Downtown as brand, downtown as land: Urban Elites and neoliberal development in contemporary New York City

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

2 Scopus citations


On Monday, July 6, 2005, the New York Public Authority Control Board (PACB) took a fateful vote. This obscure governmental body, its members appointed by the governor and the leaders of the two houses of the state legislature, held the power to approve- or deny- the public borrowing necessary to fund the New York Sports and Convention Center, or as it was better known in the city, the west side stadium. The stadium, to be built over rail yards owned by a public authority, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), would occupy three large blocks on Manhattan's Hudson River waterfront. It would serve as the central facility of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, for which New York City was a candidate, as well as the home of the New York Jets football team, currently located in New Jersey. It was also a key element of a massive and complex development scheme put forward by the mayoral administration of ex- CEO billionaire Michael Bloomberg in partnership with NYC2012, the private organization organizing the city's bid for the games. The Hudson Yards plan, as it was known, would push Manhattan's Midtown central business district westward from Times Square to the Hudson River by extending the city's subway system, stimulating commercial and residential development, expanding the Jacob Javits convention center (also on the Hudson), and developing acres of new park land. The stadium served as the political lynch- pin of the plan: by linking it to the Olympic bid, the stadium would neutralize the community opposition that had helped scuttle a decades- long series of plans for the make over of the west side. Or so it was hoped by the plan's proponents, anyway. As of that Monday in July 2006, the stadium had one significant hurdle left to overcome: the PACB. But after a frantic weekend of lobbying by stadium proponents, the board rejected the funding for the stadium. The community, it seemed, had won the battle.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGlobal Downtowns
PublisherUniversity of Pennsylvania Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780812208054
ISBN (Print)9780812243840
StatePublished - 2012


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