Mental and Social Health | Other Architecture | Public Health | United States History
An estimated 2 billion people around the world watched the catastrophic destruction of the World Trade Center. The enormity of the moment was immediately understood, and both news coverage and history of the catastrophe quickly took on global proportions—less understood has been the effect on the locus of the attacks, New York City, not as a seat of political or economic power, but as a community; not in the days and weeks afterward, but in the months and years. This period of tumultuous change offers important insights about New York today and holds important lessons for the future. New York after 9/11 offers insightful and critical observations about the processes set in motion by September 11, 2001.
This interdisciplinary collection brings together credible experts from diverse fields to discuss the long-term recovery of New York City after 9/11. Editors Susan Opotow and Zachary Baron Shemtob collect the work of experts in architecture and design, medicine, health, community advocacy, psychology, public safety, human rights, law, and mental health to look back on the aftereffects of that tragic day in key spheres of life in New York City. With a focus on the themes of space and memory, public health and public safety, trauma and conflict, and politics and social change, this comprehensive, respectful account of how 9/11 changed New York sets out to answer three questions: What were the key conflicts that erupted in 9/11’s wake? What clashing interests were involved and how did they change over time? And what was the role of these conflicts in the transition from trauma to recovery for New York City as a whole?
Contributions discuss a variety of issues that emerged in this tragedy’s wake, some immediately after and others in the years that followed, including the incidence of PTSD among first responders, the building of One World Trade Center and the 9/11 Museum, the over-policing of Muslim communities, and changes to the building code to help with sudden evacuations. Many of the behind-the-scenes events described offer a nuanced and vivid account of issues as they unfolded over time and across various contexts, dispelling simplistic narratives of an extended and complex period. Illuminating a city’s multifaceted response in the wake of a catastrophic and traumatic attack, New York after 9/11 illustrates recovery as a process that is immense, multivalent, and ongoing.
Shemtob, Zachary Baron; Sweeney, Patrick; and Opotow, Susan, "New York After 9/11 [CHAPTER: Conflict and Change]" (2018). New York State History. 4.