Building Back: 30 Years of Growth in New York City at Center for Architecture
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Remember New York City 30 years ago? Think graffiti; soaring crime rates; burned out or abandoned buildings everywhere. A new word: "disinvestment." Recall the famous headline, "Ford to NYC: Drop Dead." Remember the oil crises that stalled our economy. The "homeless problem" seemed insurmountable. In 1981, we were just beginning to see the glimmers of a turnaround, but after nearly a decade of virtually no construction, the office and housing stock were inadequate to meet demand. Meanwhile, the new Reagan administration cut back funding to states and local communities. Clearly, change called for new approaches?and these became the hallmark of the city's recovery. The City found new ways to use its regulatory powers and its limited funds as seeds for change. State development, financing and operating agencies stepped in to meet the challenge, as well. At the same time a host of citizen-based parks conservancies, local development corporations, business improvement districts, and other non-profit groups organized to address problems on the ground. The result is what we see today: thriving neighborhoods, expanding commercial centers in all five boroughs, cleaner water and air, safe and beautiful parks, an accessible and exciting waterfront, and the bright lights of Times Square once again inviting us all to celebrate. This is a story of New York City moxie!