Beyond neoliberalism: The High Line and urban governance

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The concepts of “public” and “private” have been crucial in the restructurings of urban governance that have taken place over the past two decades in postindustrial cities like New York. Such transformations are often represented in mainstream discourse as privileging and celebrating the private and eviscerating and denigrating the public. This chapter argues that what has in fact occurred is a complex reformulation of the content of and relationship between these terms, one that works in different ways in different spheres - governmental, economic, cultural, spatial, and physical. Crucially, this reformulation has been a vehicle for efforts on the part of urban elites to transform the governance, as well as the imaginaries and lived spaces, of the city in a manner consistent with their interests and desires; but it has also served as a vehicle for alternative or resistant political projects. In short, the public/private is a crucial site of contemporary urban politics. To make this case this chapter draws on the theoretical work of Michael Warner, Setha Low, and critical geographers such as Don Mitchell, Lynn Staeheli, and David Madden, and on ethnographic analyses of the mayoral administrations of Michael Bloomberg and Bill de Blasio, was well as new urban development schemes like the Hudson Yards and the High Line. The chapter will show how not only scholars but also activists and advocates must understand the complexities of the public/private relationship to grasp the politics of class and inequality in the contemporary city.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Anthropology and the City
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781317296980
ISBN (Print)9781138126091
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'Beyond neoliberalism: The High Line and urban governance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this