New York City Politics: Governing Gotham

By Bruce F. Berg | Go to book overview

2
The Economic Development
Imperative

As discussed in the previous chapter, the city's attempt to build sports venues reflects a commitment to promoting economic growth across the city, even though there is frequently disagreement over the ways in which economic growth is being pursued. The city's intent to promote economic growth and the diverse strategies it employs to do so have become institutionalized over the last two decades. This chapter will discuss several of the methods employed by the city to promote economic growth.


The Economic Development Imperative and Governance

New York City, similar to all political systems, needs revenue to fund the delivery of goods and services, a major component of governance. Through the creation of new employment and the enhancement of land to more productive uses, the city expands its taxable assets. The proposed conversion of the Hudson Rail Yards to an Olympic/football stadium and the conversion of Brooklyn's Atlantic Yards to a professional basketball arena and office/residential complex were supported by governing elites because they were viewed as economic development projects that would benefit the city's tax base as well as creating jobs and wealth for the citizens of the city.

Economic development, however, also affects the governance of the city through its relationship to the other governance functions of democratic accountability and, less directly, civil harmony. As the Hudson Rail Yards and Atlantic Yards projects illustrate, large economic development projects are controversial for a number of reasons. First, they have an impact on the community where they are located. Some will view the impact positively and will support the project. As in the case of the Olympic Stadium and the Nets Arena, however, some will view the impact negatively and will oppose the project. Second, given

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New York City Politics: Governing Gotham
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • 1: Introduction 1
  • 2: The Economic Development Imperative 20
  • 3: The State and the City 58
  • 4: The Federal Government and the City 88
  • 5: Racial and Ethnic Diversity 120
  • 6: Political Parties in New York City Governance 160
  • 7: The Charter, the Mayor, and the Other Guys 180
  • 8: The City Council 212
  • 9: The Municipal Bureaucracy 244
  • 10: Conclusion 281
  • References 293
  • Index 323
  • About the Author 339
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