New York Global

History/Theory

Summer 2012

David Grahame Shane, instructor

The course objective was to see contemporary New York through a global lens that included the history of global urbanization in the last sixty years. Four main points were emphasized in this macro history of globalization linked to the micro history of New York: New York was initially in a rivalry with Moscow to be the model for a contemporary, post-colonial metropolis in the competition between the two Cold War, nuclear, super powers; New York rapidly distinguished itself from its rival transforming from a metropolis into megalopolis, a suburban network city of thirty-two million stretching from Boston to Washington, recognized by Jean Gottmann in 1961; This transformation impacted the inner city, in abandoned areas like the South Bronx, but also spurred urban innovations from Jane Jacobs in favor of dense urban neighborhoods; The shrinkage of New York in this period also lead to the involvement of artists in the city, the Green Thumb movement and a growing ecological awareness.