New York Plans for the Future

Article Photo

Whether you love him or not, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has undeniably done some good things for the City of New York since he took office in 2001. He certainly wasn't in an admirable position, stepping into the role of Mayor after leaving a comfy lucrative career as a business and media mogul, and guiding New York through the difficult post-9/11 era.

Now, with only three years left to go in his second and final term, the Mayor could probably just coast and plan his run for President (another story in itself). Yet, on December 12, he gave a major speech in which he announced a massive long-term planning program aimed at making New York more sustainable by 2030. Clearly he's not planning on getting any rest.

As you could probably guess, the city's rising population, aging infrastructure and strained environment will certainly pose a challenge to implementing a truly sustainable plan. Still, the city seems determined to take a serious stab at long-term planning, with significant input from residents, community groups and elected officials. From an environmental perspective, the goals of the plan are enough to give advocates goose bumps:

* Reducing the city's greenhouse gas emissions by more than 30 percent
* Achieving the cleanest air of any quality of any large American city
* Cleaning all of the city's contaminated land
* Cleaning, protecting and opening 90 percent of the city's waterways for public recreational access

Add to this the Mayor's new stated goal that every New Yorker live within a 10-minute walk of a park, and you have a compelling vision of the city in 2030.

Of course, it's just the beginning of a long effort. So, check out the Mayor's Speech here and consider sharing your opinion on the developing plan at Planyc2030 .

[Note: See also Sarah Rich's post on plaNYC 2030 on WorldChanging global. -Ed.]

Image: NOAA Photo Library, America's Coastlines Collection. NYC, c.1930.


What's as fascinating as how to make NYC sustainable, is, how will our sustainability plan impact other mayors, other cities? We're (arguably) the nation's only "world city" -- and when something happens here it's picked by media all over the world. In some cases it could bolster what local officials are already trying to do; and maybe light a fire under their keisters in others.

Posted by: Emily Gertz on December 15, 2006 4:11 PM

Looks like The Economist are big fans of our Mayor's plan.
Urban planning
The new New York
From The Economist print edition
Michael Bloomberg sets out a bold new vision for his city

Posted by: Daniel B. Simon on December 18, 2006 2:34 PM