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        JULY 29 – AUGUST 12, 2002 • ONLINE DIALOGUE
The Civic Alliance would like
to thank the following
underwriters for their generous
support of Listening to the City
and for keeping the spirit of
democracy alive.

The Atlantic Philanthropies
Rockefeller Brothers Fund
Lower Manhattan Development
Port Authority of New York
and New Jersey
Rockefeller Foundation
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Department of Housing and
Urban Development (HUD)

AOL Time Warner
JP Morgan Chase
Deutsche Bank
Merrill Lynch
Con Edison
Surdna Foundation

Keyspan Corporation
Brookfield Properties
Dear Readers:

Last month, more than 5,000 people came together to make a difference in the city that
they love. Total strangers sat with each other at diversely assembled tables and over the
course of a day shared their stories and emotions, puzzled over plans and the challenges
facing this city and our region, and pondered how to create a suitable and moving
memorial for those who lost their lives on September 11. Unlike public hearings or
traditional town hall meetings, at these forums everyone had a chance to speak and
everyone had a chance to listen.

We are proud to present you with this Report of Proceedings for Listening to the City and
the Online Dialogues. In many regards Listening to the City was successful beyond our
wildest hopes. The sheer number of people who chose to donate their valuable time to
shape the future of Lower Manhattan, the attention paid to the meeting by the media, and
the initial positive steps by decision makers and official agencies in response to Listening to
the City has validated the work we put into hosting these meetings.

The Civic Alliance to Rebuild Downtown New York came together shortly after September
11, 2001, to engage the public and the civic community in the rebuilding process with the
goal of achieving a rebuilt city that is more accessible, more equitable, and more successful
than it was before. The tragedy of September 11 demands that the rebuilding process leave
‘business as usual’ behind and be conducted in an open manner, drawing upon broad and
diverse input from across the region. We are satisfied that Listening to the City took a large
step towards opening up the planning process in an unprecedented way.

At the one year anniversary of September 11, the pain, sadness, and disruption caused to
so many lives is still fresh in our minds and our hearts. The rebuilding process that served as
the focus of Listening to the City is an opportunity born out of tragedy – an opportunity we
wish we had never been given. Therefore we dedicate this report to every victim of the
terrorist attacks of September 11 and every person whose life was irrevocably changed.

In this report you will find an account of the rich dialogue that took place at Listening to the
City, polling results from questions asked at the forums, photos of participants, and
information on next steps. Each participant contributed to what is contained in these pages
and we thank each and every one of you who contributed to the forum. Thank you for


Ed Blakely, Milano Graduate School, New School University
Arthur J. Fried, Center for Excellence in NYC Governance, NYU/Wagner
Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer, AmericaSpeaks
Ron Shiffman, Pratt Institute Center for Community and Environmental Development
Robert D. Yaro, Regional Plan Association

Executive Summary

                                                                    In an extraordinary demonstration of        in a similar meeting on July 22. And
                                                                    faith in democracy and love for a           more than 800 took part in the two-
                                                                    great city, some 5,000 people from          week online dialogue that followed.
                                                                    throughout metropolitan New York            People who might normally never
                                                                    pooled their energy and talent in an        meet – relatives of victims, downtown
                                                                    historic series of public meetings and      residents, survivors of September 11,
                                                                    online discussions called "Listening to     emergency workers, business leaders,
                                                                    the City." Through these 21st Century       the unemployed and underemployed,
                                                                    Town Meetings – designed to give            interested citizens and community
                                                                    people a voice in rebuilding the            advocates – sat side-by-side and con-
                                                                    World Trade Center site, New York           tributed myriad points of view, debat-
                                                                    City and the region – people strove to      ed planners' redevelopment ideas
                                                                    make a virtue of their differences by       and shared their hopes and concerns
                                                                    joining together to describe their          about how to reconstruct lives pro-
                                                                    visions for the future and to help each     foundly disrupted on September 11.
                                                                    other recover from a shattering attack.
                                                                                                                As John Whitehead, chairman of the
                                                                    The messages generated by this com-         Lower Manhattan Development
                                                                    mitted, energized assembly – one of         Corporation (LMDC), observed the
                                                                    the largest gatherings of its kind –        forum, he told the New York Daily
 “Together we are going to                                          reached decision-makers quickly and         News how much he was moved by this
  create a Lower Manhattan                                          unmistakably. People urged their lead-      exercise in participatory democracy.
                                                                    ers to think boldly, to be imaginative      "This is what the terrorists didn't under-
  that is better than ever, a                                       and above all, to chart a course that       stand," he said. "This is what they did-
  grand tribute to the individuals                                  honors the victims and the heroes of        n't know. It's absolutely beautiful."
                                                                    September 11 with dignity. They
  we have lost, a magnificent                                       called on government officials and          "Listening to the City" participants
  symbol of our community’s                                         planning agencies to seek ways of           were asked to give their thoughts
                                                                    rebuilding not just "ground zero," but      about six preliminary concepts for the
  unshakable spirit.”                                               also the neighborhoods around it, the       Trade Center site, which the Port
                                   — John Whitehead,                city and the thousands of lives affect-     Authority of New York and New
                                   Chairman of LMDC                 ed by September 11 and its after-           Jersey and the LMDC unveiled days
                                                                    math. And they stressed the need to         before the forum. Many criticized
                                                                    make much-needed housing and trans-         them as too dense, too dull and too
                                                                    portation infrastructure improvements       commercial. The poor reception these
                                                                    in Lower Manhattan and beyond.              concepts received reflected disap-
                                                                                                                pointment not only with the plans
                                                                    What they asked for, indeed, was            themselves, but also with their underly-
Satisfaction with Dialogue                                          nothing less than a new downtown that       ing premise, which seemed to pro-
                                                                    is inspired in design, that mixes com-      duce not six different ideas but a half-
                                                                    merce, culture and homes for people of      dozen variations on one idea. In a
                                                                    all income levels, that helps drive the     widely quoted comment that became
                                                                    region's economy and that restores the      the signature remark of the July 20
                                                                    grandeur that the New York skyline lost     forum, one participant dismissed the
                                               Very satisfied       when the Twin Towers fell.                  designs by saying they all "look like
        39%                                    Satisfied
                                               Somewhat satisfied
                                                                    For its participants, the size and diver-
                                                                    sity of "Listening to the City" were gal-   Just three weeks after the gatherings
Note: Combind result from both Javits forums                        vanizing. "Listening to the City"           at the Javits Center, the LMDC and the
                                                                    brought more than 4,300 people to           Port Authority officially cast aside
                                                                    the Jacob Javits Convention Center on       these proposals. Although a new set
                                                                    July 20. About 200 more participated

of criteria for the development pro-        ideas they encountered. One of the
gram has not yet been issued, the           July 20 participants said her table
agencies have invited architects from       included an extremely diverse group
around the world to submit new ideas        of people who argued all day. Yet,
for the World Trade Center site and         when the session was over, they made
the neighborhoods nearby. And at the        sure they exchanged contact informa-
highest levels, leaders began talking       tion and promised to stay in touch.
about new, creative approaches.             They even had a group picture taken.
Innovative proposals began to
emerge, among them, moving some             Overall, participants said they were
of the commercial development from          pleased with "Listening to the City."
"ground zero" to other locations to         Polled about their satisfaction on July    “Any development we do
make more space for a memorial and          20, four in five said they were either      here should be something
other appropriate uses and develop-         very satisfied, satisfied or somewhat
ing a Lower Manhattan economic              satisfied with the quality of the dia-      spectacular”
development zone encompassing               logue. On July 22, 100 percent said                                 — Participant
Chinatown and the Lower East Side.          they were very satisfied or satisfied.
LMDC also took a step toward creat-         Among those in the online dialogue,
ing the kind of memorial that so many       84 percent were at least somewhat          In addition to LMDC Chairman
people yearn for by hiring a vice           satisfied.                                 Whitehead and board member Betts,
president to oversee what they prom-                                                   many other officials from the agencies
ise will be a more open design              Organized by the Civic Alliance to         responsible for rebuilding Lower
process that includes related cultural      Rebuild Downtown New York, in con-         Manhattan monitored the Javits Center
activities.                                 cert with other civic organizations,       proceedings closely and several
                                            "Listening to the City" married com-       addressed the gathering. Among
Ordinary New Yorkers, many of               puter technology and the venerable         those present were LMDC's president,
whom arrived at "Listening to the           concept of the town hall meeting, cre-     Lou Tomson, and its vice president for
City" doubting that those in power          ating dynamic forums that were strik-      planning, design and development,
would hear their voices, discovered         ing in both their scope and depth.         Alex Garvin. Deputy Mayor Daniel
they had, indeed, made a difference.                                                   Doctoroff represented the City of New
The agencies' response underscored          AmericaSpeaks, a nationally recog-         York. Port Authority representatives
what Roland Betts, a member of the          nized non-profit organization, worked      included executive director Joe
LMDC board, told the July 20 gather-        with a diverse advisory group to           Seymour and chief engineer Frank
ing: "Everyone seems to fear that the       develop the format for "Listening to       Lombardi.
real meeting is going on in some            the City" and provided the technology
other room," he said. "Let me tell you      that made it possible for people to        These officials and others are already
something – this is the real meeting."      make real connections with each            using the input from "Listening to the
                                            other despite the enormous size of the     City" to guide the next steps in plan-
 A major reason "Listening to the City"     gatherings. Participants could see their   ning the rebirth of Lower Manhattan.
had such resonance was its incredible       ideas and votes flashed on giant           The Civic Alliance and its partners will
diversity. People of different ages and     screens as the sessions progressed,        continue to work to ensure that they
economic backgrounds, members of            allowing the large and diverse group       broaden their focus to address region-
different racial and ethnic groups, resi-   to discuss an array of issues and make     al issues so that principles asserted
dents of different parts of the city and    its feelings known almost instantly.       during the forums will form the basis
the suburbs and representatives of                                                     of the next round of proposals. New
communities that are not always             The online dialogue used techniques        rebuilding proposals are expected
included in the civic dialogue joined       developed by the non-profit think tank     around the end of the year and the
forces in this demonstration of the spir-   Web Lab to foster in-depth discussion      Civic Alliance plans to take an active
it of New York and the nation.              and allow a diverse group of people        role in ensuring that the public has a
Participants spoke with infectious          who could not attend the Javits sessions   voice in this ongoing process.
enthusiasm about the people and             to participate.

