Myth of the 20th Century

Hailed by many as the greatest city in the world, New York grew from a series of small settlements in the 17th century to a bustling metropolis by the 19th through a combination of excellent geography, intensive trade and industrial development, and a concentration of cultural and business acumen. The growth produced tremendous problems along with the opportunities, as the limits of Manhattan Island in particular forced buildings to grow ever higher and the people living among them to accept more and more cramped living conditions. Robert Moses, leading the charge to build public works to better manage this growth via bridges, parks and housing projects, came up against fierce resistance in the 1960s, however, when other powerful groups, chiefly the Rockefeller family, and local communities led by Jane Jacobs, saw the power concentrated in city hall as overbearing, eventually leading to the end of the great urban renewal programs…

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