It may be time for urbanists to call this “the era of the megadevelopment.” Everywhere one turns, a rail-yard is being transformed into a futuristic shopping district, highways are becoming greenways, and pop-up neighborhoods are being accessed through gated, securitized portals. From some perspectives, we are watching utopias take the place of underutilized urban land, while, from others, large-scale development reads as an undisguised dystopia. As megadevelopments rise worldwide, often financed by the taxes we pay, we ask: How much was the public involved in determining their outcomes, or in deciding whether a development was necessary at all? How are public benefits integrated into these plans and how beneficial are they in reality? What is the consequence of megadevelopments on democracy, displacement, and the city of the future? Discussants: Zaire Dinzey-Flores (Rutgers-New Brunswick) Winifred Curran (DePaul University); Betty Y. Chen (Principal, BYC Projects, and former New York City Planning Commissioner); Moderator: Louise Harpman (NYU Gallatin).
This event is part of Archtober, New York City’s Architecture and Design Month, organized by the Center for Architecture and UN-Habitat’s Urban October.