Futurama 2030: Bloomberg Outlines Ambitious 10-Point Agenda

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Only a couple of hundred yards from the rusting remains of the 1964 World’s Fair, Mayor Michael Bloomberg laid out his own vision for the future of New York City this morning. In a speech entitled "New York City 2030: Accepting the Challenge," the mayor introduced a broad plan for creating a sustainable city "making room for 900,000 new residents, upgrading aging infrastructure, cleaning up pollution, and coping with the effects of global climate change."

bloomberg_small.jpg"With our administration not beholden to special interests or big campaign contributors, we now have the freedom to take on the obstacles looming in the city’s future," said Bloomberg, speaking at the Queens Museum of Art. At the heart of the mayor’s presentation, which had a notable emphasis on environmental concerns, was a sweeping 10-point agenda:

  • Creating housing for nearly a million more New Yorkers, and working to make housing more affordable.
  • Aiming for every New Yorker to live within a 10-minute walk of a park.
  • Adding capacity to mass transit.
  • Backing up the city’s water network.
  • Repairing the city’s transportation infrastructure.
  • Upgrading the city’s energy infrastructure.
  • Reducing the city’s global-warming emissions by more than 30 percent.
  • Achieving the cleanest air quality of any big city in America.
  • Cleaning up all the city’s contaminated land.
  • Opening 90 percent of the city’s waterways to recreation.

Bloomberg underlined the importance of community input in implementing the far-reaching goals, saying that the city has set up a website at www.nyc.gov/planyc2030 to solicit participation.

Then he stepped aside to make way for a diverse panel that gave a foretaste of just how complicated community input can be.

Diana Fortuna, president of the Citizens Budget Commission, got a round of applause from the audience with her mention of congestion pricing to discourage automobile dependence. But Edward Ott of the AFL-CIO quickly countered her. "It cannot just become a burden for the working class, making it more expensive for people to come into the city and move around the city," he said. "Otherwise it’s just another form of regressive taxation."

Later, Dr. Cynthia Rosenzweig, a research scientist at Columbia University, spoke on the importance of New York’s playing a leadership role in energy conservation. That drew another comeback from Ott. "People come to this city to work hard," he said. "They don’t work hard to sit and read in the dark and eat alfalfa sprouts."

Nevertheless, all the panelists seemed to agree with the mayor’s contention that despite the massive scale and expense of the work to be done, it was necessary. "Doing nothing has its costs, too," Bloomberg said. "Economic and environmental costs that will only escalate over the coming years."

"We have to be able to afford it," said Fortuna. "Do we have the discipline?"

When attendees emerged into the cold, gray day, they looked around to get their bearings. The dilapidated hulk of the old New York State Pavilion rose up ahead, the elevator that once took World’s Fair crowds to the top now stuck midway. Just something else that will need to be fixed.

Photos: Sarah Goodyear

  • I already sent a note to my community assistance liason and got a response. I encourage anyone with a local neighborhood group, block association or non-profit interested in working on this issue to contact your local contact in the Administration’s Community Assistance unit.

    And we need to addess the unions. How is it that unions, which were such a force for good change in the earlier progressive era seem to now be the enemies of sustainability? Don’t they realize that far more union jobs are created by mass transit than cars?

    Anyway, as an environmentalist who doesn’t eat alfalfa sprouts I feel we have much to teach Mr. Ott

  • Steve

    As a former union organizer, official and activist, I am embarrassed by the apparent role played by Ott on this panel (assuming he is quoted correctly). I would not expect him to pander so slavishly to with this caricatured knee-jerk antienvironmentalism. Especially with his background in relatively politicized and enlightened unions such as 1199 and CWA. Alfalfa sprouts? Come on.

    It’s leadership like his that has caused organized labor in NYC to dwindle as “Archie Bunker” becomes an endangered species. Forward-looking unions like UAW have withdrawn from the AFL-CIO and launched organizing efforts geared to the realities of the New York economy, like that among the staff at the Strand bookstore. There is every reason to expect a segment of organized labor to support the “streets renaissance agenda,” unless their voices are drowned out by morons like Ott.

  • Glenn, I agree with you that the Unions should be our natural ally here. They are a acting ideological when it comes to these issues, and I don’t understnad why…I mean Mr. Ott went as far as to refuse calling green buildings ‘green’, what did he call them? ‘high intesity buildings’ or something like that?

  • mfs

    high-performance buildings. it’s a legitimate term and one used by the US Green Building Council. Ott’s been a big champion of that issue.

