 199–204, 206–7 House of Representatives, U.S., xvi, 182, 184–85, 186 Hout, Mike, 237–38 Hughes, Charles Evans, 187 Hunter, James Davison, 69 hunter-gatherers, 16, 92, 142, 144–45 Hussein, Saddam, 67 Hutterites, 94 identity, 20, 42, 74, 130, 146 immigrants, 79, 82–83, 88, 232 income, xv, 21, 147, 180, 216, 227 discretionary, 55 inequality and, 21–24, 31 national, 21–22, 54 online communities and, 250n working women and, 27, 28 independence, 28–29, 30, 52, 57, 60, 106, 138, 151 of elderly, 197, 203, 207, 208–9 individualism, 65–66, 73, 74, 102 networked, 111 industrial paradigm, 14–15, 26, 82, 84–87, 170–71, 233 Industrial Revolution, xiii, 4, 16, 85, 86, 127, 138, 166, 201 inequality, economic, 21–24, 26, 31 information, 6–8, 18, 21, 26, 138, 260n brought together in a new way, 159–66, 209 Chinatown bus effect and, 35–38 information technology, 13, 16, 125, 141–43, 187, 209 affirmation and, 103–4, 108, 109–10 online communities and, 114–15 infrastructure, xiv, xv, xvi, 11, 25, 45, 194, 236 decay of, 229, 230 health, 200–201, 203–4, 206, 210 Inglehart, Ronald, 67–69, 73 inner directedness, 5–7 inner-ring relationships, see intimate relationships innovation, xiii, xvii, xviii, 158–75, 209 intellectual cross-fertilization, 158–68 interdependence, 17, 85–86 intermarriage: educational, 43–44 racial, 68 Internet, 10, 18, 36, 37, 121, 125, 146, 250n interracial marriage, 68 intimate relationships (inner-ring relationships), 92, 93, 96, 119–20, 137, 138–39, 145, 238 affirmation and, 103–7, 110, 112, 115 Chinatown Bus effect and, 42–46 health care and, 201, 204, 210 see also marriage iPhones, 160, 231 Iraq, 67 isolation: intellectual, 176 social, 73, 87, 113, 115, 118–19, 122, 127, 149, 207 Issacson, Walter, 164 Italy, 17, 163 It Gets Better Project, 43 Jackson, Kenneth, 40 Jacobs, Jane, 85–88, 127, 166–68, 170, 176 Jamaica, 179–81, 191 James, LeBron, 8–9 Japan, 226, 233 Jews, Orthodox, 98–99 jobs, 18–20, 23, 24, 27, 29, 30, 131, 139, 170–71, 235–36, 260n–61n affirmation and, 104–5, 107 assembly line, 53, 85 exporting of, 197–98 service, 18–19, 53, 132, 138, 236 Jobs, Steve, 10, 64, 160, 164–65 Johansson, Frans, 163, 168, 172 Johnson, Lyndon B., 127, 187, 210 Johnson, Steven, 159 Kahneman, Daniel, 13 Kelling, George, 150 Kelly, Mervin, 164 Kennedy, Robert, 206 Kenner, Edward, 158, 159 Kentucky, 147–48 Kerry, John, 47 Keynes, John Maynard, 53 Khrushchev, Nikita, 56 King, Martin Luther, Jr., 24, 46, 108–9, 128, 238 King, Stephen, 123 Kiwanis Club, 44, 45, 116 “Knowledge Is Power Program” (KIPP), 222, 223, 224 Koestler, Arthur, 158–60, 162, 166 Krebs cycle, 220–22 Ku Klux Klan, 111, 146 labor, labor unions, 14, 19, 20, 23, 53, 180, 181 leadership, xv, xvii, 23, 101, 108–9, 182, 186, 191 Leave It to Beaver (TV show), 34–35, 51 legislative districts, manipulation of (gerrymandering), xvi, 182–86, 189 Lehigh Valley, 170, 171 leisure, 53, 104–5, 139 Levin, David, 223 Levitt, Steven, 133–34 Lexus and the Olive Tree, The (Friedman), 141, 151–52 LGBT rights, 24, 42–43 libraries, 18, 36, 37 lifespan, longevity, 17, 31, 57–60, 62, 199, 204–5 Lincoln, Abraham, 228 Ling, Richard, 122–23 Lipset, Seymour Martin, 231 LISTSERVs, 114, 151 Little House on the Prairie (TV show), xii, 247n lobbyists, 183, 187, 229 Locke, Richard, 165, 172 Lonely Crowd, The (Riesman), 5–6, 7, 65, 141 Loose Connections (Wuthnow), 239 Lorain, Ohio, 79–80, 135 “lord of the manor” community, xii–xiii, 81 Lowery, Rev.


pages: 613 words: 151,140

No Such Thing as Society by Andy McSmith

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anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, call centre, cuban missile crisis, Etonian, F. W. de Klerk, feminist movement, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, full employment, glass ceiling, greed is good, illegal immigration, index card, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, strikebreaker, The Chicago School, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban decay, Winter of Discontent, young professional

It was as if everybody who was young in an inner city wanted to join in. But after a few tumultuous days, it all seemed to fizzle out, in the quiet euphoria of the royal wedding, leaving the authorities to argue over what, if anything, the riots said about British politics. On 13 July, Margaret Thatcher visited Toxteth, saw the wreckage, but did not see anyone driven to desperation by joblessness and urban decay. She saw a pleasant enough city centre ruined by its feckless inhabitants. She recalled: The housing there was by no means the worst in the city. I had been told that some of the young people got into trouble through boredom and not having enough to do. But you had only to look at the grounds around those houses with the grass untended, some of it waist high, and the litter, to see that this was a false analysis.

