I lived in New York in the 1960's, when the twin towers were planned and just going up. The 60's was an era of intense urban destruction and frantic build-up in New York. Some of the midtown areas cleared and targeted for "development" looked like they had been bombed, while other outlying residential areas, red-lined by the banks, decayed into abandoned free-fire zones.
I left New York in 1971 before the twin towers became the prominent feature of the Manhattan skyline. They were not part of my New York, I am glad to say, for I think I would have resented this development as I did some other new structures, like the hideous Pan Am Building that was stuck up over Park Avenue and Grand Central Station.
The area targeted for the WTC included a neighborhood I loved called Radio Row. The district began in the 1920's and grew into an experimenter's dream world of many blocks where exotic surplus electronics, the fall-out of defense technology, spilled out into the street. The electronics storekeepers organized. God knows how many other downtown communities organized. They got little coverage in The Times. All resistance was crushed.