  • Mike

    Ed Ott is one of the good guys in the labor movement – it’s sad to hear him sounding like such a moron. I wonder what the internal politics of the CLC are in this situation. It would seem that municipal unions would benefit from all the new money coming in from congestion pricin. Even if it were earmarked for transportation, it definitely puts the city in better fiscal shape. Transit benefits, obviously. Construction workers drive, but they’d also benefit from new subway projects. Cops and fireman drive, but most don’t work in the zone. We know how the parking garage workers feel. I don’t see too many obvious winners and losers among unions.

    Also, almost all union officials drive to work, (though I did see Victor Gotbaum on a subway platform once). Congestion pricing would definitely shorten their commutes.

  • JK

    Correction
    Referring to congestion pricing, Ed Ott said “Regressive,” not “progressive taxation.”
    Otherwise it’s just another form of REGRESSIVE taxation.

    When you say union in NYC, you mainly mean government employees. As Bruce Schaller showed, government employees drive at a much higher rate than other commuters into the CBD. Even if 75% of Ed Ott’s union constituents would benefit from CBD pricing, their benefit is perceived as diffuse compared to the specific cost to those who currently drive.

  • JK

    Usually, when a public policy (like congestion pricing) imposes a specific cost on a minority of the population and a diffuse benefit to the majority, the minority can prevent movement.

    Likewise, a policy that creates a specific benefit for a minority and diffuse cost for the majority (like targeted tax breaks or bike lanes or BRT)are relatively easier to implement.

  • mfs

    I just watched the video of the panel and there is some major misunderstanding of Ed Ott in the comments here. He said “if you don’t do the transit [investment] you shouldn’t do congestion pricing.” I think most advocates of congestion pricing would agree.

    He also mentioned a number of other strategies that Partnership for NYC report last week said must be pursued like off-street or underground loading docks, incentivizing off-peak deliveries, etc.

    Sorry to sound like a labor partisan, but Ed really is super smart and I think there is a misunderstanding of what he’s saying here.

  • did we misunderstand the alfalfa sprouts comment?
    yes he is totally correct on those points
    if the city implelemented congestion charging without any transit investment (BRT) than it would most likely fail and never be considered again in the future…so we should try to get it right the first time (if we can)

  • someguy

    awww lighten up about the sprouts.. 98% of NYC are NOT wonks like us. it’s good to have a diversity of opinions for an effort as substantial and potentially controversial as this.
    *happily munching my alfalfa like a rabbit*

  • JK

    From a transportation policy perspective, Ed Ott is plain wrong to oppose CBD pricing and doesn’t have much of a leg to stand on.

    Coupling approval of CBD pricing to meaningful BRT service from the peripheries of the boroughs to the CBD is problematic. To really speed up buses will mean radical changes on already jammed city arterials like Qns and Northern Blvd, and creating seamless transit lanes (and possibly price those lanes) on area highways, plus CBD pricing to reduce traffic at the bridges and tunnels entering the city. Good hub bound BRT can’t be a prerequisite for CBD pricing, it’s a possible benefit.

    It’s doubtful that BRT from Eastern Queens, Bklyn, SI or Northern Bronx can (or could even with pricing in place) compete with the speed and convenience of the kind of door to door car trips with free permit parking that some municipal workers enjoy today. When it comes to commuting, they are truly the Princes of the City.

  • Brian

    Ed Ott’s attitude was very disappointing. As an architect i’m very aware of unions not being proactive with new technology and innovations. His quote about “high-performance” buildings is disturbing as well. The goal is for sustainable and LEED certified buildings to become the standard, not the exception.

  • Steve

    I haven’t had time to review Ott’s comments myself (someone please let me know if they are transcribed somewhere). However the alfalfa comment (assuming he made it) is name-calling and completely inappropriate.

    As most know, Ott was thrust into his current role less than two months ago when his predecessor, Brian McLaughlin, was arrested under a 46-count indictment for embezzling and other crimes. It is certainly possible that Ott, the public policy director of the CLC under McLaughlin, is a horse of a different color. He has pledged to reinvigorate the CLC’s commitment to new organizing (something that is desperately needed but which union leadership rarely follows through on because it can destabilize their position). However we have not had a chance to see him do anything as head of CLC–in his former post he advocated for the positions of organized labor; that was his job.

    Using his bully pulpit as a member of the sustainability group to ridicule the MAINSTREAM and hardly radical environmental advocates in the group as sprout-eaters who would have us all sit in the dark in order to save electricity strikes me as pandering designed to bolster his support with the most backward elements in his constituency. We will see if this signals the tone and quality of his leadership of the CLC.

