Blog post

Militarized Urbanism in Manhattan

Clara Heyworth13 October 2010

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.

Visit Huffington Post to read the article in full.