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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 10th June 2016 > NEW WORLD DEAL


Facing the threat of extreme weather, city governments are getting citizen input on huge development projects


“THE UNITED STATES doesn’t have a good history with urban projects,” says architect Matthijs Bouw.

As proof, he points to the multitude of grim public-housing projects across the country. Theorists believed courtyards enclosed by tall towers would enhance quality of life, but nobody asked the people who’d be living there. Today, students learn about places like Pruitt-Igoe in St. Louis and Cabrini-Green in Chicago as models for what not to do; city governments have already taken the wrecking ball to them.

“We’ve seen so many projects that failed because people didn’t want them,” says Amy Chester, who worked in former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration.

ALL IN THE SAME BOAT: After Sandy, when flooding subsided in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, a coalition of 38 groups, including residents, came together to propose long-term plans for future disasters.
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