  • Mike

    Notwithstanding JK’s observations, if I’m a municipal labor leader I’m automatically in favor of anything that brings in more revenue for the city, especially when we’re talking hundreds of millions annually.

  • Mike

    I seem to remember Ott running a progressive CWA local in the 80’s. Can anyone refresh my memory?

  • JK

    Mike,

    In NYC, you’d be a labor leader automatically by yourself if you supported congestion pricing or East River Bridge tolls. Last time I checked, zero unions endorsed pricing — including TWU 100. The TWU was asked to conditionally endorse bridge tolls in 2002 if the money was put into the transit system. They said no.

  • Mike

    Even TWU? Wow!

  • mfs

    1:06:15 in the video:

    Tom Brokaw: Well part of the culture at the moment is not less is more, but more is more. Um, that is celebrated in the tabs and on television and [everywhere else].

    Ed Ott: People come to this city to work hard. They didn’t come to this city to work hard so they can live in the dark and eat alfalfa sprouts. [laughter from crowd]

    It’s a good line, but I’m trying to make a serious point here. The thing that’s important is some of our problems are rooted in privilege. And people want high-rise apartments on the river with all of the accouterments. But they don’t want to have real rational planning on where the power’s coming from, what neighborhoods those get put in, and we have to get very careful as we go forward that we plan this properly. So people have the benefits of a hard-working life, but they don’t have it at some other community’s expense.

    Majora Carter: I think that’s one thing we can all agree with.

  • Random thought: How about including some “HOT” lanes in the outer boros that feed into the congestion zone, and are included in the price. E.g. one lane on the LIE that only people who have paid the daily congestion charge for the Manhattan CBD can use? Could that work?

  • Nicolo Macchiavelli

    I know everybody bears a torch for the labor movement, and feels obliged to weigh in on how Ed Ott’s positions dominated Mayor Bloombergs at this conference but I have a few disagreements with the debate. Besides that its focused on Ott in place of Bloomberg. Whassup with the Bloomberg states his position (platform after the election) Ed Ott comments and becomes the story.

    I think this is what psychologists call transference. Since the politics of actually winning congestion pricing are very complicated and problematic it is much easier to focus on someone other than ourselves who has some degree of political power. The labor movement is a substantial political power in NYC and probably always will be. However, don’t expect them to carry the congestion pricing ball politically for you. And I hate to alert you but everything you want to do, all the whiz bang technology gizmos, tolling the bridges, taking away lanes of traffic for BRT, 2nd Ave Subway, East Side Access, all of it, has to go through Albany.

    And there are a few basic misconceptions about Ed Ott, the CLC and the unions in NYC, NYS and the US.

    1) you should not confuse historic militancy with progressive politics. Take the UAW since Steve went on, founded in militant struggle, but hand in hand with the the industry fighting CAFE. Have you ever been to Detroit, a city dominated by the union and the industry, empty center ghetto with a few coliseums, casinos and conventions centers (lots of parking, cheap). Miles of interstate everywhere, huge trucks, New Urbanism its not. UMW and USWA, the founding union of the CIO, “carbon emissions, what carbon emissions”.
    Also, the UAW is still in the AFL-CIO as oppoosed to the Teamsters IBT (now theres a progressive group) who left.

    2) Steve is also of the opinion that unions do not organize because it threatens their power. While there may be a couple who have that as their “motivation” not to do something, for the most part organizing is very difficult and the laws are stacked against us.

    3) Mike thinks the private unions in NYC are powerless. Well they were powerful enough to keep Brian McLaughlin in power for more than a decade. And they have peopled the leadership of the central labor council since its creation. They are called the Building Trades and yes Ed Ott needs their votes on the Executive Council to continue as leader. Maybe a few punchlines about sprout eating can help him do that. Go by the “Sticks and Stones” rule.

    JK, moreso, was oblivious to the long-term domination of the Building Trades. Ironically, while the Building Trades focus on Ed Otts behavior more than you do, the immigrant guys are eating their lunch on all the small reconstruction and rehabilitation jobs around the city. Their only real handle is on mega projects like Atlantic Center. Meanwhile the death toll among immigrant construction workers hits the ceiling (try Jimmy Breslin’s magnificent book, “The Short Sweet Dream of Edmund Guttierez”).