 What is “Listening to the City?”

                                              "Listening to the City" is a project of   the Environmental Coalition for
                                              the Civic Alliance to Rebuild             Rebuilding Lower Manhattan, Rebuild
                                              Downtown New York, a coalition of         Downtown Our Town, Rebuild with a
                                              more than 85 civic, business, environ-    Spotlight on the Poor, New York New
                                              mental, community, university and         Visions and others.
                                              labor groups that seeks to develop
                                              consensus strategies for redeveloping     "Listening to the City's" first public
                                              Lower Manhattan. The Civic Alliance       event was a forum at the South Street
                                              was convened by the Regional Plan         Seaport that brought together more
                                              Association in partnership with           than 600 people from throughout the
                                              NYU/Wagner, New School                    metropolitan region on February 7.
                                              University and the Pratt Institute        Decision-makers from the Lower
                                              Center for Community and                  Manhattan Development Corporation,
“It is a powerful experience                  Environmental Development.                the Port Authority of New York and
 to speak out and influence                   "Listening to the City" is one of many    New Jersey, New York City and New
                                              such efforts in recent months organ-      York State heard participants outline
 the decisions that impact our                ized by a variety of groups, some of      their vision for Lower Manhattan and
 lives and the lives of future                which are also members of the Civic       discuss the elements of a fitting
                                              Alliance. These efforts, which helped     memorial. The vision and values iden-
 generations. ‘Listening to the               shape some of the ideas that              tified on February 7 helped guide the
 City’ is a real exercise in                  informed "Listening to the City,"         decision makers as they developed
                                              include forums, workshops and             the official principles for rebuilding.
 participatory democracy.”                    reports by Imagine New York, the
         — Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer,            Labor Community Action Network,
         President of AmericaSpeaks

             Andrea Howe was a facilitator at table
             498 on July 20, where she helped guide
             nine people through "Listening to the
             City." She left convinced that everyone
             had just taken "a giant positive step"
             toward rebuilding Lower Manhattan
             and healing the city.
             There is no way to experience some-
             thing like this without being changed…I
             am reaffirmed in my essential beliefs:
             (1) that people working together – in
             pairs, teams, organizations, and com-
             munities – can do amazing things when
             offered the right opportunity, the right
             "space," and the right support; (2) that
             participation is an essential component
             of creating momentum for and owner-
             ship of change; (3) that people thrive
             when they are part of magical experi-
             ences that invite their spirits to come
             alive and (4) that we all love to take
             part in creating stories that we can't
             wait to tell.
21st Century Town Meeting

"Listening to the City" combined tech-    and reported them back to all the par-          language, Braille and large-print
nology with face-to-face dialogue,        ticipants.                                      copies of important discussion materi-
using a format developed by                                                               als and constituent services and grief
AmericaSpeaks, a non-profit organiza-     Based on the roundtable discussions,            counselors.
tion that has pioneered techniques for    the "theme team" quickly developed a
bringing citizens together in large       set of priorities and questions that            Another key component of "Listening
forums while preserving the benefits of   were posed on large screens through-            to the City" was a two-week online
face-to-face discussion. The              out the meeting hall, allowing people           dialogue. Between July 29 and August
AmericaSpeaks 21st Century Town           to get quick feedback about how their           12, a total of 818 people exchanged
Meeting model captures the full range     perspectives compared to the thinking           ideas and expressed their priorities
of participants' ideas and allows these   of the larger group. Each participant           through this dialogue. The format and
ideas to be heard and discussed not       used a wireless polling keypad to vote          technology were developed in con-
only by people at the same table, but     on these questions and the results              junction with Web Lab, a non-profit
by the entire assembly.                   were immediately displayed. This                organization dedicated to creating
                                          process also allowed the agenda to              innovative, Web-based projects that
Participants in "Listening to the City"   be modified to correspond more close-           bring fresh perspectives and new voic-
held 10-to-12-person roundtable dis-      ly to the tenor of the discussions.             es to the discussion of public issues.
cussions, each led by a trained facili-
tator skilled in small-group dynamics.    The facilitators were volunteers from all
A network of laptop computers record-     50 states and from countries as far
ed ideas generated during the discus-     away as Afghanistan, Australia and
sions. Each table's input was instantly   South Africa who paid their way to
transmitted to a "theme team" com-        New York because they wanted to
posed of volunteers and                   help the city heal and recover.
AmericaSpeaks staff that identified the   Services available to participants also
strongest concepts from the discussions   included sign language and simultane-
                                          ous spoken translation; facilitators who
                                          spoke Spanish and Chinese; foreign-

                                          Erin Doyle of Manhattan, a "Listening to the City" participant, spent three years
                                          working for organizations that promote democracy in the new states of the former
                                          Soviet Union. None of that, however, prepared her for the emotional lift she got from
                                          seeing the democratic process in action right in her hometown.
                                          ["Listening to the City"] was nothing short of extraordinary. I had witnessed countless
                                          similar exercises in new democracies, but nothing can compare to what happened in
                                          New York City that day…The dynamic in the room was phenomenal as everyone was
                                          focused on the task at hand (we worked straight through lunch), [was] serious about
                                          discussion and considerate of everyone's opinions. Participants laughed and cried
                                          Most of all, I was proud of making my voice heard and honored to have the opportu-
                                          nity to participate in an historic process, the result of which will stand as a great sym-
                                          bol of the freedoms we Americans hold so dearly and take, all too often, for granted.

 Who Participated?

                                 From the outset, the goal of "Listening                               On both July 20 and July 22, the bal-
                                 to the City" was to make the process                                  ance between men and women close-
                                 of rebuilding Lower Manhattan open                                    ly mirrored that of the general popula-
                                 and democratic. To that end, the                                      tion. Whites and Asians were present
                                 event was designed to reflect the rich                                at "Listening to the City" in roughly
                                 diversity of the New York metropoli-                                  the same proportions as in the gener-
                                 tan region while ensuring that those                                  al population, but blacks and
                                 most directly affected by the terrorist                               Hispanics were somewhat underrepre-
                                 attacks – victims' families and people                                sented. Blacks made up seven percent
                                 who live or work or used to work                                      of forum participants compared to 20
                                 downtown – were adequately repre-                                     percent of the the general population
                                 sented. Member groups of the Civic                                    and Hispanics made up 10 percent of
                                 Alliance did extensive outreach to                                    the forum participants compared to
                                 bring an array of constituencies to                                   20 percent of the population.
                                 the forum. They were successful at
                                 ensuring that the assembly reflected                                  The age breakdown of participants
                                 the demographics of Lower                                             corresponded fairly closely to that of
                                 Manhattan, but some important                                         the regional population, although the
                                 groups in the region as a whole were                                  event included a fairly high number
                                 underrepresented, a situation the                                     of people aged 35 to 54. People in
                                 Civic Alliance will strive to remedy at                               the upper income brackets also par-
“I wanted to give back to        any future events it holds by building                                ticipated at a somewhat high rate
                                 on the networks established in devel-                                 compared to the general population
 New York what New York          oping "Listening to the City."                                        while those in lower income brackets
 has given me”                                                                                         were somewhat underrepresented.
                                 Using their electronic keypads, partici-
                — Participant    pants supplied demographic data at                                    There was considerable geographic
                                 the start of the July 20 and 22 meet-                                 diversity among the participants.
                                 ings. The data show that each meet-                                   Although Manhattan residents were
                                 ing included a broad cross-section of                                 most heavily represented, a signifi-
                                 the region and the demographics for                                   cant number of participants came
                                 the two sessions were quite similar.                                  from other boroughs and New Jersey.
                                 Participants came from many back-                                     Brooklyn residents made up roughly
                                 grounds and income levels and lived                                   one-fifth of the group on both days.
                                 in all parts of the metropolitan area.                                Connecticut and other parts of the

