Roberta Brandes Gratz to speak about Robert Moses, Jane Jacobs and NYC today!

A front-page article in Monday’s New York Times revealed that New York University is planning “the largest expansion in its history,” with a new satellite campus on Governors Island, a new engineering school in Brooklyn–and a huge enlargement of its “footprint” in Greenwich Village: “In its Washington Square Neighborhood, the university will be creating the equivalent in square footage of a little more than the total floor area of the Empire State Building.”

Preservationists and others in the neighborhood are, not surprisingly, dismayed.

Robin Progrebin, “N.Y.U. Plans to Expanded Campuses by 40 Percent,” March 22, 2010.

It’s therefore timely, as well as an honor for me, that Roberta Brandes Gratz will be the next guest speaker in our First Tuesdays series at the McNally Jackson Bookstore, to talk about her excellent new book, The Battle for Gotham: New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs.

I hope to see you there.


Roberta Brandes Gratz, author of The Battle for Gotham:

New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs, speaking at McNally Jackson on April 6th!

In conversation with Mark Crispin Miller

Real estate is our city’s greatest shared hobby. More than that, it’s an obsession. We are all acutely aware that we are the ones shaping this city around us, or–as it seems lately–letting it be shaped by developers. We all have a vision for what our neighborhoods, our boroughs, should look like, and what responsible growth might entail. “Gentrification” is on everybody’s tongue in this boom time for construction in New York, and if the completion of some of our city’s least necessary condo developments has been slowed by the recent economic mayhem, we all know it’s only a matter of time before they begin chewing at our skyline again.

As the latest iteration of our First Tuesdays political discussion series, urban critic and journalist Roberta Gratz will be here to talk about these devlopments and the legacies of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs, two thinkers whose diametrically opposed approaches to the urban landscape continue to frame our discussion even now. Roberta is the author of The Living City and Cities Back from the Edge. She was appointed by Mayor Bloomberg to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission in 2003. Her journalism has been published in The Wall Street Journal, The Nation, the New York Times Magazine, Tikkun and others.

She’ll be speaking with our regular First Tuesdays host, professor, author and activist Mark Crispin Miller.

April 6, 2010
7:00 p.m.
McNally Jackson Bookstore
52 Prince St. (b/t Mulberry & Lafayette)
New York City

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