Of their second album, More Specials, one critic wrote: ‘The second side is curious, disorientating and quite unclassifiable . . . brave and perverse’.15 On tour, arguments erupted between members of the group, fuelled by drug abuse, and their gigs threatened to degenerate into violence because of their rash practice of encouraging fans to storm the stage. In Cambridge, fights broke out between fans and security guards, after which Dammers and the group’s vocalist, Terry Hall, were arrested for incitement and fined £400 each. The constant tension, the chaos and the scenes of urban decay that they witnessed on tour evidently put Dammers in a grim frame of mind, and spurred him to produce a song full of desolation and impending doom called ‘Ghost Town’, which topped the charts in July 1981. Twenty-one years after its release, a writer in the Guardian asserted that it ‘remains the most remarkable number one in British chart history’.16 Jerry Dammers had assumed that success would put an end to the nearhomicidal in-fighting among the members of the band, and that the others would acknowledge him for the extraordinary artist that he undoubtedly was.


pages: 422 words: 131,666

Life Inc.: How the World Became a Corporation and How to Take It Back by Douglas Rushkoff

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affirmative action, Amazon Mechanical Turk, banks create money, big-box store, Bretton Woods, car-free, colonial exploitation, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, computer age, corporate governance, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, death of newspapers, don't be evil, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, easy for humans, difficult for computers, financial innovation, Firefox, full employment, global village, Google Earth, greed is good, Howard Rheingold, income per capita, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock company, Kevin Kelly, laissez-faire capitalism, loss aversion, market bubble, market design, Marshall McLuhan, Milgram experiment, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, peak oil, place-making, placebo effect, Ponzi scheme, price mechanism, price stability, principal–agent problem, private military company, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, RFID, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, short selling, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, social software, Steve Jobs, Telecommunications Act of 1996, telemarketer, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, trickle-down economics, union organizing, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, Victor Gruen, white flight, working poor, Works Progress Administration, Y2K, young professional

The Public Works Administration and the U.S. Housing Authority lent money to private corporations for slum clearance, while giving local municipal governments authority over whether and where to build public housing. No one wanted a housing project near his own community, so the corporations and municipalities used the financing to tear down any slums near expensive suburbs and rebuild them as projects back in the city. Urban decay got worse, and the suburbs got even more segregated. If money had been put toward rehabilitating existing slums instead of tearing them down and building new ones, it might have created fewer construction jobs and lower profits, but it would have also prevented this very rapid redrawing of the residential map for the benefit of white suburban property values and the developers who exploited them.

As Whybrow sees it, once an economy grows beyond a certain point, “the behavioral contingencies essential to promoting social stability in a market-regulated society—close personal relationships, tightly knit communities, local capital investment, and so on—are quickly eroded.” Instead of working with one another to create value for our communities, we work against one another to help corporations extract money from our communities. When the city of Buffalo, New York, lost dozens of factories to outsourcing along with their manufacturing jobs, it became a national leader in bankruptcies, foreclosures, and urban decay. Over 108 collection agencies have opened to address the problem in Erie and Niagara Counties, hiring over 5,200 phone operators to track down and persuade debtors like themselves to fix their credit. As interest rates on these debts rise to upwards of 40 percent, more wealth is transferred from the poor to the rich, from the real economy to the speculative economy, and out of circulation into the banking ether.


pages: 219 words: 63,495

50 Future Ideas You Really Need to Know by Richard Watson

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23andMe, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, digital Maoism, Elon Musk, energy security, failed state, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, germ theory of disease, happiness index / gross national happiness, hive mind, hydrogen economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, life extension, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peak oil, personalized medicine, phenotype, precision agriculture, profit maximization, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Florida, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, semantic web, Skype, smart cities, smart meter, smart transportation, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, Stuxnet, supervolcano, telepresence, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Turing test, urban decay, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, women in the workforce, working-age population, young professional

If crime in specific areas reaches epidemic proportions it might at some point make more sense to turn the whole area into an informal prison rather than attempting to identify, then export troublemakers to secure facilities elsewhere. Other possibilities might include the tagging on all residents by postcode or perhaps once again building prison ships or creating prison countries. “Traditionally, problems of urban decay and associated issues, such as crime, have been seen as domestic issues best dealt with by internal security or police forces. That will no longer be an option.” Richard Norton, Naval War College Review People power But it’s not all bad news. If governments or aid agencies cannot provide food, water, shelter or other necessities, people will often organize these things for themselves. Moreover, as the American writer Stewart Brand has commented, adversity can breed inventiveness, especially ways of collaborating at a local level.


pages: 282 words: 69,481

Road to ruin: an introduction to sprawl and how to cure it by Dom Nozzi

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business climate, car-free, Jane Jacobs, New Urbanism, Parkinson's law, place-making, Ray Oldenburg, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, skinny streets, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, transit-oriented development, urban decay, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city

Surface parking lots take up valuable city land where there could be stores, offices, civic buildings, or plazas—uses that commonly add energy to a downtown, help provide the verticality needed to form outdoor rooms, and bring in more property tax revenue. Surface parking, by contrast, has a deadening effect. If Richard Ratcliff was right when he said that “[i]n a healthy city there is a constant replacement of less intensive uses by more intensive uses,”4 a city with a growing proportion of parking is a sign of urban decay.Until the recent past, the regulations in nearly all cities required at least “X” number of parking spaces per square foot of retail or office, which in fact far exceeded demand except on a few major shopping days. However, developers increasingly tend to oversupply parking—often exceeding even the generous requirements of most communities. For example, a study in the Seattle region found that even during peak periods, the parking supply for offices was 36 percent higher than average demand.5 Today, it is typical to provide parking for the “20th busiest hour of use,” but Donald Shoup notes that this leaves at least half of a shopping center’s parking vacant for at least 40 percent of the year.6 Further evidence on the oversupply of suburban parking includes a study of east and west coast business parks.


