The Power Of Mobility : The Automotive Industry 's Impact On New York City

1717 Words Dec 14th, 2016 7 Pages
The Power of Mobility: The Automotive Industry’s Impact on New York City
At the World’s Fair of 1939, the automotive industry was eager to usher in a hub-cap laden, asphalt-gridded city of tomorrow. Joseph J. Corn and Brian Horrigan, historians, note that General Motors made the glorious claim that “transportation progress is but a symbol of future progress in every activity,” however, in the postwar city, the automobile industry and its connected infrastructure and related industries did not help to usher in the social change that was promised. Instead, they helped enforce longstanding systems of power within the city. The automobile became the tool of white flight, while the necessary roadways to cater to large masses of cars were a favored tool of Robert Moses as he wrought massive changes to the city, tearing apart the forms of power that lower classes held dear. By the OPEC Oil crisis in the 1970’s the automotive industry had done little to encourage the growth of equality in the city. This allowed the economic turmoil of the decade and deindustrialization to further harm marginalized groups that the automobile had left behind in its push for progress.
Following World War II, there was a boom in construction of housing developments in suburbs around large cities, like NYC. Federal policies encouraged this growth to stimulate the economy, which could have faltered as production slowed in peacetime. The economy was propped up by massive amounts of spending for housing…

Related Documents