                                  Personal Connection of Participants to the Events of September 11

                                          Family       Survivor of    At or Near    Rescue       Resident of    Work in       Lost Job or   Interested   * Lost Friend
                                         Member of       Attack      Ground Zero    Worker         Lower        Lower       Income since      Citizen    of Co-Worker
                                          Victim                       on 9/11                   Manhattan     Manhattan        9/11                        on 9/11

                                      * Asked on Monday only
                                       Note: Participants identified as many categories as applied to them. Combined results from Saturday 7/20 and Monday 7/22

United States were also represented:        because they wanted to hear first-
5 percent of the July 20 group and 3        hand what their neighbors had to
percent of the July 22 gathering said       say. A significant number believed
they lived somewhere in the U.S.            that "Listening to the City" gave them
other than New York or New Jersey.          a unique opportunity to support the
Those who lived in other countries          ideals that came under attack on
made up 1 percent of the group on           September 11.
each day.

In most categories, the breakdowns              Race
among those who participated in the
online dialogue were similar. Again,            0%         9% 7%
the demographic profile of the partici-                               12%
pants matched that of the metropolitan                                                 Asian/Pacific Islander
region better in some aspects than oth-                                                Caucasian
ers. Online participants tended to be                       67%
                                                                                       Native American
wealthier and younger than the group                                                   Mixed racial heritage
                                                                                       None of the above
that attended the meetings at the Javits
Center in July, most likely because
ownership of a computer, or at least            Age
access to one, was a prerequisite.
Many "Listening to the City" partici-               14%                 27%
pants said they had strong links to
                                                                                        19   or younger
the World Trade Center and the                                                          20   to 34
events of September 11. Roughly one                         45%                         35   to 54
person in five on both July 20 and                                                      55   to 64
22 identified themselves as survivors                                                   65   or better

and about one-third said they were at
or very near Ground Zero on
September 11. Many were working
in Lower Manhattan when the attacks
occurred. Relatives of those who died                              17%
made up a significant segment of the               15%
                                                                                        Less than $25,000
participants on both the 20th and the                                   21%             $50,000-$74,999
22nd. The data also show that the                  14%                                  $75,000-$99,999
forums drew a number of people with                            20%                      $100,000-$149,999
professional or academic interests in                                                   $150,000 or more
architecture and planning. A number
of artists also attended.                       Location
                                                               1%                      Manhattan
Most people said they decided to                                                       Brooklyn
participate in "Listening to the City"                 6% 5%
because of a strong sense of civic                 10%                                 Staten Island
                                           1%                                          New Jersey
responsibility and a deep desire to                                 46%                Somewhere
ensure that many voices are part of                                                    else in NY State
the rebuilding process. "I wanted to                                                   Somewhere else
                                                          18%                          in the US
give back to New York what New
                                                                                       From another country
York has given me," said one partici-
pant. Said another: "I came here to             Note: Combined results from both Javits forums
represent my family, my nation and
my organization." Some came

 Hopes and Concerns

                                     Participants in "Listening to the City"    cussing the need for various ameni-
                                     challenged their leaders to achieve        ties, 55 percent of the July 20 partici-
                                     two ideals: They said the city must        pants identified housing for all
                                     transform Lower Manhattan into a           income levels and ages as most
                                     vibrant, 24-hour commercial, cultural      important, saying it would help cre-
                                     and residential community and it must      ate a 24-hour neighborhood, attract
                                     create a serene and dignified memo-        business and help those in need.
                                     rial to those who died at the World
                                     Trade Center. Many feared that with-       In addition, many hoped to attract a
                                     out bold and creative thinking, an his-    diverse array of businesses to an
                                     toric opportunity to achieve these         area that historically has relied on the
                                     goals would be lost.                       financial industry. Connecting the
                                                                                area's various subway, commuter and
                                     One participant after another stressed     ferry lines was also considered vital,
                                     that the New York area stands at a         as was ensuring the safety of resi-
                                     crossroads. They urged decision mak-       dents and businesses in this high-pro-
“The challenge is how to             ers to seize this opportunity to seek      file part of the city. Some participants
 balance different interests —       ways to revitalize all of Lower            also said they hoped that environ-
                                     Manhattan by fostering a mix of uses       mentally friendly principles would be
 how the process can be              that contribute to the economic vitality   integrated into both design and con-
 open, inclusive, reflective         of both the city and the surrounding       struction.
 of the common desires and                                                      Alongside economic concerns, an
 truly visionary without             Central to this broad view of the          important thread running through the
                                     rebuilding mission was a desire to         discussion was a desire to ensure that
 creating a watered-down plan,       ensure that the needs of low- and          planning for the site and planning for
 and gridlock.”                      moderate-income people and new             the memorial proceed together so
                                     immigrants are not forgotten. The          that the memorial is not merely an
                     — Participant   idea of including poor and moderate-       afterthought. People talked about cre-
                                     income New Yorkers permeated               ating something "exciting and spe-
                                     "Listening to the City;" participants      cial," not just a bland monument sur-
                                     repeatedly reminded decision makers        rounded by office buildings. As one
“[My concern is] that all of the     to make affordable housing a priority,     person said, the architecture of the
                                     to promote job-training and develop-       entire site should "transcend and cel-
 ideas and suggestions given         ment programs for those who lost           ebrate." Another envisioned the
 today will go unheard”              jobs or were left underemployed in         World Trade Center site as a place to
                                     the wake of September 11, to deal          reflect on those who died that does
                     — Participant
                                     with the physical and mental health        not also "crowd out" the living, a
                                     needs of those affected by the             place "to remember our past and
                                     attacks, to provide adequate public        thrive in our future." Polled about the
                                     facilities such as childcare centers       need to link the development of a
                                     and schools and to take steps to           memorial to the planning of the rest
                                     maintain the vibrancy of Chinatown         of the site, 64 percent on July 20
                                     and other downtown communities.            said it was very important and 65
                                                                                percent said so on July 22.
                                     Many participants were determined
                                     to ensure that plans for downtown          A good deal of the debate on hopes
                                     Manhattan include housing. After dis-      and concerns focused on just how to

create a fitting memorial. Participants
said that they hoped the memorial's       “[I’m concerned] that
design would be an inspired one,           construction will last for
making it an enduring symbol for the
city, the nation and the world. One        20 years and we will have
person said the memorial should be         nothing better than what
"a place that gives back life." Many
also wanted it to recognize the impact     we had before”
the attacks had beyond America's                                  — Participant
borders. Some suggested that it con-
tain an educational component
focused on tolerance and diversity.        hold a design competition. In polling
                                           on July 20, half the participants said
A significant view held that nothing       the pace was about right, while 29
should be built on the "footprints" of     percent said it should be slowed and
the Twin Towers. Those who                 13 percent said it should go faster.
expressed this opinion felt quite          On the 22nd, 36 percent said the
strongly about it, and their opinions      pace was right, 39 percent said it
seemed to resonate with the group,         should be slowed and 10 percent
including the victims' relatives, many     said it should speed up.
of whom view the Trade Center site
as hallowed ground. Some people,           To a large degree, the hopes and
however, disagreed and said that           concerns of participants in the online
preserving the footprints did not mat-     dialogue matched those of the people
ter to them.                               who attended the Javits Center
                                           forums. Online participants said they
Alongside their hopes, "Listening to       would like to see a new landmark
the City" participants articulated         "fill the void in the sky" where the
additional concerns. They feared that      Twin Towers stood. They, too, warned
business interests would dominate the      against accepting uninspired plans
redevelopment process and that             and incomplete solutions to the neigh-
undue attention would be paid to the       borhood's traffic, transit and econom-
needs of the Trade Center leasehold-       ic problems. Some also cautioned
ers at the expense of the public's         against too solemn a memorial, say-
interests.                                 ing they feared it would turn the site
                                           into a "giant mausoleum."
Participants were divided as to
whether the process was moving too
quickly or too slowly. One person,
expressing a fear that the process
would drag on, said that "construc-
tion will last for 20 years and we will
not have anything better than what
we had before." A large number of
people, however, thought things were
moving rather fast and they recom-
mended that officials step back and
solicit a wider range of proposals or

