Fluid New York: Cosmopolitan Urbanism and the Green Imagination

Fluid New York: Cosmopolitan Urbanism and the Green Imagination

Fluid New York is a memoir of New York City between Rudolph Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg’s mayorship. It is an exploration of archipelagic New York, the city of many islands, more than the five boroughs we are customary used to thinking about. The book explores the forgotten and buried water traces of the city.  It connects quotidian practices to the hidden ecological memory of the city’s past. An ancient pond, an old river bed, a former swampland, are all now part of what we call New York City. Yet, how people use these now transformed sites have uncanny and sometimes, conscious connections to this forgotten ecological past. The most evocative of these environmental traces is New York’s forgotten shoreline. Hurricane Sandy dramatically reshaped New York’s relationship to this palimpsestic shoreline perpetually transformed through its Native American, Dutch, British and American land reclamation techniques. Fluid New York is a wake up call to rethink the implications of island cities. New York is an accident of water. It is a city vulnerable to storm surge. Its archipelagic structure demands new ways of thinking about its future growth. 

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