The Return of Urban Renewal
"In the first phase of the federal urban renewal program, opponents of projects that would destroy communities and small business were similarly excoriated for being unconcerned with the public interest.(21) It was only later, when it became evident that benefits did not always trickle down, communities were destroyed, cleared land lay vacant for decades awaiting a developer, and “marginal” businesses that frequently laid the groundwork for the next wave of innovation were uprooted that the dangers of “great plans” became fully appreciated. By now many of these lessons have been forgotten as a new generation of architects and planners has come along seeking to imprint their visions on New York's landscape. The pendulum has swung to the other side rather than resting at a point where comprehensive planning can occur within a context of humility, flexibility, and democratic participation. "