pages: 216 words: 69,480

Sweetness and Light: The Mysterious History of the Honeybee by Hattie Ellis

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back-to-the-land, haute couture, New Urbanism, the scientific method, urban decay

He believed in performance art, with a political subtext, rather than permanent creation; it was called social sculpture. In his 1977 installation Honey Pump at the Work Place, Beuys pumped honey in transparent pipes around the Museum Fridericianum in Kassel, Germany. Here, during the hundred days of the artwork, people from all over the world and from many walks of life—economists, community workers, musicians, lawyers, actors, trade unionists—discussed issues such as nuclear energy, urban decay, and human rights. This was Beuys’s Free International University, and it was about changing the world: the ideas being discussed should pump through society just as the honey circulated the building. The meaning of such “actions” relied on the ideas behind them, and the pieces later displayed in museums—photographs, blackboards of scribbles spray-fixed for posterity—are remnants of almost shamanistic events.


pages: 281 words: 95,852

The Googlization of Everything: by Siva Vaidhyanathan

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1960s counterculture, AltaVista, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, borderless world, Burning Man, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, cloud computing, computer age, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, data acquisition, death of newspapers, don't be evil, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full text search, global village, Google Earth, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, information retrieval, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, libertarian paternalism, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, Naomi Klein, Network effects, new economy, Nicholas Carr, PageRank, pirate software, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Thaler, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, single-payer health, Skype, social web, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, The Nature of the Firm, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, Thorstein Veblen, urban decay, web application

However, it has not necessarily served the needs of the vast majority of those who live in and around Bangalore—the very poor. The Bangalore lawyer and media researcher Lawrence Liang describes this and other major cities in India, such as Hyderabad and New Delhi: “This urbanism in India has become a significant theatre of elite engagement with claims of globalization. . . . Imprints of the media industry like multiplexes, malls, and lifestyle suburbia go hand-in-hand with the cries of urban decay and pollution, and managing populations that are increasingly restless in the new arrangements.”59 And as 140 TH E G OOGL IZATION OF THE WORL D the media scholar Ravi Sundaram has said, “Cities are being actively remapped” in India. “You have sections of the city that are meant only for the elite, with their own power supply, air conditioning, and private security.”60 So although a small, but growing segment of Indian society is firmly embedded in the cosmopolitan flows of culture, knowledge, and power as a result of the remarkable investments of the past twenty years in India, the poor pay a disproportionate price and receive an inadequate return.


pages: 509 words: 92,141

The Pragmatic Programmer by Andrew Hunt, Dave Thomas

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A Pattern Language, Broken windows theory, business process, buy low sell high, c2.com, combinatorial explosion, continuous integration, database schema, domain-specific language, general-purpose programming language, Grace Hopper, if you see hoof prints, think horses—not zebras, index card, loose coupling, Menlo Park, MVC pattern, premature optimization, Ralph Waldo Emerson, revision control, Schrödinger's Cat, slashdot, sorting algorithm, speech recognition, traveling salesman, urban decay, Y2K

Despite the best laid plans and the best people, a project can still experience ruin and decay during its lifetime. Yet there are other projects that, despite enormous difficulties and constant setbacks, successfully fight nature's tendency toward disorder and manage to come out pretty well. What makes the difference? In inner cities, some buildings are beautiful and clean, while others are rotting hulks. Why? Researchers in the field of crime and urban decay discovered a fascinating trigger mechanism, one that very quickly turns a clean, intact, inhabited building into a smashed and abandoned derelict [WK82]. A broken window. One broken window, left unrepaired for any substantial length of time, instills in the inhabitants of the building a sense of abandonment—a sense that the powers that be don't care about the building. So another window gets broken.


pages: 306 words: 94,204

Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter

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back-to-the-land, crack epidemic, David Attenborough, dumpster diving, Golden Gate Park, haute cuisine, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Mason jar, McMansion, New Urbanism, Port of Oakland, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Silicon Valley, urban decay, urban renewal, Whole Earth Catalog

The kids wore enormous white T-shirts and saggy pants; they counted their bills and stood in the middle of traffic, waving small plastic bags at prospective customers. Clearly a rough crowd. All these people out on the street—they were characters I had never met in Seattle, or in our more suburban house in the Oakland hills. I was curious, and yet I had to admit it: they scared me. Could I really live here? Walk around the streets without worrying about getting mugged? The place was a postcard of urban decay, I thought as we turned down 28th Street. Cheetos bags somersaulted across the road. An eight-story brick building on the corner was entirely abandoned and tattooed with graffiti. Living here would definitely mean getting out of my comfort zone. We came to a stop in front of a gray 1905 Queen Anne. Like almost every other house in the Bay Area, it had been divided into apartments. The place for rent was the upstairs portion of the duplex.


pages: 284 words: 85,643

What's the Matter with White People by Joan Walsh

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affirmative action, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, banking crisis, clean water, collective bargaining, David Brooks, desegregation, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, full employment, global village, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, impulse control, income inequality, invisible hand, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, upwardly mobile, urban decay, War on Poverty, We are the 99%, white flight, women in the workforce