 The Six Concept Plans

                                         During "Listening to the City," the         Each of the plans included a memori-
                                         Lower Manhattan Development                 al, open space, room for housing and
                                         Corporation and the Port Authority of       cultural institutions, a hotel the size of
                                         New York and New Jersey described           the destroyed World Trade Center
                                         details of six concept plans for            Marriott, 600,000 square feet of
                                         rebuilding the World Trade Center           stores, 11 million square feet of office
                                         site and the surrounding area. The          space and a new transportation cen-
                                         concepts, which had been unveiled           ter – dubbed a "Downtown Grand
                                         several days earlier, were not fixed        Central" by the LMDC – that was
                                         blueprints; rather, they contained          designed to allow commuters to trans-
                                         design elements that could be com-          fer from ferries and New Jersey PATH
                                         bined in many ways. In addition,            trains to the New York City subway.
                                         none of the buildings represented in        The plans also included such elements
                                         the plans depicted a final design. The      as park-like promenades along West
                                         forms were displayed to show the            Street and a transit center at the near-
                                         approximate space structures would          by Fulton Street subway stations. The
“We want to hear your ideas              fill. Final architectural details were to   proposals also restored a part of the
 as we continue to evaluate              be worked out in the future.                city street grid that was erased from
                                                                                     the map when the World Trade Center
 options and develop more                                                            site was assembled in the 1960s.
 refined plans.”
                 — Joseph Seymour,
  Executive Director of Port Authority
                                           1                             2                             3

“It looks like Albany”
                                          4                               5                            6
                       — Participant

“Nothing here is truly
 monumental”                             1.   Memorial   Plaza
                                         2.   Memorial   Square                                    “These Six Plans
                        — Participant    3.   Memorial   Triangle                                   are conceptual
                                         4.   Memorial   Garden
                                         5.   Memorial   Park                                       and preliminary.”
                                         6.   Memorial   Promenade
                                                                                                              — John Whitehead
                                                                                                              Chairman of LMDC

  Responses to the Concept Plans

                                                    "Listening to the City" had a direct                                                                  economic realities facing the city and
“Listen to the people...                            and swift impact on the fate of these                                                                 the metropolitan area.
 there are thousands of                             concept plans. Just weeks after the six
                                                    plans were introduced as a starting                                                                   Most participants agreed that there
 creative ideas”                                    point for discussion, they were set                                                                   should be office space and retail
                    — Participant                   aside, largely because of sharp criti-                                                                development to boost the neighbor-
                                                    cism from "Listening to the City" par-                                                                hood's economy, and some ideas in
                                                    ticipants. On both July 20 and 22,                                                                    the plans, such as the transportation
                                                    people voiced strong objections to                                                                    improvements and the promenade
                                                    elements of all six proposals, particu-                                                               atop West Street, drew praise. But a
                                                    larly the dense office and commercial                                                                 consensus was quickly reached that
                                                    development they called for.                                                                          all the proposals were fundamentally
                                                    Participants said that although the                                                                   inadequate. Many participants cri-
                                                    concept plans seemed to meet the                                                                      tiqued the plans as mediocre and
                                                    Port Authority's desire to replace the                                                                lacking the vision necessary to reflect
                                                    offices, retail space and hotel rooms                                                                 the significance of this historic
                                                    destroyed on September 11, they did                                                                   moment. Missing from the concepts,
                                                    not provide an appropriate setting for                                                                they said, was any sense that some-
                                                    a memorial, nor did they reflect the                                                                  thing enduring would rise from the

                                     Memorial Plaza                                                            Memorial Square                                                           Memorial Triangle

                               70%                                                                       70%                                                                       70%
                               60%                                                                       60%                                                                       60%
                               50%                                                                       50%                                                                       50%
                               40%                                                                       40%                                                                       40%
                               30%                                                                       30%                                                                       30%
                               20%                                                                       20%                                                                       20%
                               10%                                                                       10%                                                                       10%
                                0%                                                                        0%                                                                        0%
                                     Excellent   Good      Adequate Poor or         No          No             Excellent   Good      Adequate Poor or         No          No             Excellent   Good      Adequate Poor or         No          No
                                      setting    setting    setting unacceptable preference opinion at          setting    setting    setting unacceptable preference opinion at          setting    setting    setting unacceptable preference opinion at
                                                                       setting               this time                                           setting               this time                                           setting               this time

                                     Saturday 7/20            Monday 7/22                                      Saturday 7/20            Monday 7/22                                      Saturday 7/20            Monday 7/22

                                     Memorial Garden                                                           Memorial Park                                                         Memorial Promenade

                               70%                                                                       70%                                                                       70%
                               60%                                                                       60%                                                                       60%
                               50%                                                                       50%                                                                       50%
                               40%                                                                       40%                                                                       40%
                               30%                                                                       30%                                                                       30%
                               20%                                                                       20%                                                                       20%
                               10%                                                                       10%                                                                       10%
                                0%                                                                        0%                                                                        0%
                                     Excellent   Good      Adequate Poor or         No          No             Excellent   Good      Adequate Poor or         No          No             Excellent   Good      Adequate Poor or         No          No
                                      setting    setting    setting unacceptable preference opinion at          setting    setting    setting unacceptable preference opinion at          setting    setting    setting unacceptable preference opinion at
                                                                       setting               this time                                           setting               this time                                           setting               this time

                                     Saturday 7/20            Monday 7/22                                      Saturday 7/20            Monday 7/22                                      Saturday 7/20            Monday 7/22

 Response to the Plans

                                 ashes of ground zero to help define                            ter – 23.5 percent – said more non-
                                 Lower Manhattan the way the Twin                               office uses should be included. About
                                 Towers once did. "There is no 'wow'                            16 percent described the plans as
                                 factor," said one participant. Another                         too dense. At the July 22 session, 29
                                 said the ideas had no "soul." Urged                            percent said there must be a better
                                 another: "Start over!"                                         mix of uses.

                                 A key "Listening to the City" recom-                           Polled about specific features they
                                 mendation was that every effort be                             liked from the plans, 35.6 percent of
                                 made to cancel the current lease for                           the July 20 group said preserving the
                                 the site so that planning decisions are                        footprints of the towers "as a remark-
                                 not governed by its requirements. As                           able symbol" was most important to
                                 one participant said: "I worry that                            them, 21.7 percent said visually
                                 decisions about space allocation will                          arresting buildings were their top pri-
                                 be made based in a 99-year lease                               ority and 15.5 percent gave high
“This is a once in a century     agreement the [Port Authority] signed,                         marks to depressing and covering
 opportunity to dramatically     and this does not…meet the actual                              West Street to connect Battery Park
                                 needs of New Yorkers."                                         City with Lower Manhattan. The idea
 change the face of a vital                                                                     of a promenade connecting the World
 section of the city, we         At the July 20 session, a third of the                         Trade Center site and Battery Park
                                 participants said the six plans were                           also drew relatively strong support.
 should not lose it just         not ambitious enough. Almost a quar-
 because somebody has a
 lease for a certain amount
                                         Importance of Improving the Ability to Cross West Street
 of office or hotel space”               by Foot and to Connect the Two Sections of Lower Manhattan
                 — Participant     70%
                                          Very important       Important         Somewhat        Unimportant No preference   No opinion
                                                                                  important                                  at this time

                                          Combined results from both Javits forums    Online Dialogue

                                         Preference for One Large Open Space or a
                                         Variety of Differently Sized Open Spaces
                                          Prefer one large            Prefer a variety of         No preference        No opinion
                                             open space              different sized open                              at this time
                                          Combined results from both Javits forums   Online Dialogue

        Importance of Adding a Major Symbol
        or Structure to the Skyline
        Very important        Important            Somewhat       Unimportant   No preference     No opinion
                                                    important                                     at this time

          Combined results from both Javits forums      Online Dialogue

       Importance of Restoring Part or All of Street Grid
        Very important       Important        Somewhat           Unimportant No preference      No opinion
                                               important                                        at this time

