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5.24.2005 

robert moses was one crazy bastard


Robert Moses was the master builder of 20th century New York City and its suburbs. As the shaper of a modern city, his only peer is Baron Haussmann of Second Empire Paris, and he was easily the most polarizing figure in the history of urban planning. Although he never held elective office, Moses was the most powerful person in New York City government from the 1930s to the 1950s. Moses literally changed shorelines, built roadways in the sky, and transformed vibrant neighborhoods forever. His decisions favoring highways over public transport formed the modern suburbs of Long Island and influenced a generation of engineers, architects, and urban planners who spread his philosophies across the nation. In New York City, Moses displaced hundreds of thousands of people, contributed to the ruin of the South Bronx, the departure of the Brooklyn Dodgers, and the decline of public transport, but Moses' projects were also considered by many to be necessary for the region's development. To Moses' critics, however, he will always be remembered for believing that "cities are for traffic," and "if the ends don't justify the means, what does?"

For all the information you will ever need about Moses, and the building of the tri-state metropolitan area, read The Power Broker.

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