Also, like so many riots before it, the LA conflict engulfed mainly black neighborhoods—but it also featured scenes of violence by African Americans against whites, Latinos, and Asians. At the end of the four days, fifty-three people were dead, thousands more wounded. Clinton headed to Los Angeles to tour the scenes of destruction with Representative Maxine Waters, who represented the area in Congress. Whereas President Bush denounced the “anarchy” as “purely criminal” and never bothered to visit, Clinton blamed the Reagan-Bush administrations for “more than a decade of urban decay,” intensified by federal spending cuts. After Bush press secretary Marlin Fitzwater blamed the unrest on “the Great Society,” Clinton shot back, “Republicans have had the White House for twenty of the last twenty-four years, and they have to go all the way back to the sixties to find somebody to blame. I want to do something about the problems.” No white Democrat had talked back to the race-baiting right that way in a long time.


pages: 363 words: 101,082

Earth Wars: The Battle for Global Resources by Geoff Hiscock

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Admiral Zheng, Asian financial crisis, Bakken shale, Bernie Madoff, BRICs, butterfly effect, clean water, cleantech, corporate governance, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, energy security, energy transition, eurozone crisis, Exxon Valdez, flex fuel, global rebalancing, global supply chain, hydraulic fracturing, Long Term Capital Management, Malacca Straits, Masdar, megacity, Menlo Park, Mohammed Bouazizi, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Panamax, purchasing power parity, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, trade route, uranium enrichment, urban decay, working-age population, Yom Kippur War

India will have close to 600 million people living in its cities and towns by 2030, according to a 2010 McKinsey report.13 The urban infrastructure required to cope with 68 Indian cities with populations above 1 million is of a massive scale: McKinsey estimates $1.2 trillion of capital investment is needed to ensure future urban dwellers are not condemned to the life that is the norm today for many inhabitants of India’s biggest city, Mumbai: slums, poor water and power services, bad roads, transport gridlock, and general urban decay. In July 2009, a retired Indian civil servant named Ashok Vichare became something of a media star when he took delivery in Mumbai of the first Tata Nano, an Indian-built super-cheap small car with a 624cc engine and fuel economy of just 4 litres per 100 km. But even with the frugality of the Nano and other economical cars in India, automotive demand is so strong that the country’s oil consumption is destined to rise to about 4.2 million barrels a day by 2020, up from 3.1 million in 2011.


pages: 378 words: 110,518

Postcapitalism: A Guide to Our Future by Paul Mason

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Alfred Russel Wallace, bank run, banking crisis, banks create money, Basel III, Bernie Madoff, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, bitcoin, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, butterfly effect, call centre, capital controls, Claude Shannon: information theory, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, David Graeber, deglobalization, deindustrialization, deskilling, discovery of the americas, Downton Abbey, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, eurozone crisis, factory automation, financial repression, Firefox, Fractional reserve banking, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, future of work, game design, income inequality, inflation targeting, informal economy, Internet of things, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, late capitalism, low skilled workers, market clearing, means of production, Metcalfe's law, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, mortgage debt, Network effects, new economy, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, payday loans, post-industrial society, precariat, price mechanism, profit motive, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, RFID, Richard Stallman, Robert Gordon, secular stagnation, sharing economy, Stewart Brand, structural adjustment programs, supply-chain management, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Transnistria, union organizing, universal basic income, urban decay, urban planning, wages for housework, women in the workforce

I remember the main street of my home town, Leigh, in northwest England, in the 1970s, thronged on Saturday mornings with prosperous working-class families. There was full employment, high wages and high productivity. There were numerous street-corner banks. It was a world of work, saving and great social solidarity. Smashing that solidarity, forcing wages down, destroying the social fabric of these towns was done – originally – to clear the ground for the free-market system. For the first decade, the result was simply crime, unemployment, urban decay and a massive deterioration in public health. But then came financialization. The urban landscape of today – outlets providing expensive money, cheap labour and free food – is the visual symbol of what neoliberalism has achieved. Stagnant wages were replaced by borrowing: our lives were financialized. ‘Financialization’ is a long word; if I could use one with fewer syllables I would, because it is at the heart of the neoliberal project and it needs to be better understood.


pages: 252 words: 13,581

Cape Town After Apartheid: Crime and Governance in the Divided City by Tony Roshan Samara

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conceptual framework, deglobalization, ghettoisation, global village, illegal immigration, late capitalism, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, structural adjustment programs, unemployed young men, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Washington Consensus, working poor

This simple and recurring truth only reinforces how powerful certain articulations of race, youth, and masculinity can be when combined in contested, tense, urban spaces; it is at this intersection that the governance of security is most volatile but, perhaps, also most productive. The meaning of black youth, from this perspective, is not entirely uniform across city spaces; rather, it shifts with the setting. In the city center, street children figured prominently and, relative to their numbers, disproportionately as ideological markers of urban decay and danger during the early days of the Cape Town Partnership, portrayed by proponents of downtown revitalization as urban terrorists. Their demonization in the English-language media and by renewal officials reached such a pitch that street children, and the AIDS orphans increasingly blamed for swelling their ranks, were referred to as a looming threat not only to the city center, but to the entire urban social fabric.


pages: 340 words: 92,904

Street Smart: The Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars by Samuel I. Schwartz

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2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, car-free, City Beautiful movement, collaborative consumption, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, desegregation, Enrique Peñalosa, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, if you build it, they will come, intermodal, invention of the wheel, lake wobegon effect, Loma Prieta earthquake, Lyft, Masdar, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Nate Silver, oil shock, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, skinny streets, smart cities, smart grid, smart transportation, the built environment, the map is not the territory, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, walkable city, Wall-E, white flight, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, Zipcar

