America Rebuilds: A Year at Ground Zero
Ground Zero Profiles
Engineering the Clean-Up
Video Stories
Imagining the Future
About the Program

Leevi Kiil
Ethel Sheffer
Holly Leicht
Tom Rogér
Diana Balmori

'…rather than strive to outdo what was there by making something bigger, taller and more spectacular, we should take a more thoughtful approach…'
Imagining the Future
Leevi Kiil

Leevi Kiil

The Max Protech Gallery Show

Visions of architects and artists for rebuilding at Ground Zero
56k | 220k

Town Hall Meeting

A forum for city resident on the site's future
56k | 220k


The Civic Alliance

A coalition of some 75 business, government, community and civic groups in New York and New Jersey, promoting the highest standards of urban design for the redevelopment of Ground Zero

New York New Visions

An alliance of 20 architecture, planning, and design organizations. Read their summary of findings.

Imagine New York

A civic coalition that gathered 47 innovative ideas for Lower Manhattan's future. Read their summary report. here

Max Protech Gallery: A New World Trade Center

A Web site tour of the Protech Gallery show

September's Mission

A Web site promoting the development of a World Trade Center memorial

Families of September 11

A coalition promoting the interests of 9/11 victims' families

Lower Manhattan Development Corporation

A group established by Governor George Pataki to help plan the rebuilding and revitalization of Lower Manhattan. See their six plans.

Bigger and Taller Won't Necessarily Be Better

By Leevi Kiil

Throughout the months following the terrible events of September 11, we have heard much talk about the symbolism of the World Trade Center and about making a statement by replacing those icons with something bigger, perhaps taller, more magnificent and spectacular on the skyline of New York. These sentiments were initially expressed in defiance of those who perpetrated the devastation. Lately, however, they have been expressed in response to what many have seen as disappointing initial ideas for development. Architects, as well as others, have called for an internationally recognized design that establishes a new level of vision and excellence.

My personal view is that, rather than strive to outdo what was there by making something bigger, taller and more spectacular, we should take a more thoughtful approach by asking, "How can we make for the future a better urban place that serves and enriches the lives of our citizens — their working lives, family lives, cultural lives, emotional lives and spiritual lives?"

Having been such an integral part of the New York New Visions effort, it is difficult for me to separate my own thoughts from those of NYNV, simply because I so strongly endorse their approach. What emerged from the founding of this coalition of volunteer design professionals and civic leaders were principles for the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan that urged, first and foremost, an open memorial process that honors the victims and their families; envisioned a rich, mixed use future with greatly improved connectivity to the rest of New York and the region; and, applying these principles through an inclusive planning process that achieves design excellence and sustainability to create long-lasting economic and social value.

Out of such an approach will emerge a place that communicates the deep values of our city and society.

Kiil is president of the American Institute of Architects, New York Chapter

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