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Listening to the City

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The New York Times, September 26, 2002
Vox Populi, Online and Downtown

      Less chronicled is the experience of 800 people who could not make it to the Javits Center that day but instead convened over the Internet over a two-week period to discuss many of the same questions, at more length and perhaps with more nuance . . . the 10,000-odd messages produced by the online groups are also being scrutinized as a model for civic engagement on local and national issues. . .

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NY1, August 20, 2002
Online Chats Begin On WTC Redevelopment Plans

      The online dialogues, each between no more than 30 people, are an extension of the "Listening to the City" forums, a pair of public meetings at the Javits Convention Center attended by over 5,000 people. Officials are already rethinking their plans after an overwhelmingly negative response at the forums...

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The Star Ledger, August 19, 2002
Ground Zero forum maintained its dignity, by Allan Hoffman

      A forum about the future of Ground Zero, you might expect, would succumb to the usual pressures. But such a forum, held from July 29 to Aug. 12, actually proved online discussions can generate a meaningful dialogue, rather than devolve into flame wars. Passions were evident, but they did not preclude thoughtful conversations about what should be built at the former site of the World Trade Center...

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The Daily News, July 22, 2002
Thrilling show of people power, by Pete Hamill

      I spotted gray-haired veterans of old civic causes, too, from the Lower Manhattan Expressway to Westway, people whose first uttered word each morning must be "no." There were young artists, designers and architects, brimming with visions. There were people who were gallantly raising children below Canal St. and others who had lost husbands or wives or children when the terrorists struck on Sept. 11. Most of all, there were plain citizens, thousands of them....

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