The miles of uninterrupted driving Risse described were, in 1897, intended for horse-drawn carriages; that is, a bridle path. By the time the Concourse opened, in 1909, the automobile age was well begun. By the 1940s, America was embracing it like nowhere else on Earth. That’s when another “through motor route” transformed the borough for which the Grand Concourse had been emblematic into a shorthand proxy for urban decay, and became an enduring symbol of the conflict over the ownership of America’s roads. The intersection between the north-south Grand Concourse and the east-west Cross-Bronx Expresswaya would come to represent not just one battle over the City Beautiful, but a rallying cry in a decades-long war. The story of the Cross-Bronx began in 1945, six years after the publication of the WPA Guide to New York City.


pages: 717 words: 150,288

Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism by Stephen Graham

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airport security, anti-communist, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, credit crunch, DARPA: Urban Challenge, defense in depth, deindustrialization, edge city, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, Food sovereignty, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Google Earth, illegal immigration, income inequality, knowledge economy, late capitalism, loose coupling, market fundamentalism, McMansion, megacity, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, pattern recognition, peak oil, planetary scale, private military company, RAND corporation, RFID, Richard Florida, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, smart transportation, surplus humans, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, white flight

Norton is one amongst many calling for the US military to re-organize itself into, in effect an urban counterinsurgency force, whose de facto mission, rather than peer-on-peer, high-tech warfare, would be the penetration, control and pacification of the world’s feral cities. He invokes what geographers call a process of rescaling – a reorientation away from globe-spanning revolutions in high-tech warfare, and towards a dominant concern with the spaces of streets, favelas, medinas and neighbourhoods. This parallels the increasing preoccupation of military and security forces with the microgeographies of domestic cities. ‘Traditionally, problems of urban decay and associated issues, such as crime’, writes Norton, ‘have been seen as domestic issues best dealt with by internal security or police forces. That will no longer be an option.’82 The Bush administration’s language of moral absolutism was, in particular, deeply Orientalist. It worked by separating ‘the civilized world’ – the ‘homeland’ cities which must be ‘defended’ – from the ‘dark forces’, the ‘axis of evil’, and the ‘terrorist nests’ alleged to dwell in, to be situated in, and to define Arab cities, which allegedly sustain the ‘evil-doers’ who threaten the health, prosperity, and democracy of the whole ‘free’ world.83 The result of such imaginative geographies has been the a-historical and essentialized projection of Arab urban civilization.


pages: 526 words: 155,174

Sixty Days and Counting by Kim Stanley Robinson

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dumpster diving, energy security, full employment, Golden Gate Park, hiring and firing, McMansion, megacity, mutually assured destruction, place-making, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman, Saturday Night Live, urban decay, Works Progress Administration

“I think the question now is how quick we can ramp production up to what we need.” “I wonder how much investment capital is out there. Or whether trained labor will be the real shortage.” “I guess we’ll find out.” “That’s a good thought.” And young Henry grinned. Evening in the park, and Frank buzzed Spencer and joined him and Robin and Robert at a new fregan house. East, into a neighborhood he had never been in before, a kind of border between gentrification and urban decay, in which burned or boarded-up buildings stood mutely between renovated towers guarded by private security people. An awkward mix it seemed, and yet once inside the boarded-up shell of a brownstone, it proved to be as sheltered from the public life of the city as any other place. Home was where the food was. Same crowd as always, a mix of young and old. Neo-hippie and postpunk. Some new thing that Frank couldn’t name with a media label.


pages: 606 words: 157,120

To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism by Evgeny Morozov

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3D printing, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, Automated Insights, Berlin Wall, big data - Walmart - Pop Tarts, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive bias, crowdsourcing, data acquisition, Dava Sobel, disintermediation, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Filter Bubble, Firefox, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, frictionless, future of journalism, game design, Gary Taubes, Google Glasses, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of the printing press, Jane Jacobs, Jean Tirole, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Julian Assange, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, license plate recognition, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Narrative Science, Nicholas Carr, packet switching, PageRank, Paul Graham, Peter Singer: altruism, Peter Thiel, pets.com, placebo effect, pre–internet, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Richard Thaler, Ronald Coase, Rosa Parks, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Slavoj Žižek, smart meter, social graph, social web, stakhanovite, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the medium is the message, The Nature of the Firm, the scientific method, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, Vannevar Bush, WikiLeaks

But if the goal is to come up with better, more sustainable, and ecologically friendlier ways of parking, and even of managing transportation as a whole, then the Santa Monica scheme fails, for it optimizes the efficiency of only the local—not the global—system. That is, if it gives us citizens who don’t normally reflect on their parking and driving habits, then the scheme might still be considered a failure, even if it leads to more efficient billing of parked cars. Such unreflective attitudes toward transportation have given us both urban decay and climate change. We can postpone thinking about seemingly trivial everyday issues for only so long—eventually, they will come back to haunt us. Victorian Trains and Montana Huts In a way, various smart systems like the one in Santa Monica suffer from the same problem as self-tracking: if quantification gives us an opportunity to save three gallons of water without questioning how this water gets into our bathrooms to begin with, then perhaps the savings are not as significant as we believe and maybe they even detract from our seeking more innovative ways of reforming the water system.


