An organization that stands outside politics across national boundaries, in service to those who develop and facilitate international trade. With its unique global mission and membership, the WTCA has been a world leader in creating innovative service for international business.

-- WTCA mission statement

While the New York one has gained some notoriety as of late, "World Trade Center" is in fact an international brand for what the World Trade Center Association (WTCA) terms "business shopping centers". The usual tenants are export-oriented companies and government agencies, who get (usually) a very central location, access to the WTCA's databases and reciprocal facilities, hosting for services like Internet access, translation and (especially in the developing world) even things like electricity and physical security.

As of April 2002 there are over 300 WTCs scattered around the world in almost 100 countries, a snapshot of which follows:

Abu Dhabi, Abuja, Aden, Algiers, Almere, Amman, Amsterdam, Anchorage, Ankara, Antwerp, Arnhem Nijmegen, Aruba, Athens, Atlanta, Baghdad, Bahrain, Baja California Greater Tijuana, Baltimore, Bangalore, Bangkok, Barcelona, Barranquilla, Basel, Basel Af, Beijing, Beijing China, Beirut, Belfast, Belgrade, Berlin, Bogota, Bordeaux, Boston, Bratislava, Bremen, Brescia East Lombardy, Bridgeport, Brisbane, Brno, Brussels, Bucharest, Bucharest Victoria, Budapest, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Calcutta, Cali, Cardiff, Charleston, Chengdu Af, Chicago, Chongqing Af, Cleveland, Club Hong Kong AF, Cochin, Coimbra, Colombo, Curacao, Curitiba, Cyprus, DaeGu, Dallas Ft Worth, Damascus, Delhi Gurgaon, Denver, Detroit Windsor, Doha, Dresden, Dubai, Dublin, Dusseldorf, Edinburgh, Edmonton, Eindhoven, Ekaterinburg, El Paso Juarez, Fort Lauderdale, Frankfurt, Frankfurt Oder, Gaza, Gdynia, Geneva, Genoa, Ghent Af, Glasgow, Gothenburg, Great Plains, Greenville Spartanburg, Grenoble, Guadalajara, Guangzhou Af, Guarulhos, Guayaquil, Haikou, Halifax, Hamburg, Hangzhou, Hannover, Havana, Heerlen, Helsinki, Hengdian, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Houston, Hudson Valley, Iasi, Inchon, Indianapolis, Istanbul, Jacksonville, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Jonkoping, Kansas City, Kaohsiung, Karachi, Katowice, Kiel, Kolkata, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, KwangJu, Lagos, Las Vegas, Lausanne, Le Havre, Leeuwarden, Leipzig, Lexington, Lille, Lima, Lisbon, Ljubljana, London, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Lugano, Luxembourg, Lyon, Macau, Madrid, Makkah, Malaga, Mallorca, Malpensa Airport, Malta, Managua, Manaus, Manila, Marseille, Martinique, Masan, McAllen, Medellin, Melbourne, Memphis, Messina, Metz, Mexico City, Miami, Milan, Milton Keynes, Milwaukee, Minsk, Mississippi Jackson, Missoula, Monaco, Monterrey, Montevideo, Montpellier, Montreal, Moscow, Mumbai, Munich, Muscat, Nanjing Af, Nantes, Naples, Nassau Bahamas, New Delhi Af, New Orleans, New York, Niagara, Nice Sophia Antipolis, Norfolk, Novosibirsk, Odessa, Okinawa, Orange County Irvine, Orlando, Osaka, Osaka AF, Oslo, Ottawa, Oxnard, Palm Beach, Palm Springs, Panama, Paris, Pearl River Delta, Penang, Pernambuco, Philadelphia, Phnom Penh, Pittsburgh, Podgorica, Pointe a Pitre, Port Said, Portland, Poznan, Prague, Providence, Puebla, Pusan, PyongYang, Quito, Raleigh Durham, Ribeirao Preto, Riga, Rijeka, Rio de Janeiro, Riyadh, Rome, Rostock, Rotterdam, Ruhr Valley, Sacramento, Salzburg, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, San Juan, San Marino, San Salvador, Santander, Santiago, Santo Domingo AF, Sao Paulo, Sapporo, Sarajevo, Schenectady, Schiphol Airport, Seattle, Seoul, Sevilla, Shanghai, Sharjah, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Singapore, Skopje, Sofia, Sofia Af, Southampton, Split, St Louis, St Paul, St Petersburg, Stockholm, Strasbourg, Stuttgart, Surabaya, Sydney, Tabasco, Tacoma, TaeJon, Taichung, Taipei, Tallinn, Tambore, Tampa Bay, Tashkent AF, Tel Aviv, Tenerife, The Hague, Thessaloniki, Tokyo, Tokyo AF, Toronto, Trieste, Tripoli, Tunis, Turku, Ulan Bator, Utrecht, Valencia, Valencia Venezuela, Vancouver, Veracruz, Verona, Vienna, Vienna Airport, Vigo, Vilnius, Warsaw, Washington DC, Washington Dulles Airport AF, Wichita, Wilmington DE, Zagreb, Zurich

The WTCA is a non-profit organization that sponsors the WTC Corps, a volunteer corps that teaches basic business skills around the world, and the WTC University, a distance-learning initiative.

