The Vanishing City (2011)
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Sociology plus global business trends in major cities around the world have changed rapidly in the last several decades. As cities become more interconnected, and less dependent on localized economic models, domestic issues of increased class inequality and sustainability have emerged as central components to city planning debates. These trends are perhaps best exemplified in the city of New York. Told through the eyes of tenants, city planners, business owners, scholars, and politicians, The Vanishing City exposes the real politic behind the alarming disappearance of New York’s beloved neighborhoods, the truth about its finance-dominated economy, and the myth of “inevitable change.” Artfully documented through interviews, hearings, demonstrations, and archival footage, the film takes a sober look at the city’s “luxury” policies and high-end development, the power role of the elite, and accusations of corruption surrounding land use and rezoning. The film also links New York trends to other global cities where multinational corporations continue to victimize the middle and working classes.