        Combined results from both Javits forums      Online Dialogue

Most people favored more open                                    both July 20 and July 22 said it was            Memorial Plaza scheme went over
space or a variety of small linked                               very important. Participants in the             best with the families, with 70 per-
open spaces, provided nothing is                                 online dialogue were more interested            cent saying it is at least adequate.
built on the footprints of the towers,                           in using height to make a statement,
but there were some strongly held                                with 71 percent saying that it is very          Most important, however, the partici-
minority opinions. One person said                               important to add a signature element            pants in "Listening to the City" made
leaving too much open space would                                to the skyline.                                 it clear that they believed that restor-
make the site "cemetery-like" while                                                                              ing the vitality of Lower Manhattan
another said that it would be okay to                            Asked about the six plans as settings           means more than arranging buildings
build on the towers' footprints if it                            for the memorial, only the so-called            and trees; they demonstrated a strong
would keep jobs from moving out of                               Memorial Promenade scheme was                   sense that decision makers must tackle
state. Restoring the street grid through                         considered reasonably good: 56 per-             the area's economic, housing and
the site was not as high a priority.                             cent of the July 20 participants                transportation needs. "Listening to the
                                                                 thought it was adequate, good or                City" dealt with these issues as well
There were divergent opinions about                              excellent, although at the July 22 ses-         in a wide-ranging discussion titled
whether it is advisable to build                                 sion, only 37 percent thought it was            "Rebuilding Lives."
extremely tall structures, but most peo-                         at least adequate. Victims' families,
ple favored seeing something note-                               however, liked it much less. On the
worthy constructed. Asked about the                              20th, 64 percent of victims' relatives
need to add a major symbol or struc-                             described the Memorial Promenade
ture to the skyline, 57 percent on                               concept as a poor setting. The


                                                                                            With the horrors of September 11 still
 Mission Statement                                                                          fresh to so many people, "Listening to
                                                                                            the City" participants were keenly
 We create this memorial to honor the                   to help and those who risked        interested in making sure that an
 3,042 innocent lives lost in the terror-               their lives to save others, and     appropriate memorial is erected.
 ist attacks that occurred on                           those brave and compassionate       Nikki Stern, whose husband, Jim
 September 11, 2001 when American                       citizens from around the world      Potorti, a vice president at Marsh &
 Flight 11 and United Flight 175                        who stood with us in our time of    McLennan, died at One World Trade
 crashed into and destroyed the World                   need.
                                                                                            Center, read a mission statement for
 Trade Center Towers, American
                                                        For all who come to learn and       a memorial that was drafted by the
 Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon
 in Washington, DC, and United                          understand, we dedicate this        families advisory council of the
                        Flight 93                       memorial to the unfulfilled         LMDC. This statement became the
                        crashed in                      dreams of those lost, to our        starting point for a discussion about
                        Shanksville,                    country and the strength of our     what the memorial should commemo-
                        Pennsylvania,                   democracy, to our resolve to pre-   rate, whom it should be for and what
                        and when the                    serve an open, diverse and free     it should look like.
                        World Trade                     society, to our determination to
                        Center was                      remain ever vigilant in order to    The discussion generated hundreds of
                        bombed on                       safeguard our nation and to
                                                                                            ideas. It gave people a chance to
 February 26, 1993. These were                          those peoples around the world
                                                                                            talk, often in emotional terms, about
 attacks on our loved ones, our cities,                 who unite with us in a joint
                                                        quest to end hatred, ignorance,     how they coped in the aftermath of
 our nation, our way of life and our
 very freedom. We respectfully honor                    intolerance and strife and pro-     the attacks and to express their grati-
 those who died and those who sur-                      mote peace.                         tude for the courage and sacrifice
 vived and carried on, those who came                                                       that so many people displayed.
                                                                                            People spoke again about their
                                                                                            admiration for the heroism displayed
                                                                                            on September 11 and they reflected
                                                                                            on the sense of unity and resolve that
      Importance of Linking Planning of the Memorial                                        followed the attacks. Many wanted
                                                                                            these elements to be reflected in the
      to Planning of the Rest of the Site
                                                                                            memorial as a record of the profound
                   1%                                                                       ways people were affected by the
                      2%                                                                    events of September 11.

          11%                                                                               A fairly large number of participants
                                                  Very important                            said they agreed with the thrust of the
                                                  Important                                 mission statement. About 15 percent
        15%                                       Somewhat important
                               64%                                                          of those who commented on the state-
                                                  No preference
                                                                                            ment described it as capturing their
                                                  No opinion at this time                   feelings well. Many thought it was
                                                                                            appropriate that the families had so
      Note: Combined results from both Javits forums                                        much influence in crafting the state-
                                                                                            ment; because so many victims

“I hope that the space will be used in a way that promotes peace and understanding and educates people
 worldwide to prevent future such occurrences.”       — Participant

                                             Rebuilding Lives

                                          “If lower Manhattan is to                   steps might be taken to attract a more
“[After September 11] our                                                             diverse array of businesses, how to
 world grew smaller, but the               become a vibrant 24/7                      help those who lost jobs as a result of
                                           community, it must have                    September 11 and how to make sure
 sense of family grew                                                                 that recovery spreads to nearby
 larger”                                   parks, housing and cultural                neighborhoods, including Chinatown
                      — Participant        institutions. Healthy                      and the Lower East Side.

disappeared, the memorial will be          communities are diverse.”                  "Listening to the City" participants
the only place where many families                               — Participant        strongly expressed a desire to see
can grieve. There was strong sup-                                                     Lower Manhattan become a more
port, though, for a broadly inclusive      The events of September 11 destroyed       diverse and complete community.
design process.                            more than buildings – the lives of peo-    Improved transportation, affordable
                                           ple throughout the region were seri-       housing and amenities were seen as
                                           ously disrupted by the physical, eco-      important ways to spur economic
But although the general tone of the
                                           nomic and emotional upheaval that          development. Job creation and train-
statement won support, there was
                                           the attacks caused. Seeking ways to        ing programs also ranked as impor-
considerable debate about individual                                                  tant with many participants, while
points in it, including whether the        repair this damage was an important
                                           focus of "Listening to the City."          some people wanted to see financial
memorial should focus only on the                                                     incentives used to attract business.
World Trade Center, on the broader                                                    Notably, a number of people cautioned
                                           Participants emphasized that the
events of September 11 or on victims       futures of Lower Manhattan, New            against letting commercial interests out-
of terrorism in general. There was         York City and the metropolitan region      weigh others, such as the quality of life
discussion about how to remember           rest on the decisions that will be         of area residents.
those killed in the 1993 World Trade       made about the World Trade Center
Center bombing and how to recog-           site and the surrounding area.             Asked to choose the most important
                                           Rebuilding, therefore, also means          idea from their discussions of economic
nize rescue workers and victims from
                                           addressing a range of issues, among        development issues, 27 percent of July
other countries. Online participants
                                           them economic development, trans-          20 participants said it was the need to
engaged in some respectful debate                                                     promote a diverse mix of businesses in
about the level of involvement the vic-    portation, the environment, housing,
                                           neighborhood amenities and safety.         Lower Manhattan without diminishing
tims' families should have during the                                                 the area's strength as a financial cen-
                                           "Rebuilding Lives" gave participants
planning and design of the memorial.       an opportunity to expand their discus-
                                           sion of these issues, which they had
People also seized this discussion as      also touched upon during other parts
                                                                                     “Jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs”
an opportunity to volunteer ideas for      of the forum.                                                      — Participant
what a memorial should look like.
Many said the names of the victims         Economic Development
must be incorporated to help pre-          and Jobs
serve the essence of each person
who was killed. One person suggest-        Even before September 11, Lower
ed a "memorial bell" that would toll       Manhattan – the birthplace of New
every September 11. Another recom-         York City and the nation's traditional
mended an eternal flame. The more          financial center – was losing employ-
unusual recommendations included           ers to Midtown, New Jersey and other
                                           parts of the metropolitan area. In dis-
erecting 110-story flagpoles and sky-
                                           cussing the economic future of down-
scraping windmills. Quite a few par-
                                           town Manhattan, "Listening to the
ticipants wanted the memorial to           City" participants talked about
incorporate water or living elements       whether the area should continue to
such as trees and flowers.                 rely on the financial industry, what

