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Book Launch

Book Launch | Lynne Sagalyn’s Power at Ground Zero

12/08 Thursday | 6pm

The Institute for Public Knowledge and the Marron Institute of Urban Management at NYU invite you to join us for an event to celebrate the release of Power at Ground Zero: Politics, Money, and the Remaking of Lower Manhattan by Lynne B. Sagalyn. The author will be in discussion with New York policy and planning scholar Mitchell Moss

The destruction of the World Trade Center complex on 9/11 set in motion a chain of events that fundamentally transformed both the United States and the wider world. But the symbolic locus of the post-9/11 world has always been “Ground Zero”–the sixteen acres in Manhattan’s financial district where the twin towers collapsed. While idealism dominated in the initial rebuilding phase, interest-group trench warfare soon ensued. Myriad battles involving all of the interests with a stake in that space-real estate interests, victims’ families, politicians, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the federal government, community groups, architectural firms, and a panoply of ambitious entrepreneurs grasping for pieces of the pie-raged for over a decade, and nearly fifteen years later there are still loose ends that need resolution.

In Power at Ground Zero, Lynne Sagalyn offers the definitive account of one of the greatest reconstruction projects in modern world history. Sagalyn is America’s most eminent scholar of major urban reconstruction projects, and this is the culmination of over a decade of research. Both epic in scope and granular in detail, this is at base a classic New York story. Sagalyn has an extraordinary command over all of the actors and moving parts involved in the drama: the long parade of New York and New Jersey governors involved in the project, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, various Port Authority leaders, the ubiquitous real estate magnate Larry Silverstein, and architectural superstars like Santiago Calatrava and Daniel Libeskind. As she shows, political competition at the local, state, regional, and federal level along with vast sums of money drove every aspect of the planning process. But the reconstruction project was always about more than complex real estate deals and jockeying among local politicians.

Lynne B. Sagalyn is the Earle W. Kazis and Benjamin Schore Professor Emerita of Real Estate at Columbia Business School. An expert in real estate development and finance, Sagalyn has published extensively on a broad range of issues in the fields of urban development finance, public/private partnerships, and real estate finance. She is also the author of Times Square Roulette: Remaking the City Icon, and Downtown Inc.: How America Rebuilds Cities.

Mitchell L. Moss is the Henry Hart Rice Professor of Urban Policy and Planning at NYU and Director of NYU’s Rudin Center for Transportation. A man the New York Times has called “a New Yorkologist,” his essays have appeared in The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Post, The New York Observer and Politico.com, as well as in leading scholarly journals.

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