References

http://www.wtca.org

World Trade Center is the name of many building projects around the world. However, this writeup will refer to two specific buildings in the New York City World Trade Center complex.

One World Trade Center, also known as Tower One, refers to the North Tower, while Two World Trade Center, Tower Two, refers to the South Tower.

Design:
Minoru Yamasaki and Emery Roth designed the two towers as well as the rest of the World Trade Center complex. The World Trade Center towers represent Yamasaki's gothic modernist style and the architectural ethic of Le Corbusier.

The towers are a prime example of tube buildings. Similar to the IBM building in Seattle, the towers were designed with outer steel beams and columns that created a steel tube. This design alleviated problems of wind sway and vibration. Each of the towers had 240 Vierendeel trusses on the outside of the structure connected to each other via normal steel trusses. Dampers were added to absorb shock. As a result, there is no need for internal load-bearing walls.

Construction:
The $400 million towers broke ground on August 5, 1966. The World Trade Center commercial complex spans sixteen square blocks. When construction began, a 1.2 million cubic yard "bathtub", a 70 feet deep hole in solid bedrock was created. Add 200,000 tons of steel, 425,000 cubic yards of concrete and 3,500 workers. Mix well for 9 years. The North Tower was completed in 1972 and the South Tower was completed a year later.

History:
The idea of building a World Trade Center was conceived by real estate broker David Sholtz. Being a former Florida Governor, Sholtz had close contact with New York State Governor Thomas E. Dewey. After much discussion, Sholtz convinced Dewey to present the idea to the Port Authority in 1947. Two years of bureaucratic red tape later and the idea was rejected by the City Board of Estimate.

In 1956 David Rockefeller had already began construction on One Chase Manhattan Plaza, funded by his Chase Bank and his family fortune. He soon realized that in order for this new building to thrive, he needed to revitalize the downtown financial district. To accomplish this grandiose goal, Rockefeller created a Business Improvement District named the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association (DLMA). The DLMA designed a plan of "slum clearence" to strip the small businesses in the area and replace them with institutions of high finance. Such a project required so much financing that not even the power players involved could bankroll the entire project. Consequently, the DLMA sought help from the Port of New York Authority. The director of the Port Authority, Austin Tobin and Governor Dewey saw this as a revival of their earlier plans and gave enthusiastic support to the project.

An election in 1958, shifted the Governorship to David Rockefeller's brother Nelson Rockefeller. Not surprisingly, Nelson Rockefeller pushed the project with his political clout. Soon, an architectural model was created. The plan met with several critics. New Jersey State Governor Robert Baumle Meyner saw little benefit for his state despite the fact that the Port Authority was a joint venture between the two states. As a concession, the Port Authority revitalized the Hudson Tubes (PATH) and agreed to build major container shipping ports in Elizabeth, New Jersey. The Fulton Street Association was able to have the project scaled down slightly and shifted west. However, the proprietors of Radio Row were not able to save their district. By 1961, the plans were agreed upon and construction of the district began.

Over the years, many notable events have occurred that indoctrinated the World Trade Center into the hearts and minds of all Americans, especially New Yorkers. A skydiver and a parachutist landed on the roof in 1972. Later in the 1970s, aerialist Philippe Petite crossed between the towers on a tightrope. In 1977, a toy maker and amateur rock climber named George "the Human Fly" Willig climbed Tower One. On February 26, 1993, a truck bomb in the garage under the towers failed to topple the buildings. Tragically, a set of jetliners brought both buildings down on September 11, 2001.

Symbolism:
Over the years, the World Trade Center has found an importance place in American society. Its image defined the New York City skyline. For Americans, the towers stood for the triumph of American capitalism. For much of the rest of the world, feeling overcome by the effects of globalization, the towers stood as a symbol of American domination and exploitation.

Initially, the World Trade Center towers were envisioned by some to house small importer-exporters and freight forwarders. Eventually, rising rent prices saw the displacement of these initial tenants and their replacement with high finance firms operating in the nearby stock exchanges. It is not hard to see how these twin towers could symbolize wealth. In fact, before the 1993 attack, a great portion of the world's gold was stored under the towers. To Americans, the towers symbolize the wealth we have. To many foreigners, the towers symbolize the wealth we took from them.

Terrorism:
The history of the World Trade Center is scarred by two terrorist attacks.

