Talks to hammer out who will build what at the World Trade Center have once again collapsed, and for the first time in awhile, I'm optimistic about what will ultimately come of the rebuilding effort. That might seem counterintuitive, but the fact is, the best thing that could happen right now is nothing because the people with the most power in these negotiations are completely consumed by what the rebuilding process will do for them, not for New York. As Nicolai Ouroussoff put it:
An aggressive government role in galvanizing the best creative minds is virtually nonexistent in the United States, where political and financial power has shifted to the private realm. ... In New York, the system can foster a poisonous mix of political self-interest and commercial greed, as it did at ground zero.
So the best thing that could happen is for the whole process to get derailed for some period of time while the one person who has no real political agenda beyond looking good for doing the right thing, i.e. Bloomberg and his legacy concern, to step in and impose some common sense at Ground Zero. And it seems that's exactly what's happening.
Photo by Julian Olivas.