Militarized Urbanism in Manhattan
In a Huffington Post article on plans for Park51, architectural critic Guy Horton references Stephen Graham's Cities Under Siege and his concept of "militarized urbanism."
Park51 has been called many things, but to call it Superman's Fortress of Solitude, as in a recent AP article, is both misleading and condescending. Such descriptions undermine any serious discussion of the building's connection to contemporary architecture. It also unfairly dismisses its significance as a potentially progressive and sustainable urban development
The real fortresses are two blocks away, at ground zero. The new World Trade Center towers, with their blast-proof concrete bases and elaborate security measures are examples of what Stephen Graham, in his book, Cities Under Siege, defines as "militarized urbanism." Park51 sharply contrasts with this post-9/11 approach. Its transparent design and friendly relationship to the street makes it a welcoming haven.
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