Luring Luxury and Expelling the Lower Class

New York City's policy that incentivizes luxury development has had deleterious impacts on the city's lower and middle classes, according to the new documentary "The Vanishing City".
June 4, 2011, 7am PDT | Nate Berg
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This review from The Architect's Newspaper looks at the recent state of development in the city, and reflects on how it's changed for the worse since the making of this film by Jen Senko and Fiore DeRosa.

"It's a grim reality, and it's the policy of the Bloomberg administration. One strength of The Vanishing City is that it takes Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg at his word, and quotes him. Bloomberg announced to New Yorkers and to the world that New York was not akin to Walmart but a luxury product. In comments like that, Bloomberg wasn't just a snob with a tin ear. He was fueling the transformation of the urban landscape away from the mix of rich, poor, and everything in-between that gave New York its charm and vitality. Let's not forget that the city voted to re-elect him-twice.

We get the majority of this message in PBS-style testimony that comes mostly from talking heads, with cutaway shots to shadowy Darth Vader-ish residential architecture, including buildings by Jean Nouvel in Soho and Chelsea. Regular people are shown being forced out of buildings where they have lived for years, by landlords who claim improbably that they need multi-unit dwellings for themselves. Once again, it's all legal."

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Published on Thursday, June 2, 2011 in The Architect's Newspaper
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