The second in a two-part series convened by MoMA and MoMA PS1, this panel discussion will address wide-ranging questions about the tech industry’s impact on architecture and urbanism in New York City and beyond. In facilitating this discussion, the Department of Architecture and Design seeks to provide a platform for reflecting upon the history and possible futures of the technology industry’s impact on urban planning, real estate development, and gentrification—a pressing urban development issue for the City that has global implications.
In November 2018, when Amazon announced plans to build one of two new North American corporate headquarters in Long Island City, Queens, citizens, activists, and politicians raised alarm over the gentrifying effects the move might have on the neighborhood. Much as the initial announcement became a fulcrum for debates about the ethics of tax incentives for major corporations, the impact of office development on socioeconomically diverse neighborhoods, and the recent past and future of Long Island City, Amazon’s startling mid-February reversal occasioned heated debate about the broad ramifications of tech-industry expansion for New York City.
Nevertheless, since Google established its first New York offices in 2003—after the company’s founders expressed doubts about the prospect of hiring even a handful of talented engineers in the City—New York has become one of the largest and most competitive technology labor markets in the country, second only to Silicon Valley. The sheer speed and breadth of this about-face has engendered wide-reaching consequences for urban infrastructure, land values, and income distribution in New York, both expanding tax revenues and also threatening to further displace low-income residents and people of color. All of these issues will be addressed in a discussion among a range of stakeholders in these ongoing developments.
Speakers include James Sanders, Principal, James Sanders + Associates; Quardean Lewis-Allen, Founder, Made in Brownsville; and Laura Bliss, Staff Reporter, The Atlantic. The conversation will be moderated by Michael Kimmelman, architecture critic of The New York Times.
This event is free and open to everyone, but space is limited and a ticket is required. Tickets will be available on April 15, on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets can be reserved online, at the ticketing desk, or at the film desk on the day of the program.