    4)JK has determined Ed is weak from a “transportation policy perspective”. While I may concur that Congestion Pricing is an excellent policy path for all of us the case has not been made to the people who keep Ed in power. Some may actually believe it or know it but if their members do not it really doesn’t matter to the leaders. Because, believe it or not labor leaders don’t try to get too far out in front of their members. Why? you ask. Because to some extent, despite everything you read, unions are basically democracies, for the most part parliamentary democracies.

    Again, since you haven’t convinced people in actual power (Bloomberg, Silver, Bruno and Spitzer) who can actually make it happen it is much easier to attack Ed Ott for not sacrificing himself and many of the members for good transportation policy.

    5) But it is mostly the political component that you miss. Ed Ott, on this matter, is not far from fucking Bloomberg and he is the mayor. Its not like Bloomberg is doing back flips over the Partnership report. Its basically outer borough versus Manhattan along the same lines as private unions versus public unions. And, even if you had all five boroughs lined up, even if Markowitz and Weprin wanted it, even if Shelly Silver was rallying the Assembly, and Spitzer laid it all on the line in the first part of his term, even then you would need Bruno to do it. Thats the way it works.

    Work hard try to meet with Ed and the Building Trades try to establish the Logic of Collective Action. Its easy to make the case the 1199 and DC 37, all you have to do is tell them you will have more money to pay for health care. But you have to make the case to a high-school educated guy in Queens who drives to a job site in Yonkers, makes about $70,000 a year and already owns two cars. Oh by the way, he won’t be at any rallys or read this blog, he’ll be watching TV.

  • momos

    Glenn is right, the unions need to be addressed. There is plenty of material in the Partnership for NYC report for this.

    Everyone should fully read the report. It contains many startling findings. Here are several that relate unions:

    Construction
    “For the construction sector, excess congestion causes a loss across all of the counties within the metropolitan region. Increased operating costs are estimated by HDR [the economists hired by the Partnership] at $155.7 million a year. Revenue losses are estimated at $1.3 billion annually and overall employment losses at 5,200 full-time positions.” (p.35)

    Wholesale
    “The effect [of congestion] in this sector is seen entirely as an increase in operating costs — almost $1.3 billion a year across the entire region and $688.1 million in the Manhattan CBDs. (p.36)

    Taxis
    “Excess congestion is estimated to reduce the number of trips a taxi cab driver can make in a shift by 5.3 trips in the Manhattan CBDs… Those 5.3 additional trips are worth roughly $8,000 a year per driver in lost income. Over the industry sector, this results in a loss of $181.5 million annually.” (p.36)

    Services & repair
    “In the Manhattan CBDs — the only area where data for this sector is available — excess congestion results in one fewer trip per driver per day, resulting in a loss of $7,000 in annual income per driver.” (p.36)

    Also noteworthy is the dramatic harm the report finds done to manufacturing:

    Across all sectors in the NYC region due to traffic congestion… (p.31)
    -44.5% of all losses in business revenue is borne by the manufacturing sector (1st place)
    -12.9% of all increases in business costs are borne by the manufacturing sector (2nd place)
    -38.9% of all job losses are in the manufacturing sector (1st place)

    Lastly, the report contains major findings for the outer boroughs. It turns out the boroughs and inner-ring suburbs are swamped with Manhattan-bound auto traffic. Using a hypothetical 15% reduction in vehicle trips south of 59th in Manhattan, the report finds the following reductions in vehicle hours traveled (p.15):
    Long Island City: -27%
    Greenpoint/Williamsburg: -24%
    Downtown Brooklyn: -29%
    125th St Harlem: -14%

  • P

    Unions are starting to realize there are jobs in making the city better as well:

    http://www.apolloalliance.org/state_and_local/New_york/index.cfm

    (Unfortunately the NYC version of the site isn’t live now)

  • I couldn’t find an article from the NY Times today about the sustainability speech. Their city/metro section really needs to get on the ball…

    NY Post:

    Moving on, no presidential attention-getting address is complete without a genuflection toward “global warming” – and, sure enough, Mike wants to cut emissions in the city some 30 percent by 2030. (He has a head start on that, of course: His administration has been blocking the construction of new electrical power plants in the city for years.) Bloomberg is, of course, correct to call attention to Gotham’s decaying infrastructure. And someday he might even have standing to do so. That would be right after he gets the water bills straightened out.

    Daily News

    No modern mayor has advanced an agenda that large and specific, particularly in the face of huge obstacles. (For example, where exactly will new power plants be built?) But, by his count, Bloomberg has 1,114 days left in his mayoralty. Go to it, Mike.

