Look at Ruddy's piece again.
Braden Ruddy offers us this visual narrative and looks into the central arguments that Saskia Sassen makes (one of the scholars he cites in his essay). Sassen is the leading urban theorist of the global world, focusing especially on New York, London, and Tokyo. Her work still shapes how we talk about what a major city like New York looks like and does today, work that has influenced what Ruddy is trying to tell us about NYC. To more deeply understand the social and political isseus that Ruddy is trying to literally give a face to, read a general overview of Sassen's work here.
Now, listen to Sassen as she describes life and politics of Global Cities like New York City.