The September 11 terrorist attacks not only devastated lower Manhattan but also renewed the uncertainty about the area's future, a question first raised in the 1920s, according to Elliott Sclar, a professor at Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.
"New York's first central business district by the end of the 1920s was losing ground to midtown," Sclar said. "After WWII and the move to suburbia, the midtown area with its better regional transportation access was able to capture the office market. Starting in the 1950s there have been a series of plans to revive lower Manhattan. The World Trade Center was in fact one of those plans. The destruction of the towers has now brought the nagging question about the future of the neighborhood to an acute crisis."
Sclar's work will be presented during a SIPA conference, "Six Months After September 11th: Response, Rebuilding and Reconciliation," on Monday, March 11, 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. (Kellogg Conference Room, 1501 International Affairs Building). The conference's four panels will include Columbia faculty as well as representatives from the United Nations, Iran, the United Kingdom and West Point. In addition, Leoluca Orlando, former mayor of Palermo, will discuss his efforts to combat crime and corruption in Sicily.