Rebuilding Lives

                                            called for bringing suburban com-           portation-related issue is the need to
                                            muter railroads directly into down-         promote mass transit and non-polluting
                                            town Manhattan, adding new ferry            modes such as cycling and walking.
                                            routes to Brooklyn, Queens and New          Another 16.5 percent said a transit hub
                                            Jersey, connecting the New Jersey           with connections to suburban buses and
                                            PATH trains with the city subway and        railroads was most important while
                                            building new rapid transit lines such       15.5 percent said the key goal should
                                            as the Second Avenue subway. Many           be creating a grand gateway hub for
                                            pointed out that tying all of the           the area.
                                            region's diverse transit services togeth-
                                            er downtown would make it easier            Housing and Civic
                                            not only to connect from one line to        Amenities
                                            another, but would also create new
                                            ways to travel east-west and north-         There was a strong consensus that
                                            south through the congested Financial       providing housing for people in all
ter. Creating jobs and job-training         District.                                   income groups is critical to sustaining
programs for people of all income lev-                                                  the city's economy and helping Lower
els, especially those affected by          “If not enough resources for all             Manhattan recover and become a
September 11, came in a close sec-                                                      vibrant a round-the-clock community.
ond, with 26 percent choosing it as
                                            transportation improvements,
                                                                                        Therefore, short- and long-term solutions
most important. Promoting tourism           plans must be fair in selecting             to New York's perpetual housing
and other activities downtown and in                                                    shortage received considerable atten-
Chinatown was selected by 19 per-
                                            projects that help residents
                                                                                        tion at "Listening to the City." Many
cent. Another 16 percent said tax           and needs of all boroughs and               participants said the plans that they
incentives to draw businesses and res-                                                  had seen for the Trade Center site
idents were most important.
                                            people of all incomes.”
                                                                                        paid too little attention to this issue.
                                                                    — Participant
Among the July 22 participants, job                                                     Some also saw the rebuilding of
creation and training programs              On July 20, 38.9 percent of partici-        downtown Manhattan as an opportu-
scored highest, with 26 percent identi-     pants said the most important trans-        nity to provide much needed low-,
fying this as the top economic devel-       portation goal should be expanding          moderate- and middle-income housing
opment priority. A quarter of the par-      service, including bringing commuter        and to improve conditions in crowded
ticipants selected balancing commer-        trains directly downtown and provid-        Chinatown. Further, many participants
cial and residential interests, while 24    ing better access to nearby neighbor-       asserted that providing accessible,
percent chose business diversity, with      hoods such as Chinatown. Another            affordable housing is a way to enable
an emphasis on supporting small busi-       16.5 percent said reducing car and          everyone to benefit from the large
ness.                                       truck traffic and encouraging alterna-      public expenditures that will be made
                                            tive vehicles such as bicycles should       in Lower Manhattan; and to ensure
                                            be the top goal. Creating new trans-
Transportation                                                                          that the end result is a community that
                                            portation financing mechanisms, such        reflects values such as diversity and
                                            as a commuter tax, congestion pricing       opportunity that help define New York.
There was a strong consensus that
                                            and lower bus and subway fares, was
transportation improvements are criti-
                                            most important to 11.4 percent.             Polled on July 20, a majority of the
cal if Lower Manhattan is to recover
                                            Improving pedestrian circulation was        participants said a top goal should be
and thrive as a business center.
                                            the first choice of 7.4 percent. A num-     creating affordable housing, including
Participants said that simply rebuild-
                                            ber of participants also mentioned the      housing for senior citizens. Affordable
ing the transit lines that were dam-
                                            need to make transportation facilities      housing for a diverse range of income
aged on September 11 is not enough
                                            accessible to the disabled.                 levels was also a key goal for those
– service must be expanded and the
neighborhood must be better connect-                                                    who participated in the July 22 ses-
                                            Many in the July 22 group, 39.8 per-        sion – 34 percent identified mixed-
ed to the rest of the region. People
                                            cent, said the most important trans-        income housing, with special consid-

                                                                    ing and neighborhood services were                Environment and Safety
“Include affordable housing so                                      most important. Only the desire to see
 that people working in the area                                    a more competitive design process                 Widespread concerns remain about
                                                                    scored higher on this question, with              the quality of the air in Lower
 can also live in the area.”                                        29 percent.                                       Manhattan, and many people asked
                                     — Participant                                                                    that health services be expanded for
                                                                    Many people also said there should                those who live and work in the area.
                                                                    be a cultural component to the rede-              In addition, they recommended that
 eration for September 11 survivors, as                             velopment to help turn Lower                      mental health services be maintained
 a priority. In addition, 35 percent said                           Manhattan into a more vibrant neigh-              to help those who continue to have
 it is important to bring cultural and                              borhood. They said they envisioned                difficulty coping with the effects of the
 civic amenities to the neighborhood to                             performing arts spaces, galleries,                terrorist attack.
 help attract residents.                                            movie theaters, museums, restaurants
                                                                    and other facilities. Such amenities,             Some 21 percent of the participants
 Participants reinforced the importance                             they noted, would help attract tourism            on July 20 also said it was important
 of housing when asked to select the                                and economic activity not only to the             for the city to develop an environmen-
 most vital piece of advice they would                              immediate area of the Trade Center                tal plan for downtown Manhattan that
 give planners considering the future of                            site, but to nearby neighborhoods as              deals with issues of air quality and
 the World Trade Center site. Twenty-                               well. Participants encouraged the cre-            hazardous materials and uses "green"
 five percent said they thought devel-                              ation of something unique, not merely             building techniques, open space, non-
 oping multiple uses on the World                                   a duplication of the kinds of cultural            polluting transportation and innovative
 Trade Center property, including hous-                             amenities already available elsewhere             ecological approaches that do not
                                                                    in the city.                                      export pollution burdens to other com-

         Transportation*                                        Housing and Civic Amenities*                          Safety, both in terms of combating
                                                                                                                      street crime and protecting against
                        2%                                                                                            another attack, was also an important
             11%                                                                                                      concern voiced at "Listening to the
                                                                                   25%                                City." A few participants expressed
                                                                                                                      fear that too prominent a development
                                                                                                                      would simply invite another terrorist
      16.5%                    38.5%                                                                     55%
                                                                                                                      attack. There was also concern that
                                                                                20%                                   officials were planning a new, densely
           7.4%                                                                                                       developed project without considering
                                                                                                                      how it and the surrounding neighbor-
                                                                                                                      hood could safely be evacuated in an
     Rebuild and improve existing system: PATH,                              Provide affordable and middle
     link subway lines, accessibility and ADA                                income housing for all ages
     compliance                                                              including seniors. Housing will help
                                                                             create 24/7 neighborhoods and
     Expand transit service: LIRR, NJT,                                      attract business.
     Chinatown, finish 2nd Ave. subway,
     expanded ferries.                                                       Create arts on the site. Ideas range
                                                                             from performing arts, art space,
     Improve Pedestrian Transportation: walking                              galleries, and movie theatres.
     malls, street transport
                                                                             Green space is needed. Options to
     Reduce Cars and Trucks -- bicycle access                                consider include open parks, a
     and other alternative transport                                         community garden, and recreation.
                                                                             Open up access to the waterfront
     Financial suggestions: commuter tax;
                                                                             on the west and east sides.
     congestion pricing; reduce MTA fares.

     *Results from Saturday only; Participants were asked to select the most important theme from their discussions
     regarding site options.

 Online Dialogue

“I couldn’t come in with a                                               From its inception, an important goal       agreed that the city should encourage
                                                                         of "Listening to the City" was to use       the transformation of Lower Manhattan
 shovel and a pair of gloves —                                           new technologies to make it possible        into a thriving community served by a
 but this has allowed me to do                                           for a broad cross-section of the            large, modern transit hub and linked
                                                                         region to help set priorities for           to Battery Park City by a new public
 something, however small, to                                            rebuilding downtown New York and            space over a buried West Street. A
 express my love and support for                                         the surrounding area. A key compo-          large number of downtown residents,
                                                                         nent of this effort was a two-week          however, objected to the depression of
 NYC and the victims.”                                                   online dialogue in which 818 people         West Street, saying it would increase
                                                                         working in 26 small discussion              pedestrian traffic on quiet residential
                           — Online Participant
                                                                         groups exchanged ideas, reviewed            blocks and force them to endure the
                                                                         proposals and debated key policy            hassles of a long-term construction
                                                                         issues.                                     project in their backyards.

