City Can’t Get It Up

Barcelona’s urban landscape is putting New York to shame.

In recent years, the Spanish city has restored the public use of a beach, built a highway to connect the town center with the outskirts, converted a power plant and, well, just made themselves look sexier. The urban renewal initative has even attracted a number of investors into those outskirts.

In contrast, Bloomberg News decries the lack of design, the staid towers, and the unsexy disconnect of the planned Ground Zero construction with downtown Manhattan.

“In the urban-design studies that actually excited people, way back in 2002, we saw some hints of what Lower Manhattan’s commercial future could be: offices designed to recognize that business today is about interaction, not chaining people to desks; architecture that soared gloriously to take full advantage of one of the world’s great harbor locations.

Learning a few lessons from Barcelona could not only dissolve the sclerosis downtown, it could create a district that truly honors the thousands who lost their lives on 9/11 just because they turned up for work.”

- Riva Froymovich