1) Starting on 9/12/01, there were stories about people living downtown who sold everything and got out of the City as fast as they could. They were scared (with good reason) and they were running. Many people thought that this was the end of people living (and perhaps working) downtown.
Between 2000 and 2010 the population of lower Manhattan nearly doubled, with every census tract around the WTC site gaining at least 1,000 people. It was the fastest growing part of NYC.
2) After 9/11, driving deaths increased significantly as people chose not to fly and drove more. The reasons are myriad, but two major causes for the public changing their modes were fear, & the inconvenience/expense of air travel in the age of heightened security. This study talks more about this: http://dyson.cornell.edu/faculty_sites/gb78/wp/fatalities_120505.pdf. It suggests that over 2,000 additional people lost their lives in after 9/11 due to the change in mode. Considering how security measures changed people’s modal behavior, it could be argued that the security changes made directly after 9/11 made us less safe, in a very measurable way, as more people died on the road.
We live our lives thinking A+B=C. It’s how we make sense of the world. If we increase security, we’ll be safer. If you murder 3000 people in a neighborhood, people will avoid it. But we are constantly being reminded that the world is more complicated than we think when often the exact opposite thing happens than we think will happen. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten much more comfortable saying, “I don’t know.” I’ve also learned that people who have all the answers: people who’ve figured everything out, don’t and haven't.
Hope you spent at least some time today thinking about what happened 10 years ago, and perhaps more importantly, what’s happened over the past 10 years.