Urban Planning Development

Bloomberg's New York: Class and Governance in the Luxury by Julian Brash

By Julian Brash

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg claims to run town like a enterprise. In Bloomberg’s New York, Julian Brash applies tools from anthropology, geography, and different social technological know-how disciplines to ascertain what that implies. He describes the mayor’s angle towards governance because the Bloomberg Way—a philosophy that holds up the mayor as CEO, govt as a personal company, fascinating citizens and companies as consumers and consumers, and the town itself as a product to be branded and advertised as a luxurious good.
Commonly represented as pragmatic and nonideological, the Bloomberg approach, Brash argues, is actually an bold reformulation of neoliberal governance that advances particular category pursuits. He considers the results of this in a blow-by-blow account of the controversy over the Hudson Yards plan, which aimed to remodel Manhattan’s a long way west aspect into the city’s subsequent nice high-end district. Bringing this plan to fruition proved unusually tough as activists and entrenched pursuits driven again opposed to the Bloomberg management, suggesting that regardless of Bloomberg’s good fortune in redrawing the foundations of city governance, older political arrangements—and possibilities for social justice—remain.

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First, many of the private-sector elites who engineered the resolution of the fiscal crisis and who were prominent in maintaining the post– fiscal crisis consensus were not free market ideologues like Ronald Reagan or Margaret Thatcher. Many, including Felix Rohatyn, were self-described “liberal Democrats,” embracing a relatively prominent role for government in sparking and directing economic growth; in sustaining an effective, if scaled-back, and “affordable” welfare state; and in creating a legitimate, if again scaled-back, role for unions (Lichten 1986, 197–202; Rohatyn 1983a, 2009; Ross 1987).

The end of the nineteenth century, for instance, saw prominent private-sector elites, spurred by economic depression and corruption, organize a “Committee of Seventy” to support the election of William Strong, a prominent merchant who promised to “run the city purely on ‘business principles’” (Burrows and Wallace 1999, 1194). The next few decades saw this dynamic repeat itself as coalitions of middle-class reformers and private-sector elites periodically pushed back against the “excesses” of political machines more friendly to working-class interests and supportive of higher levels of municipal spending (Shefter 1992).

However, it seems likely to be true in the realm of politics as well. This is because the globalization of capital has not rendered sub-global states irrelevant, either in general terms or to members of the tcc in particular (Brenner et al. 2003; Harvey 2005, 35). Given the importance of global cities to global capitalism and the tcc, it seems likely that the tcc would have a vested interest in influencing the actions of local government in such cities, especially given the crucial role of public action in economic development, urban planning, and the provision of cultural amenities.

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