How is change managed in a city, and who manages that change? Do people have a “right” to the city?

Change is inevitable. It must be managed in a way that would influence sustenance. Sustaining the livelihood and social interactions that occur in cities is perhaps one of the many positive ways to manage change in a city. Reflecting upon the film Citizen Jane, It seems that great ideas to facilitate change are created. Specifically, the design of the building towers proposed by Le Corbusier that was intended to be used as high rise offices that would facilitate light and air for these spaces. More importantly the idea behind Robert Moses’s initial thought of cleaning up the streets for the sake of the people; The urban condition post depression consisted of slums and over populated living spaces. These great ideas are then viewed through the eyes of bureaucracy  where developers and city officials begin to interchange information and ideas that modify what was initially intended to favor currency and the wants of each party. Simultaneously the social needs of the individuals of a city are forsaken. Take for example the public housing projects that overturned Le Corbusier concept. As described in Citizen Jane, these projects  isolated the inhabitants of the high rise residential tower from the surrounding communities physically and in economic stature, creating unsafe and desolate areas. The lack of social interactions and isolating a certain group of people through any means whether economically socially or physically, resulted in a city failure. How can  livelihood and social interactions be sustained if bureaucracy forsaken it? The individuals in the city must be apart of the efforts and ideas that facilitate change if there is hopes of managing it. Reflecting on both films saving Brooklyn featured sitter a developer who spoke of the needs of the inhabitant of Brooklyn but really didn’t represent them.  In citizen Jane  we see a individual who lived in the areas and was apart of these communities but also had the means to revolt against the bureaucracy.


One thought on “How is change managed in a city, and who manages that change? Do people have a “right” to the city?

  1. J Montgomery


    I agree with your point about how good ideas get distorted in the process of making change in the city. Your point is well taken: the best hope for positive change is the participation of the people impacted by change.

    Prof. Montgomery


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