Starting from Zero: Reconstructing Downtown New York / Edition 1

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Ever since 9/11, there has been no more vocal and articulate critic of the fate of Ground Zero than architect and social critic Michael Sorkin. He has been writing furiously about the future of New York and lower Manhattan in the pages of The New York Times and books like After the World Trade Center. Throughout the long redevelopment process, his perspective has been very critical, especially toward the powers-that-be charged with rebuilding the devastated trade center site. Sorkin contends that real estate and big commercial interests concerned primarily with maximizing rental and retail revenues are driving the process. This explains why we have seen them issue plan after plan of massive office towers, with some even higher than the old trade center itself. And this comes despite a massive overabundance of vacant office space in lower Manhattan. In Starting From Zero, Sorkin develops his own vision of the future lower Manhattan. His transformed Ground Zero features a low rise, multi-use neighborhood that is heavily quilted with green space. Central to it is a globe-like memorial, and there are no rebuilt towers. New office space, he contends, should be decentralized to New York's outer boroughs, where so many office workers actually live. Following this path will help create a more equitable New York. Mixing his inimitable brand of social criticism with more personal reflections, Starting From Zero promises to challenge the Ground Zero redevelopment plan recently chosen by New York's establishment insiders.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415947374
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 8/8/2003
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Sorkin is America's most provocative architectural critic. He is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, and is generally regarded as one of the most prominent architectural writers in America. His books include After the World Trade Center (Routledge), Some Assembly Required, and Variations on a Theme Park.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 6
After the Fall 16
What Remains 20
First Response 24
The Center Cannot Hold 30
A Plan for Downtown 38
Six Months 52
Thinking Inside the Box 57
Crossing the Site 62
The Dimensions of Aura 66
A Memorial 69
The World Peace Dome 74
Herbert's List 87
The Lotus 92
Security 114
A Brief for Reconstruction 120
Who Decides? 122
And then there were Two 126
In the End the Void 132
Back to Zero 136
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