The Bartlett School of Planning


BSP Public Lecture: Rebuilding Ground Zero After 9/11

6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, 30 January 2020

Public Lecture Series

Lynne Sagalyn, Professor Emerita at Columbia Business School, joins us to discuss the planning and politics of symbolic territory.

Event Information

Open to





Victoria Howard


Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre
Wilkins Building
Gower Street
United Kingdom

The rebuilding Ground Zero is a story of the power politics among contending government forces and private real estate interests. It is a story of ambition—among all the players with a stake in rebuilding and memorializing the events of 9/11. It is a story about the politics of reconciling aspiration with economic reality—accommodating the various interests swirling about the site without setting priorities among the many aspirations of rebuilding. It is not a story about heroes and villains, rather about people and personalities big and small, all wanting to put their mark on Ground Zero. Finally, it is a story that illuminates the role of symbolic politics. So often modern city building is dismissed as cold-hearted and detached from meaning, but the opposite was true at Ground Zero—where every action was infused with symbolic significance and debated with emotional intensity.


About the Speaker

Lynne Sagalyn

Professor Emerita at Columbia Business School