pages: 464 words: 127,283

Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia by Anthony M. Townsend

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1960s counterculture, 4chan, A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Apple II, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, chief data officer, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, congestion charging, connected car, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Deng Xiaoping, East Village, Edward Glaeser, game design, garden city movement, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Grace Hopper, Haight Ashbury, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, jitney, John Snow's cholera map, Khan Academy, Kibera, knowledge worker, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, packet switching, patent troll, place-making, planetary scale, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social software, social web, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, working poor, working-age population, X Prize, Y2K, zero day, Zipcar

Inspired by popular data-driven online indexes like WalkScore, which computes a numerical measure of walkability for any US street address, Tolva was also working on a Neighborhood Health Index. A massive mash-up, it would synthesize “all the indicators that we have block by block and infer the probability that an undesirable outcome will result.” While Chicago’s effort looked at real data, not some abstract model, there was an eerie similarity to the cybernetic missteps of the 1960s that tried to compute urban decay. But Tolva wasn’t entirely seduced by data. He understood that it is nothing more than a diagnostic tool: “A single data point that does not tell you that a house is going to fall into blight but [the index could signal] that there is a higher than normal probability that it will be in disrepair.”33 The data could then be used as an input when allocating revitalization funds or directing social workers to trouble spots.


pages: 547 words: 148,799

Market Forces by Richard K. Morgan

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call centre, land reform, Ronald Reagan, strikebreaker, urban decay

‘Yeah, I know I haven’t tidied up for a while, but—‘ ‘You know what I mean!’ Erik looked at her in silence for a while. Then he went to the window and tugged back one of the ragged curtains. Outside, something had been set on fire and it painted leaping shadows on the ceiling above where he stood. Shouts came through the thin glass pane. ‘Yes,’ he said softly. ‘I know what you mean. You mean this. Urban decay, as only the British know how to do it. And here I am, fifty-seven years old and stuck in the middle of it.’ She avoided his eyes. ‘It’s just so civilised back there, Dad. There’s nobody sleeping on the streets—‘ ‘Just as well, they’d freeze to death.’ She ignored him. ‘—nobody dying because they can’t afford medical attention, no old people too poor to afford heating and too scared to go out after dark.


pages: 483 words: 143,123

The Frackers: The Outrageous Inside Story of the New Billionaire Wildcatters by Gregory Zuckerman

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American energy revolution, Asian financial crisis, Bakken shale, Bernie Sanders, Buckminster Fuller, corporate governance, credit crunch, energy security, Exxon Valdez, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, LNG terminal, margin call, Maui Hawaii, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Peter Thiel, reshoring, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Jobs, urban decay

“It took me three or four days to understand what he was talking about,” recalls Mitchell, who hosted Fuller at various conferences. “He made me believe we were really going to have trouble keeping up with society.” By the 1970s, Mitchell was reading the work of Dennis Meadows, a scientist who recommended ways to slow global growth to reduce the impact a growing population was having on finite resources. He also became an advocate for sustainable energy technologies and food sources. Focused on preventing urban decay from taking place in Houston and elsewhere, Mitchell visited troubled neighborhoods around the country, such as Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant and the Watts area in Los Angeles. “All of our cities are in trouble,” he said in an interview at the time. “The concentration of the disadvantaged and the flight to the suburbs of the middle-class whites—that’s destroying all our cities.” Mitchell Energy purchased fifteen thousand acres of land twenty-seven miles north of downtown Houston and began building a planned city that would embrace his evolving views on the environment and sustainability.


pages: 519 words: 136,708

Vertical: The City From Satellites to Bunkers by Stephen Graham

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1960s counterculture, Berlin Wall, Buckminster Fuller, Chelsea Manning, Commodity Super-Cycle, deindustrialization, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, energy security, Frank Gehry, ghettoisation, Google Earth, high net worth, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Indoor air pollution, Jane Jacobs, late capitalism, means of production, megacity, megastructure, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-industrial society, Project Plowshare, rent control, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Skype, South China Sea, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, trickle-down economics, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, WikiLeaks

Louis, Missouri on July 15, 1972 at 3:32 pm (or thereabouts) when the infamous Pruitt-Igoe scheme, or rather several of its slab blocks, were given the final coup de grâce by dynamite.’25 Built in the 1950s, the Pruitt-Igoe project became in the 1960s and 1970s a symbol of the racialised decay of inner urban cores and white flight as the middle classes rushed to the suburbs. Redlining, deindustrialisation and the growing emergence of racialised ghettos in Pruitt-Igoe and similar projects allowed mainstream media to demonise such places and their inhabitants. Pruitt-Igoe thus emerged as a symbol of urban decay, collapse and hopelessness. Its spectacular erasure was widely used as shorthand for a period in the US where ‘those who lived in cities no longer cared for them, and those who lived elsewhere feared and detested them.’26 The fact that communal housing was widely deemed to chime with socialist thinking didn’t help. The demolition of Pruitt-Igoe’s thirty-three cheaply built slab towers powerfully symbolises the shift towards the systematic erasure of mass vertical housing in many Western nations.


pages: 399 words: 116,828

When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor by William Julius Wilson

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affirmative action, citizen journalism, collective bargaining, conceptual framework, declining real wages, deindustrialization, deliberate practice, desegregation, Donald Trump, edge city, ending welfare as we know it, full employment, George Gilder, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, income inequality, informal economy, labor-force participation, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, manufacturing employment, new economy, New Urbanism, pink-collar, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, school choice, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Chicago School, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration

