“Thinking Through the Urban Tech Ecosystem”
The Covid-19 pandemic has both caused a boom in the tech industry and decimated its base in the big cities, notably San Francisco and New York, that had become major tech hubs. We walk back through the past decade to examine the development of New York’s tech ecosystem from a failed dot-com experiment to the second-largest concentration of tech companies and startups in the U.S. and then step forward to make some educated guesses about its future. Along the way, we’ll see what this ecosystem looked like on the ground in February 2020, a few weeks before the pandemic struck.
Sharon Zukin is professor emerita of sociology and of earth and environmental sciences at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She has written several books about New York, including Loft Living, The Cultures of Cities, Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places, and, most recently, The Innovation Complex: Cities, Tech, and the New Economy. Her book Landscapes of Power: From Detroit to Disney World won the C. Wright Mills Award, Naked City won the Jane Jacobs Urban Communication Book Award, and After the World Trade Center, edited with Michael Sorkin, was named one of the year’s best books in architecture by the New York Times in 2002. She has also received the Lynd Award for career achievement in urban sociology and been a visiting professor at the University of Amsterdam, Tongji University (Shanghai), and the University of Western Sydney.