Are Nefarious Forces Behind the Transformation of Downtown Brooklyn?

Doug Henwood explains how "elite bodies", rather than pure "market forces", guide the growth of New York City. He begins his story with the Regional Plan Association's influential 1929 plan and focuses on the transformation of Downtown Brooklyn.

"Anyone walking around New York City, visitor or resident, might think the place had been laid out by the chaotic mind of the market," writes Henwood. "In fact, the place has been planned over the last century by monied interests, first among them the real estate developers who build and own the results of the plans, in tight alliance with local government."

"All this is done through a powerful combination of inducements: money, tax breaks, zoning changes and, if all else fails, eminent domain."

"It would be nice if the whole process were opened up and made subject to democratic planning. Plenty of community-based plans have been done for the city, as Tom Angotti shows in his book New York for Sale, but they’re almost always ignored in favor of the elite kind."

Full Story: How the 1 Percent Rules


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