polis: a collective blog about cities worldwide

A Street in New York City

by Anna Fogel

I haven’t found the debate around Park 51 (dubbed the “Ground Zero Mosque”) particularly interesting or compelling. In general, I’ve been disturbed and pretty shocked by my fellow New Yorkers display of intolerance and misunderstanding of what the impact of a community center would have on the neighborhood around the World Trade Center site. However, the debate has generated some interesting discussion around urban planning in general. One interesting and compelling urban planning argument is the high density level of southern Manhattan and the amazing diversity of architecture, cultures and types of buildings that exist in the few block radius of the World Trade Center site. Daryl Lang posted some great photos on a blog of the variety of buildings and types of institutions around the site. These images could be any block in New York City, which I guess is part of the point. I won’t get into the whole debate - the photos are interesting and fun, and the discussions of the impact of one building, community center, culture or activity on a dense block of a city is an interesting concept.

Credits: Image of the streets around the World Trade Center site from http://daryllang.com/blog/4421.