                                                                         Participants followed an agenda simi-       In addition, online participants in
                                                                         lar to the one that governed the Javits     large numbers emphasized the impor-
                                                                         Center sessions, but the extended           tance of giving the downtown skyline
                                                                         time enabled them to explore issues         a focal point, with 60 percent sup-
                                                                         in much greater detail. In all, roughly     porting a new structure as tall or
                                                                         10,000 messages were exchanged              taller than the World Trade Center.
                                                                         during the online dialogue and impor-       They also suggested that reestablish-
                                                                         tant themes were sifted from it.            ing the financial industry in Lower
                                                                         Participants were able to make their        Manhattan would be the best way to
                                                                         priorities known through 32 polls           drive growth in the neighborhood.
                                                                         based primarily on the themes that          There was a strong feeling that hous-
                                                                         emerged from the discussions.               ing does not belong on the 16-acre
                                                                                                                     World Trade Center site itself, but
                                                                         In some cases, the online dialogue          should be built nearby. "The city
                                                                         echoed the opinions expressed in the        needs housing," one person wrote,
                                                                         other "Listening to the City" sessions.     "but not here."
                                                                         But it also yielded some unique ideas
                                                                         and provided additional perspectives.       The online participants were divided
                                                                         Online participants, for example,           into groups of about 30, with assign-
                                                                                                                     ments made by computer to ensure
                                                                                                                     that each group included people with
                                                                                                                     diverse backgrounds. Unlike typical
                                        Who should guide the design process in the                                   Internet "chat" sessions, the online
                                        design and creation of a Memorial?                                           dialogue encouraged considered
                                                                                                                     exchanges because participants did
                       City Officials                                                                                not have to be online simultaneously
                                                                                                                     or respond immediately. Participants
Survivors of 9/11, Lower Manhattan
 Residents, Workers and Community                                                                                    could read messages posted by mem-
                                                                                                                     bers of their group and respond at
              Families of the Victims                                                                                their convenience. They could also
                                                                                                                     follow the discussions underway in
                      General Public
                                                                                                                     other groups and review a wide
                                                                                                                     range of maps, letters from officials
      Artists. Architects & Designers
                                                                                                                     and other background documents that
                                        0%        10%          20%           30%   40%   50%    60%     70%    80%   were made available online.
                                        Note: Results from Online Dialogue

The small group format allowed people       participants were Hispanic compared to        names and 59 percent said integrat-
to develop relationships quickly despite    10% of Javits participants. In addition,      ing the planning of the memorial and
sometimes dramatic differences in their     online participants tended to be wealthi-     the rest of the site is a top priority.
backgrounds and perspectives.               er than the group that attended the Javits
Working over an extended period,            forums in July. Another notable statistic     There was some debate over whether
people encountered ideas different          showed that nearly half of the partici-       the families of victims have too much
from their own and participants found       pants had never been involved in an           influence over the process of creating
this inspiring and stimulating.             online dialogue before.                       a memorial. Some supported the idea
"Sometimes you don't understand what                                                      that the family members have a special
an issue is about until you start talking   The climate of the public discussion          claim on the site, while others
to people," one participant observed.       changed in the days following the             believed that a memorial must speak
                                            Javits Center events and the online           not only to the victims or survivors,
At the end of the online forum, more        dialogue reflected this. During the           but also to people around the world.
than half the participants – 55 per-        dialogue period, for example,
cent – said some of their feelings or       momentum moved away from the idea             Some participants feared that compet-
opinions had shifted as a result of the     of restoring all the commercial space         ing interests would lead to bland plan-
discussion. And 84 percent said they        lost on September 11. As a result,            ning. "Don't let anyone get away with
were either very satisfied or some-         there was somewhat less concern               business as usual," a participant wrote.
what satisfied with the dialogue itself.    online about the Port Authority-LMDC
                                            concept plans and whether they                The complete online discussion is
As with the Javits forums, efforts were     provided an appropriate setting for           archived at:
made to replicate the rich diversity of      a memorial.                        
the New York area, and to include
people who were most directly affected      Online participants felt strongly that
by September 11. Nearly nine percent        agencies in charge of rebuilding             “The most compelling legacy
of participants were family members of      should seek out world-class designers
September 11 victims and more than          and make sure that efforts are made           of 9/11 will be the instant
12 percent were survivors of the            to revitalize the entire area. Some           unified purpose that transcended
attack. Almost 23 percent were              people also mentioned the need to
employed in Lower Manhattan, 19             make sure any development is not              everyone within a few minutes
percent were residents and nearly 13        vulnerable to terrorists and is friendly      of the first tower being struck.”
percent were displaced or unem-             to the environment. One participant
ployed as a result of September 11.         noted that the best legacy the city                              — Online Participant
                                            could leave to future generations is
The online dialogue had a higher            "a downtown that works."
representation of young people, with 44
percent of registrants under 34 years       On specific elements of the concept
old, as opposed to 31 percent at the July   plans, 50 percent said it is very
20 event. Manhattan residents accounted     important to make it easier to cross
for 45 percent of both online and Javits    West Street and 46 percent said they
Center participants, but the other New      favored a variety of different sized
York City boroughs were slightly better     open spaces.
represented in the Javits forums, while
non-city residents were slightly better     Asked about a memorial, 64 percent
represented online. Nearly 25 percent       said it was most important that the
of online participants were non-white       memorial be designed for future gen-
compared to 35 percent of Javits partici-   erations, 72 percent said it was most
pants and nearly seven percent of online    important to include the victims'


                                                                                            to criteria developed by New York
                                                                                            New Visions, a coalition of design
                                                                                            professionals, will prepare additional
                                                                                            concept plans for the next phase of the
                                                                                            planning process. The Civic Alliance is
                                                                                            hopeful that a new set of underlying
                                                                                            requirements will be outlined as well,
                                                                                            to give these teams greater planning
                                                                                            and design flexibility.

                                                                                            * Of the $21 billion in federal money
                                                                                            promised to New York City, $4.55
                                                                                            billion was earmarked for a Lower
                                                                                            Manhattan transit hub, a key recom-
                                                                                            mendation of the Civic Alliance and
                                                                                            a broadly supported initiative at
                                                                                            "Listening to the City."
"Listening to the City" proved to be        and the assumptions on which those
an electrifying event that demonstrat-      plans were based. Since then, further           * LMDC has begun in earnest the
ed the power thousands of people            progress has been made on many                  task of creating a memorial, hiring
from all walks of life can exercise         fronts. For example:                            Anita Contini as vice president to
when they join together, exchange                                                           oversee the design process and relat-
ideas and speak their minds. The            * LMDC has announced that it will               ed cultural activities. The agency
Civic Alliance and the four sponsors        open the planning process to five new           plans to hold an international design
of "Listening to the City" were excited     design teams from around the world.             competition for the memorial begin-
by the depth and breadth of the dis-        These teams, to be selected according           ning in early 2003.
cussion that the forum generated and
they are gratified to have sponsored       “All around this vast room, you heard citizens saying politely to
this unusual and unprecedented
example of participatory democracy.
                                            others, “What do you think?” and then listening — actually
                                            listening — to the replies. In this room “I” had turned to “we”
"Listening to the City" drew intense
coverage from news organizations
                                            … and it was absolutely thrilling.” — Pete Hammill,New York Daily News
around the world, and those who
participated in this historic event
                                            Evaluations                                    Many said that their participation gave
described it as thought-provoking and                                                      them new perspectives on the issues and
exhilarating. Many participants             At first, some participants were doubtful
                                                                                           reaffirmed their faith in the democratic
offered touching stories about the          that "Listening to the City" would make
                                                                                           process. Only 22 percent of those who
close, personal connections they            a difference. But the innovative, techno-
                                                                                           participated on the 20th and just 14 per-
                                            logically advanced format, the openness
made during the Javits Center forums                                                       cent of the participants on the 22nd
                                            and frankness of the discussion and the
and online. The Civic Alliance was                                                         expressed little confidence that decision
                                            broad range of viewpoints represented
especially gratified that several public    won over many of the skeptics.
                                                                                           makers would heed their ideas.
agencies involved in the rebuilding                                                        There was, of course, criticism of both the
process responded so quickly to the         "It was quite wonderful to exchange opin-
                                                                                           "Listening to the City" concept and the
messages they received from the             ions with diverse people. I have to say it
                                                                                           agenda people were asked to follow. Some
                                            changed my perspective of democracy,"
assembly.                                                                                  participants wanted more time for discus-
                                            said one participant. Said another, "[it
                                                                                           sion. Some thought polling questions
                                            was] fascinating to see that 5,000 people
Even before the July 20 meeting             are able to communicate." And yet anoth-
                                                                                           could have been better worded. Said one
ended, public officials had pledged                                                        person: "Some of the 'voting' questions
                                            er said: "It was great to interact with oth-
to go back to the drawing board to                                                         limited our ability to provide expansive
                                            ers and bounce ideas [around], especially
rethink the plans they had drawn up                                                        answers, but I'm not sure how it could be
                                            since we were from different backgrounds
                                                                                           different with so many people."
                                            and demographics."

