Urban Renewal Reading Questions

Read the chapter from Robert Caro’s biography of Robert Moses, “The Power Broker,” and the profile of Corbusier’s influence in NYC. Robert Moses was arguably the man who had the most significant impact on the contemporary landscape of New York City. He cleared “slums”, built highways, and constructed parks all over the city, attempting to modernize the city in a way that closely paralleled the architectural ideas of Corbusier, the great French architect and designer. In the process, he evicted thousands of people from neighborhoods that he then leveled to make way for freeways, parks, arenas, and cultural institutions.

After you do the readings, think about whether you think New York City is too modern or not modern enough? The “urban village” is still alive and well in many parts of the city – is that a good thing or not? What is the biggest priority for the city in your mind? To be more efficient? To be more equitable? To be more humane? Describe how you think the city could change for the better. How is your vision similar to or different from that of Moses and Corbusier?