Socially Responsible Leadership

                                             Case Study: Remaking New York City

Robert Moses and Majora Carter have both had an interest in developing New York City albeit in different ways. Whereas one is concerned with developing the city by destroying the nature and complex ecology in the process, the other is concerned with green development and the environmental impact of development. Both are influential in different capacities. Some developers usually ignore the consequences that their ideas will have on the people several years later. Some only look at the architecture and the beauty of the building but they do not focus on the effects that the buildings will have on the people.

Robert Moses was instrumental in the urban development of New York City during the thirties and forties. In fact, he was the main voice where the city’s development was concerned (Brown, 2002). He initiated numerous projects, which had both negative and positive impacts on the public. In his quest for development, he destroyed playgrounds and other natural beauties. His leadership style was wanting and it left a lot to be desired.  He often disregarded the opinion of others even if it was meant for the greater good; in times of crisis, he wanted things done in his own way. He targeted the top leaders in the city so that they could offer him the support he needed for development. He targeted the upper class neighborhood and he destroyed land and property meant for the middle class. This made the people oppose him because he was also destroying their neighborhoods (Pbs, 2003) He did not care about public transit, which many middle class people depended on. This left a negative impression on his leadership. He also disregarded policies. For instance, in his bid to host the world fair in New York City, he failed to follow the policies that had been set by the Bureau of International Expositions. This only led to the failure of the world fair since it was not attended by many people. Robert Moses took on projects that portrayed his need for power. He wanted influence and recognition and in doing this, he ended up disregarding the rest of the people.

Majora Carter cares for her city and its development. She focuses more on the environmental impact that the city developers have. She has raised awareness among the public and the authorities about the importance of the natural environment. Her efforts have not gone to waste and she has been awarded numerous grants and awards to spearhead development. She helped to transform a garbage dump that had been set up illegally into the beautiful Hunt’s Point Riverside Park. The South Bronx has not had an open-waterfront for the past sixty years. Unlike Moses, Majora cares for the environment and the people in her city. She has used the policies set on the use of land and the environment to her advantage. She has strongly advocated on matters concerning pollution and she is especially opposed to polluters who target the low-income neighborhoods. Majora wants to see development in the South Bronx, but she is not limited to the architectural aspect of it. She is concerned with the social, ecological and economic degradation. Her leadership and influence are seen by the influence she has made, both in the state and in the city. She managed to convince the state to grant her 1.25 million dollars to develop the waterfront. She has led the people to believe that they can have a clean and beautiful environment and that they are entitled to it. She not only talks to people about the importance of preserving the environment but she also creates jobs (Ted, 2006). She is seen as a transformational leader in the way she carries out her duties. She has also managed to bring other development to the area such as having bike paths and open space for pedestrians and for economic development. Majora was the director of Sustainable South Bronx and when she was there she brought a lot of development (Macfound, 2005). She introduced eco-friendly practices such as green roofs. Although she wants to see development, she has not let personal ambitions derail her from her cause. She has not ignored the people and she has not influenced development to suit her needs.























Brown, J. (2002). A tale of two visions: Harland Bartholomew, Robert Moses and the development of the American freeway. Retrieved 30 October 2010, from

Macfound. (2005). Majora Carter. Retrieved 30 October 2010, from

Pbs. (2003). People & events: The planning debate in New York, 1955 – 1975. Retrieved 30 October 2010, from

Ted. (2006). Majora Carter: Activist for environmental justice. Retrieved 30 October 2010, from

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