The article goes on to state: Though its members come from all races and live in many places, the underclass is made up mostly of impoverished urban blacks, who still suffer from the heritage of slavery and discrimination.… Their bleak environment nurtures values that are often at radical odds with those of the majority—even the majority of the poor. Thus the underclass minority produces a highly disproportionate number of the nation’s juvenile delinquents, school dropouts, drug addicts and welfare mothers, and much of the adult crime, family disruption, urban decay, and demand for social expenditures. However, it was not until the early 1980s, following the publication of a series of popular books written by conservative analysts, that the arguments made in this article were widely covered in the media. In a political atmosphere created during the first term of the Reagan administration, when the dominant ideology of poverty and welfare was strongly reinforced, conservative analysts rushed to explain the apparent paradox of a sharp rise in inner-city social dislocations after years of sweeping antipoverty and antidiscrimination legislation, beginning with the Great Society programs and the civil rights legislation of the Johnson administration.


pages: 547 words: 160,071

Underground by Suelette Dreyfus

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airport security, invisible hand, Julian Assange, Loma Prieta earthquake, packet switching, pirate software, profit motive, publish or perish, RFC: Request For Comment, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, uranium enrichment, urban decay, WikiLeaks, zero day

In the early 1840s, Friedrich Engels had worked in his father’s cotton-milling factory in the area, and the suffering he saw in the region influenced his most famous work, The Communist Manifesto, published in 1848. Manchester wore the personality of a working-class town, a place where people often disliked the establishment and distrusted authority figures. The 1970s and 1980s had not been kind to most of Greater Manchester, with unemployment and urban decay disfiguring the once-proud textile hub. But this decay only appeared to strengthen an underlying resolve among many from the working classes to challenge the symbols of power. Pad didn’t live in a public housing high-rise. He lived in a suburban middle-class area, in an old, working-class town removed from the dismal inner-city. But like many people from the north, he disliked pretensions. Indeed, he harboured a healthy degree of good-natured scepticism, perhaps stemming from a culture of mates whose favourite pastime was pulling each other’s leg down at the pub.


Culture and Prosperity: The Truth About Markets - Why Some Nations Are Rich but Most Remain Poor by John Kay

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Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, California gold rush, complexity theory, computer age, constrained optimization, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, equity premium, Ernest Rutherford, European colonialism, experimental economics, Exxon Valdez, failed state, financial innovation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, George Gilder, greed is good, haute couture, illegal immigration, income inequality, invention of the telephone, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, knowledge economy, labour market flexibility, late capitalism, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Mahatma Gandhi, market bubble, market clearing, market fundamentalism, means of production, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, Naomi Klein, Nash equilibrium, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pets.com, popular electronics, price discrimination, price mechanism, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, random walk, rent-seeking, risk tolerance, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, second-price auction, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South Sea Bubble, Steve Jobs, telemarketer, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Market for Lemons, The Nature of the Firm, The Predators' Ball, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, transaction costs, tulip mania, urban decay, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, yield curve, yield management

No one feels the same affection for the Long Island Expressway. As Moses built, traffic grew until his highways were as congested as were the roads before. The Cross Bronx Expressway turned once thriving communities into areas of dereliction. When Governor Nelson Rockefeller finally maneuvered him from office in 1968when Moses was almost eighty years old-the city he had shaped so dramatically was in a spiral of decline, stricken by urban decay and financial crisis. Planning in British Electricity ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Absolutism of authority is part of the problem. In Soviet Russia and Communist China, as at Wang Laboratories and the Ford Motor Company, decision making was personalized and undemocratic. In New York, Robert Moses, an unelected official, gathered autocratic power in an environment of ostensible democracy.


pages: 725 words: 221,514

Debt: The First 5,000 Years by David Graeber

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Admiral Zheng, anti-communist, back-to-the-land, banks create money, Bretton Woods, British Empire, carried interest, cashless society, central bank independence, colonial rule, corporate governance, David Graeber, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, double entry bookkeeping, financial innovation, full employment, George Gilder, informal economy, invention of writing, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, means of production, microcredit, money: store of value / unit of account / medium of exchange, moral hazard, oil shock, payday loans, place-making, Ponzi scheme, price stability, profit motive, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, seigniorage, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, tulip mania, upwardly mobile, urban decay, working poor

“Le troc primitif, un mythe fondateur d’une approche économiste de la monnaie.” Revue numismatique 2001: 15-32. Sharma, J. P. 1968. Republics in Ancient India: c 1500 – c. 500 BC. Leiden: E. J. Brill Sharma, Ram Sharan. 1958. Sudras in Ancient India. Delhi: Mohtial Banarsidas. _____. 1965. “Usury in Medieval India (A.D. 400-1200).” Comparative Studies in Society and History 8 (1): 56-77. _____. 1987. Urban Decay in India c. 300- c.1000. Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal. _____. 2001. Early medieval Indian society: a study in feudalisation. Hyderbad: Orient Longman. Shell, Marc. 1978. The Economy of Literature. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. _____. 1992. Money, Language, and Thought. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Sheridan, R. B. 1958. “The Commercial and Financial Organization of the British Slave Trade, 1750-1807.”


pages: 796 words: 242,660

This Sceptred Isle by Christopher Lee

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agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, Corn Laws, cuban missile crisis, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, failed state, financial independence, glass ceiling, half of the world's population has never made a phone call, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Khartoum Gordon, Khyber Pass, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, new economy, Northern Rock, Ronald Reagan, spice trade, spinning jenny, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, urban decay

