Urban Living

The Junta is contemplating a mid-Sept gathering to discuss city living – not only in New York but in cities across the country and around the world.

A principle issue is gentrification and the expanding of the luxury-condo style of living. Think of the changes that Bloomberg has been behind, like cookie-cutter newsstand structures that allow for standardized advertising spaces. Is it crazy to think that something so seemingly minor represents the suburbanization of the city, “turning Manhattan into one vast gated community for the rich”?

Back at the end of 2008, Josh Cohen lead us through a history of the Downtown Scene and its removal from SoHo and the Lower East Side through city policies that favored cracking down on petty crime and making neighborhoods safe for tourists and Starbucks stores. The makeover of Times Square into Disneyland is a perfect example. We want to revisit this theme and discuss how it will affect New York’s standing as a premier global city in the decades to come, as well as lessons that can be applied to any city worldwide. For example, is it wise that Beijing and Shanghai relentlessly tear down slums and replace them with luxury condos that few can afford?

Jeremy is going to follow up on this and spearhead the topic. We’re looking to write a series of posts outlining the discussion, and everyone’s input is appreciated.

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