The first of these attacks occurred on February 26, 1993. In a plot masterminded by Ramzi Yousef, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and nine other Islamic extremists, a truck bomb in the garage killed 6 people, injured more than 1000 people, and caused over $300 million in property damage. Michael Chajes, chairman of the civil and environmental engineering department at the University of Delaware, reasoned that the scale and design of the 1993 attack would not have caused the total destruction of the towers. Chajes states that "The building was built on bedrock, and it is difficult to blow that up. Forces can go in so many different directions that it would be difficult to get enough force into that foundation."

Another terrorist attack occurred on September 11, 2001, resulting in the destruction of the towers. This has been treated in depth in many other wonderful nodes. There is no need for redundancy.

Comments:

Ada Louise Huxtable, Architecture Critic of the New York Times
While she originally liked the towers, Huxtable changed her mind, calling them "the biggest, daintiest buildings in the world. There was no substance."

Roger Kahn, Sportswriter
Kahn wrote of his experience atop the towers during construction: "Wind was slamming across the Hudson, blowing bits of debris from unfinished floors. Four thousand men had been working for two years, and the sprawling site had acquired the scarred desolation that comes with construction or with aerial bombardment."

Minoru Yamasaki, Chief Architect
At the World Trade Center's dedication ceremony, Minoru Yamasaki commented on his vision of the World Trade Center: "I feel this way about it. World trade means world peace and consequently the World Trade Center buildings in New York ... have a bigger purpose than just to provide room for tenants. The World Trade Center is a living symbol of man's dedication to world peace. ... beyond the compelling need to make this a monument to world peace, the World Trade Center should, because of its importance, become a representation of man's belief in humanity, his need for individual dignity, his beliefs in the cooperation of men, and through cooperation, his ability to find greatness."

Leslie Robertson, Chief Structural Engineer
Robertson directed the structural design of the World Trade Center. He worked at the World Trade Center for almost 40 years as a structural engineer. After September 11th, he remarks "Such a thing is beyond imagination. If the buildings had fallen immediately, the casualties would have been extremely high. We're thankful they held up as long as they did. ... And considering what the Twin Towers had to withstand, The World Trade Center has performed admirably, and everyone involved in the project should be proud."

Bernard Tschumi, Architecture Dean at Columbia University
Tschumi, at the "World Trade Center Forum," noted that "it's about us being not only New Yorkers but as citizens of cities of the world," and that "when the attack took place, many of us took it as an attack upon the city."

Personal Comments:
I was afraid. When I was little and I visited the towers, I was afraid of the height.
I am confused. When I see the towers no longer exist, I am confused as to the purpose of mankind.
I see great things in the future. When I look to the future, I see a new monument symbolizing the resilience of the American people.

Note:
Please let me know if there are any mistakes. All criticism cheerfully accepted.

Sources:
Childhood memories
http://www.mcny.org/wtc/wtc3.htm
http://www.encyclopedia.com/html/W/WorldT1rd.asp
http://www.mcny.org/wtc/wtc4.htm
http://www.archrecord.com/NEWS/ARTICLES/WTC_news/history.asp
http://abcnews.go.com/sections/GMA/GoodMorningAmerica/GMA020313_Willig15Minutes.html
http://www.review.udel.edu/archive/2001_Issues/09.28.01/index.php3?section=9&article=7
http://it.stlawu.edu/~global/pageslandscapes/neworldtrade2.html
http://design.umn.edu:8080/designInstitute/servlet/at/go(document,kc.spr02.1.nine11)
http://www.graduatingengineer.com/articles/feature/01-11-02b.html
http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Trade_Center

A World Trade Center (or World Trade Centre) has become a rather trite unit of measurement to represent around 3,000 human fatalities. Despite not being a precise figure (actually 2,752 died in the towers or on the planes that hit, but that wouldn't be a neatly rounded number), it is popularly used to describe the death toll of disasters, illnesses or other life threatening problems, especially those which attract far less coverage than the September 11 2001 attacks. As if to make a point.

For example, to describe the French heatwave disaster of August 2003...

The overall EU death toll is probably equivalent to five or more World Trade Centres - at least 20,000 victims.
http://www.socialistreview.org.uk/article.php?articlenumber=8604

or to describe deaths caused through energy production...

It considers over 15,000 fatalities related to oil, over 8000 related to coal and 5000 from hydro - in total, about seven World Trade Centres.
http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf68.htm

or people dying in a famine in Afghanistan...

we're talking the equivalent number of deaths to ten World Trade Centers, every day, for 150 days.
http://www.workingforchange.com/article.cfm?ItemID=12276

or Nagasaki...

That's the equivalent of 50 World Trade Centers of people vaporized.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/MIL203A.html

or drink driving...

All of our threats on the outside pale when you consider that we have lost the equivalent of five World Trade Centers in the last year
http://edition.cnn.com/2002/US/12/18/drunken.driving/

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