 Next Steps

                                               The Civic Alliance is committed to          How Confident Are You
                                               work with others to follow through on       That Your Voice Will Be Heard
                                               the ideas and suggestions that
                                               emanated from "Listening to the City"                            10%
                                               to ensure that decision makers take                  21%
                                               seriously their responsibilities to the                                  23%                Very confident
                                               public. Although a date has not yet                                                         Confident

                                               been set for another "Listening to the                  45%                                 Somewhat confident
                                                                                                                                           Little confidence
                                               City" session, the Civic Alliance
                                                                                                                                           No opinion
                                               hopes to host a similar event in the
                                               future at another critical juncture in      Note: Combind result from both Javits forums

                                               the planning process, possibly during
                                               the Spring of 2003.
                                                                                          broadly supported development pro-
“If I had to sum up what I                     In the meantime, the Civic Alliance
                                                                                          gram for Lower Manhattan. In addi-
                                                                                          tion, the Civic Alliance has also
 heard today in one phrase it                  and its member groups continue to
                                                                                          announced that it sees the need for
                                               work closely with public and private
 would clearly be: Don’t settle.               groups to help shape the future of
                                                                                          an economic development action
                                                                                          plan geared toward job creation that
 Do something great.”                          Lower Manhattan and all the areas of
                                                                                          is comparable in scope to the
                                               New York City and the region that
                — Daniel Doctoroff                                                        LMDC's recent incentive programs for
                                               were affected by the events of
        Deputy Mayor for Economic                                                         downtown businesses and residents.
                                               September 11. The Civic Alliance
        Development and Rebuilding                                                        The Civic Alliance also plans to con-
                                               plans to be an aggressive advocate
                                                                                          tinue to advocate for low- and moder-
                                               for its principles while continuing to
                                                                                          ate-income housing as part of any
                                               cooperate with the LMDC, the Port
                                                                                          housing that is developed in lower
                                               Authority and other agencies to
                                                                                          Manhattan. The Civic Alliance
                                               advance the rebuilding process. The
                                                                                          believes that housing for people in all
                                               goal is to ensure that future plans are
                                                                                          income groups is as important to the
                                               based on regional economic consid-
                                                                                          economic revitalization of the region
                                               erations and infrastructure needs
                                                                                          as transportation and other amenities.
“Let’s do this right the first                 while at the same time promoting
                                               principles of social, economic and
 time and take the time                        environmental fairness and sound
                                                                                          Finally, taking a cue from "Listening
                                                                                          to the City" participants, the Civic
 that's needed.”                               urban design that were articulated at
                                                                                          Alliance has also recommended
                                               "Listening to the City."
                        — Participant                                                     strongly that the process of planning
                                                                                          for the World Trade Center site be
                                               One of the Civic Alliance’s immediate
                                                                                          integrated with the planning of the
                                               priorities is to work with its partners
                                                                                          memorial, and that this process be
                                               to help create a well-conceived and
                                                                                          based on the values that best capture
                                                                                          the spirit and ideals of New York – a
                                                                                          diverse and dynamic city that repre-
           Pace of Rebuilding                  Saturday 7/20          Monday 7/22         sents opportunity to people from all
     60%                                                                                  social and economic backgrounds
     50%                                                                                  and all parts of the world.
     30%                                                                                 “I hope the process remains
     10%                                                                                  open, inclusive and
            Should go      About right,   Should go   No preference     No opinion
              slower       maintained       faster                      at this time                                                      — Participant

Sponsors                                           The Civic Alliance to Rebuild Downtown New York
The July 20th Listening to the City event at the   CONVENER                          UNIVERSITY PARTNERS
Jacob Javits Center is being organized by the
Civic Alliance to Rebuild Downtown New York        Regional Plan Association         New School University • New York University • Pratt Institute
and is supported by the Center for Excellence
in New York City Governance at the Robert F.
Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at        CIVIC ALLIANCE PARTICIPANTS: Alliance for Downtown New York • AmericaSpeaks
New York University, the Regional Plan             American Institute of Architects New York Chapter • American Planning Association NY Metro
Assocation, the Pratt Institute's Center for       Chapter • American Society for Landscape Architects • American Society for Public Administration,
Community and Environmental Development,           NY Chapter • Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts • Architecture Research Institute • Asian
the New School's Milano Graduate School,           American Federation of New York • Asian Women in Business • Bowling Green Association
and AmericaSpeaks.                                 Business Labor Community Coalition (BLCC) • Center for an Urban Future • Center for New York
                                                   City • Law Citizens Budget Commission • Citizens Housing & Planning Council • Citizens Network
                                                   for Sustainable Development • Citizens Union • Columbia University Center for Urban Research and
Thanks to Arthur Fried and                         Policy • Commonwealth Fund • Community Board 1 • Community Cartography • Community
NYU/Wagner for their leadership in                 Service Society • Consortium for Worker Education • CUNY Center for Urban Research • CUNY
acting as fiscal conduit for the project.          Institute Urban Systems • Design Trust for Public Space • Disabled in Action of Metropolitan New
                                                   York • Environmental Advocates of New York • Environmental Defense • Environmental Simulation
                                                   Center • Financial Planning Association • Fine Arts Federation of New York • Fiscal Policy Institute
Thanks also to the following for their
                                                   Five Borough Institute • Ford Foundation • General Contractors Association • Guggenheim Museum
untiring efforts to assure the success of
                                                   Housing First • Hunter College • Imagine New York • Institute for Urban Design • J.M. Kaplan Fund
Listening to the City.
                                                   Jobs with Justice • Labor Community Activist Network (LCAN) • Landair Project Resources
                                                   Lawyers Alliance for New York • Lincoln Square B.I.D. • Robert J. Milano Graduate School (New
Tara Colton
                                                   School University) • Municipal Art Society • National Executive Service Corps • Natural Resources
Jane Berkow
                                                   Defense Council • New Jersey Association of Railroad Passengers • New York Building Congress
Ashley Boyd
                                                   New York Community Trust • New York Conservation Education Fund • New York Lawyers for Public
Betsy Imershein
                                                   Interest • New York League of Conservation Voters • New York New Visions • NOW Legal Defense
Damon Hemmerdinger
                                                   and Education Fund • NYC Central Labor Council • NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign • NYS AFL-
Ruthann Prange
                                                   CIO • NYU Center for Excellence in New York City Governance • NYU Institute for Civil Infrastructure
Glynis Daniels
                                                   Systems (ICIS) • NYU Institute of Public Administration • NYU Real Estate Institute • NYU Robert F.
YuFan (Stephanie) Wang
                                                   Wagner Graduate School • NYU Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management • NYU
Marjorie Schulman
                                                   Law School Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy • Pace University • Parks Council • Permanent
Margaret Yao
                                                   Citizens Advisory Council to the MTA • Pratt Institute Center for Community and Environmental
Daniel Stone
                                                   Development • Project for Public Spaces • Prosperity New Jersey • Real Estate Board New York
Diane Altman-Dautoff
                                                   (REBNY) • Rebuild Downtown Our Town (RDOT) • Reconstruction Watch • Riverside South Planning
Amy Levine
                                                   Corporation • Rockefeller Brothers Fund • Rutgers University • Salmagundi Club • Surdna
Petra Todorovich
                                                   Foundation • Sustainable South Bronx • Take the Field • The Bond Market Association • The Century
Jean Tanler
                                                   Foundation • TIME/ To Improve Municipal Efficiency • Transit Workers Union Local 100 • Tri-State
Erika Ruiz
                                                   Transportation Campaign • Urbanomics Van Alen Institute • Wall Street Rising • West Harlem
Winnie Cho
                                                   Environmental Action • Women’s City Club • Women in Housing and Finance • WTC Tenants
Krystal Nie
                                                   Association • YMCA of Greater New York

Report Produced by: Katie Taylor,
Pratt Institute Center for Community               Without the aid of countless volunteers, “Listening to the City” would not have been possible.
and Environmental Development                      We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

                                                   Listening to the City Citizens Advisory              Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition
Photographs courtesy of                            Committee, which includes representatives of:        Housing First!
Eileen Colton Photography                          American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee          Imagine New York
Jacquie Hemmerdinger                               Asian American Legal Defense and                     Neighborhood Economic Development
                                                   Education Fund                                       Advocacy Project                                  Design: Checkman Design Inc. / Writing: Mike Markowitz

For more information                               Asian Americans for Equality                         New Jersey Association of Railroad Passengers
please contact:                                    Asociacion Tepeyac                                   New York City Environmental Justice Alliance
                                                   Central Brooklyn Churches                            New York City Partnership
Civic Alliance to Rebuild                          Children's Aid Society                               New York Immigration Coalition
Downtown New York
                                                   City Project                                         New York Jobs with Justice
4 Irving Place, 7th Floor                          Common Cause                                         New York New Visions
New York, NY 10003
                                                   Community Board One                                  New York Women's Foundation
For an electronic version of this report           Community Board Two                                  Nkiru Center for Education and Culture
and to view more detailed data from                Community Board Three                                Partnership for New Jersey
“Listening to the City,” please visit:
                                                   Council of the City of New York                      Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
                                                   FDNY                                                 SEIU Local 32BJ
                                                   Global Kids, Inc.                                    Wall Street Rising
                                                   Good Jobs New York

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