The world’s most ambitious “smart city” project is here. Should we worry that New York City is becoming an experimental lab?
For the Places Journal esearcher and columnist Shannon Mattern sheds a detailed, interested, yet critical and ironic look at Hudson Yards, probably the most ambitious "smart city" project in an existing city anywhere in the world. Through it, she examines the intentions of new and established players, including Alphabet subsidiary Sidewalk Labs. And reaches a chilling conclusion:
From the observation deck atop 30 Hudson Yards, projected to be the highest in the city, residents and visitors will look out upon a dream made manifest: a clean, efficient urban machine; a carefully curated cultural experience; a Keller-fed, Equinox-toned, Coach-clad populace; a sustainable urban ecosystem; a harmonious community that behaves in accordance with the rules; a city that plays by the numbers. Here, those modern theories of behaviorism, dear Professor Arendt, will have “become true.”