In order to even begin exploring the city’s other options, New Yorkers first have to stop deluding themselves into believing that today’s hyper-gentrification is the same old thing. We all have to stop saying, “New York always changes, so this is normal.” This is not normal. This is state sponsored, corporate driven, turbo charged, far flung, and impossible to stop in its current form. Hyper-gentrification is the Thing That Ate New York, the Blob, the choose your monster-movie metaphor, an ever-growing, ever-devouring beast that will not be satisfied until there’s nothing left.
Economists generally agree that one of the distinguishing factors between rich countries and poor ones is that it is much easier to start businesses in rich countries. In Ecuador, for example, it takes about 56 days and 13 separate procedures to get all the legal paperwork done to start a new business. In the United States, it’s an average of six days and six procedures. But if you want to open a mobile-food business in New York, it’s essentially like starting a business in Ecuador — and that’s if you can somehow arrange a permit.
In research and development, the complexity involved in nanoscale innovations represents a daunting challenge. This challenge is driving a sweeping change toward breaking down the silos — from individual company-centric “Kremlins” to the intellectually open, innovation sharing, “Acropolis.”