A New Urban Geography?


Many geographers have used the example of New York and Manhattan to exemplify American urban phenomena and extremes. Cliche questions such as "When will Manhattan Island begin to sink?" or "What would have happened to the New York skyline without the elevator or the telephone?" were widely popular in urban geography classes. Thus, it is not surprising that within the first month after the terror attack a discussion ensued on the future of the city, urban concentrations and dispersion, the skyscraper and urban life.

Supporting Pages:

References and Links

  1. Impact on Urban Form and Functions:

  2. Seeking Safety, Manhattan Firms are Scattering New York Times, January 29, 2002. ... a corporate world in which dispersing workers became the order of the day after the attack... Never again do these global companies want to see themselves knocked out of business ... by a single cataclysmic event. Of course for a number of years, these companies have engaged in ... a "corporate diaspora" in which many companies dispatch various operations to the hinterlands. Most of these companies are not abandoning New York altogether.

  3. Sept. 11 terror attacks to cost U.S. metros more than 1.6 million jobs in 2002, Milken Institute study, January 11, 2002 Examination of 315 metro areas shows tourist destinations like Las Vegas, Orlando and Honolulu will suffer major losses in 2002 due to cutbacks in travel; New York, L.A. and other big cities will also lose many jobs, study finds.

  4. EDWARD L. GLAESER and JESSE M. SHAPIRO Cities and Warfare: The Impact of Terrorism on Urban Form [Harvard University ; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ; The Brookings Institution] Harvard University ; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) Harvard Institute of Economic Research Paper No. 1942 Historically, large-scale violence has impacted cities in three ways. First, concentrations of people have an advantage in defending themselves from attackers.... Second, cities often make attractive targets for violence, which creates an incentive for people to disperse. Finally, since warfare and terrorism often specifically target means of transportation, violence can increase the effective cost of transportation, which will usually increase the demand for density.

  5. Sam Casella, FAICP Let Cities Be Cities Planetizen, Nov 26, 2001 Scattered development does not offer more security. Decentralizing the population and businesses of our great cities would be a long and expensive proposition, and one likely to fail.

  6. In a Moment : On Glocal Mobilities and the Terrorised City [Stephen Graham, Newcastle, UK]

  7. In Defense of Cities [Clay Shirky, in: O'Reilly, Sept.25, 2001]

  8. Further Discussion & Links

  9. Eric Goldstein was quoted in the October 5 New York Times

  10. Stephen Ambrose's op ed in the October 1 Wall Street Journal is at

  11. Holman Jenkins Jr.'s article was in the September 19 Wall Street Journal,

  12. Paul Krugman's op ed can be found in the October 3 New York Times at

  13. An analysis by the Reason Foundation's Sam Staley of the effects of the attack on New York can be found at

  14. Sam Staley, "What Can We See in Manhattan's Urban Future,"

  15. New Urbanists, "Smart Growth Is Still Smart,"

  16. Thomas Bray, "Let Freedom Sprawl,"

  17. The Future of New York, Business Week, (Cover Story) Oct 22, 2001

  18. Business Week, Oct.1, 2001, "The Future of the City,"

  19. Leonard Gilroy, "Our Relationship with the Built Environment,"

  20. Washington Post, "N.Y. Weighs Its 'Bittersweet Opportunity,'"

  21. Spreading Out, Dispersion, The end of Cities?

  22. Federal Reserve Bank of New York: Economic Policy review
    • Special issue on the economic effects of September 11 Economic Policy Review, November 2002, Volume 8, Number 2
      • Jason Bram, Andrew Haughwout, and James Orr, Has September 11 Affected New York City's Growth Potential? During the 1990s, the city's expansion was built on several factors, including improving fiscal conditions, better public services, and shifting industrial and population structures that favored job and income growth... suggests that the effects of September 11 will not eliminate these advantages in the medium term; ... indications are that the city remains an attractive location for businesses as well as households....

  23. Videos Online
    • Technology vs. Terror 11/14/01 John Benditt and Consuelo Mack discuss new ways to fight terror, including biosensors, face recognition, and smart cities.

    Timelines of Terrorist Attacks:

  24. Infrastructure: Transportation, Internet etc.
    • Networking the Infrastructure Technology Review, December 2001 By Wade Roush New classes of detectors, plus safer building designs, point to an "intelligent city" that senses danger. ..., I can't help imagining the scene if a 767 were to rocket down out of the clouds, decapitating one of the bridge's towers or snapping the main suspension cables. I can see wires recoiling in slow motion, the main span sagging and shearing apart, cars and trucks and pedestrians plunging into the bay ....

  25. The End of the Modern World
    • Michael W. Mehaffy and Nikos A. Salingaros The End Of The Modern World Planetizen, Jan 09, 2002 The Twentieth Century ushered in a historic era of optimism for the rational "modern" future. History may record that September 11 ended the modernist dream for cities. But already new visions are emerging for a wiser, more hopeful future.

  26. Statistics:

  27. Environmental & Health Impacts:

  28. Civil Society:

  29. Government & Other Sites

  30. General & Other Resources:


    Darton, Eric. Divided We Stand: Basic Books 2000 Paperback, 260 pages [ISBN: 0465017274]

    "... The Trade Center serves as a potent symbol of the disastrous consequences of undemocratic planning and development. This book is a history of that skyscraping ambition and the impact it had on NewYork and international life. ..."

  31. Sources:

    Randal O'Toole, The Thoreau Institute

    Urban Technology & Telecommunications [Anthony Townsend, New York University]

    Other Media

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