How, after 9/11, New York built back better

Source:  The Economist

That was the worst day in the city’s history, but it also spurred its transformation. The morning after the September 11th attacks, as exhausted first-responders looked for survivors in rubble still wreathed in smoke, New Yorkers braced themselves for more attacks. The final death toll came to 2,743 people, almost all New Yorkers. America would later launch two long, costly wars in response and squander its moral authority in prisons in Guantánamo Bay and Abu Ghraib. In some ways the country is worse off now than it was on September 10th 2001, more anxious, more polarised, less trusting. New York City, though, is better. The resurrection of Lower Manhattan acted as a catalyst for rebuilding and rethinking well beyond the area destroyed on that terrible day.

The smoke, ashes and dust radiated outwards from the site of the attack. But so, more gradually, did the construction boom, which spread from Tribeca, up to Chelsea and eventually across the five boroughs to long-neglected neighbourhoods like Jamaica and Flushing in Queens, to Staten Island’s St George and along Brooklyn’s waterfront. New York City ended up “greater than ever”, says Dan Doctoroff, a former deputy mayor. Few would have predicted this outcome while a 16-acre pit burned for months. But for New Yorkers staggered by the shock of 9/11, rebuilding became a rallying cause, a way of not letting the terrorists win...

Arquitectura Viva 79-80 ‘11 de septiembre’

The Economist: How, after 9/11, New York built back better

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