From that time the germ of iniquity and the root of contention planted their poison amongst us, as we deserved, and shot forth into leaves and branches.8 All England, it would have appeared, was leaves and branches. In this period, the middle of the fifth century, there were great forests almost everywhere. The Weald at that time ran from Kent to Hampshire: 120 miles long and 30 miles deep. Where there wasn’t forest, there were often marshlands. There were roads, almost 5,000 miles of them, left by the Romans yet the towns were crumbling. It would be called urban decay today and it had started before the Romans left. The Britons, and the Saxon invaders, were rarely stone masons; they left no record of knowing much about repairing the buildings and cared even less. The great Saxon churches, many surviving today, came much later. If we have doubts about Gildas, we have fewer doubts about the importance of the clues to this period found in The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle and the Historia Ecclesiastica Gentis Anglorum, The Ecclesiastical History of the English People by the Venerable Bede – the first British historian.


pages: 602 words: 177,874

Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman

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3D printing, additive manufacturing, affirmative action, Airbnb, AltaVista, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, bitcoin, blockchain, business process, call centre, centre right, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, demand response, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Erik Brynjolfsson, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Ferguson, Missouri, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Flash crash, game design, gig economy, global supply chain, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, inventory management, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John von Neumann, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land tenure, linear programming, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, Maui Hawaii, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, pattern recognition, planetary scale, pull request, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ransomware, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Thomas L Friedman, transaction costs, Transnistria, urban decay, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, Y2K, Yogi Berra

Washington also replaced laissez-faire with Keynesian spending designed to manage the business cycle.” And that nationalizing impulse intensified after World War II, he noted, “reaching its peak in LBJ’s Great Society. This period of expansive liberalism saw the federal government assume responsibility for problems that had previously been left mainly to states and local authorities: racial injustice, poverty, illness, gender inequality, urban decay, educational inequity and pollution.” Geopolitics also pushed things up to Washington, D.C., which had to finance and sustain a global Cold War competition with the Soviet Union. Plus, you had the need for real expertise from the federal government for solving new, complex industrial-age problems. This was the broad and defining trend of American politics in the twentieth century that shaped many of the key planks of the “left” and “right” political agendas we know today—with the conservative right tending to be more sympathetic to the interests of owners and capital, always looking for more market-based solutions and less federal government regulation, and the liberal left tending toward more government-led solutions that promoted not just equal opportunities but equal outcomes, particularly for minorities and the poor.


pages: 1,104 words: 302,176

The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World) by Robert J. Gordon

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3D printing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airline deregulation, airport security, Apple II, barriers to entry, big-box store, blue-collar work, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, deindustrialization, Detroit bankruptcy, discovery of penicillin, Donner party, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, feminist movement, financial innovation, full employment, George Akerlof, germ theory of disease, glass ceiling, high net worth, housing crisis, immigration reform, impulse control, income inequality, income per capita, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflight wifi, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of air conditioning, invention of the telegraph, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, jitney, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, Loma Prieta earthquake, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, market fragmentation, Mason jar, McMansion, Menlo Park, minimum wage unemployment, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, new economy, Norbert Wiener, obamacare, occupational segregation, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, payday loans, Peter Thiel, pink-collar, Productivity paradox, Ralph Nader, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, rent control, Robert X Cringely, Ronald Coase, school choice, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Skype, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, The Market for Lemons, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban sprawl, washing machines reduced drudgery, Washington Consensus, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, Works Progress Administration, yield management

Nor would we have jet air travel, manned spaceflight, submarines, or computers.49 We return in chapter 15 to the beneficial effects of air conditioning on productivity in two senses: First is the obvious fact that people work more efficiently when they are cool than when they are hot and sweaty. Second, air conditioning made possible a massive move of American manufacturing to the southern states and indirectly sped the process by which inefficient old multistory factories in the old northern industrial cities were replaced by new greenfield single-story structures in the south. We return in the next section to the unfortunate consequence of urban decay in the northern industrial cities hardest hit by the exodus of manufacturing jobs—and with them a substantial proportion of the early postwar population. Room air conditioners are simple single-purpose devices designed to cool air and recirculate it. There are fewer dimensions of quality change, because there is no analogy to the multiple aspects of refrigerator quality. There were only two important improvements in quality for room air conditioners that did not involve energy efficiency.


pages: 1,797 words: 390,698

Power at Ground Zero: Politics, Money, and the Remaking of Lower Manhattan by Lynne B. Sagalyn

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affirmative action, airport security, Bonfire of the Vanities, clean water, conceptual framework, corporate governance, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, estate planning, Frank Gehry, Guggenheim Bilbao, high net worth, informal economy, intermodal, iterative process, Jane Jacobs, mortgage debt, New Urbanism, place-making, rent control, Rosa Parks, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, the built environment, the High Line, time value of money, too big to fail, Torches of Freedom, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, white flight, young professional

Cities, history taught, tend to be “stubbornly resilient.”21 In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, with a fierce determination fueled by an attitude of defiance—it could not, would not, be intimidated by terror—New York City set out to write its own distinctive chapter on resilience for the book of history. Asserting Resilience New Yorkers with clear memories of the past did not have to dig deep to remember how the city struggled to emerge from the murky miasma of the difficult 1960s and the scary brush with municipal bankruptcy in the 1970s. New York and its serial crises made the covers of national magazines and journals; it was the poster child for urban decay, the apotheosis of the demise of city life, Exhibit A of the big bad city. These dark and gloomy decades loomed as an ever-threatening reminder of what would be if the city did not recover—in strength—from the devastating terrorist attack. Successfully rebuilding the Trade Center site—cost not a consideration—was a civic imperative. Bricks and mortar would be the stand-in for that recovery, a test of the city’s historic resilience.