    Streetsblog:

    More on sustainable transportation please, but hold the alfalfa sprouts

  • They had an indepth segment on the sustainability speech on NY1 (Road to City Hall) last night, plus an interview with Dan Doctoroff…Anybody see it?

  • I saw clips from Doctoroff’s interview this morning… the clip they featured was him plugging Mayor Mike for Prez…

  • Steve

    A retraction and some comments:

    1. After reading the verbatim transcription by mfs (thanks!), which provides context for the “alfalfa” comment, I see that Ott’s comment was a bit ironic, in service to a sophisticated point regarding the often zero-sum politics of environmental protection, and not really objectionable. That teaches me to rely on summaries such as in this post.

    2. I agree with Nicolo that the labor laws are stacked against workers that want to organize, and against worker’s organization. But unfortunately all these pressures lead even the most militant union leaders to become conservative and avoid new organizing and other risky ventures in order to protect past gains. And less militant, less rank-and-file-oriented union leaders all too often are afraid of the influxes of new, politicized members that new organizing brings, and all too often prefer to ride out a stable but slowly decaying membership base into oblivion.

    3. Public employee unions don’t really organize the way private sector unions do and operate in a legal environment that tends to make them even more bureaucratic and non-democratic in substance than private sector unions (this is obviously a generalization; democracy appears to be alive and well at Local 100 TWU and certain other unions. And the fact that District 65 UAW in NYC strives to practice democracy in substance and takes the risks inherent in organizing “new economy” workers does not necessarily mean that the international UAW in Detroit is the same kind of organization). At the same time, public union leadership is often under less external pressure and so often has the flexibility to be a bit more creative when it comes to “non-core” issues, such as whether organized labor in NYC favors “sustainability.”

    4. As the leader of the NYC CLC, which has a very large proportion of public employees, Ott represents a diverse constituency that includes the entire range from highly paid professionals to poorly paid laborers. Regardless of socioeconomic status these are all NEW YORKERS and in most cases are savvy enough to “get” sustainability if it is explained to them. They won’t find that explanation in the NY times, which devoted all of 104 words to the Mayor’s address, too many of which described his bathrobe: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/13/nyregion/13mbrfs-future.html. They could get that explanation from Ott, if he is inclined to do so. In fact, Ott is the only one that a large segment of NYC Union members will listen to. So he could play a crucial role in moving public opinion, particularly given the Mayor’s characteristically wimpy advocacy in this area. Alternatively, Ott can try to pander to the misconceptions of his perceived “base” and get lots of media attention as the source of controversy in the sustainability group. I’ll sit through the tape and decide for myself which way he is tending.

  • v

    wow…was this really a speech on sustainability? i really can’t tell. seriously.

    ex: backing up the water network? uh, mike, that’s is an infrastructure improvement, not a move toward more responsible use. even if he’s pro-developer, how about *cutting* water use, reusing 50% of construction waste, increasing the average energy efficiency of all nyc buildings by 25%? or, wow, we could maybe not give developers a blank check. oh, but that’s crazy!

  • v

    also, cheers to momos. great summary.

  • JK

    Agreed that the spotlight should be kept on Bloomberg. It was a bit stunning that in this “ambitious” speech, he didnt mention a reduction in automobile use or change in “mode share” or specific goal for increases in transit or walking or cycling — something that Chicago, London and Paris have all done. The mayor put a number on the number of new “affordable” housing units: 500k. But the transportation goals were extremely vague. I’d give him an “F” on transportation vision.

    And no, Niccolo, I havent forgotten the building trades or the myriad of other interests that must be consulted and informed about the costs and benefits of congestion pricing. This educational effort is in its infancy, and it will take intense effort by the mayor and governor to create a public consensus, including support from major unions, that will win pricing. Until such an outreach effort is launched, pricing will not have a serious chance.

  • someguy

    Bloomberg’s major weakness, his achilles hill in pushing innovative policies, is his wealth and much-focused-on “disconnect” from the “average” New Yorker. I think his politics have gotten savvier with time and he’s less and less inclinced to propose ‘progressive’ policies that don’t already have proven grassroots support. I do think that Doctoroff (whose plan this really is) and his staff are committed to incorporating sustainability to a significant level, but they are cloaking the sustainability aspect of it in more no-brainer things like energy & water security, cleaner waterways, improved infrastructure, etc. When it comes down to it I think they are announcing a big effort in a modest way, so as to avoid that characterization as intellectual bureaucrats who care nothing about the “average” New Yorker with their high-minded talk of “sustainability”. After this public comment period is over and they announce more substantial policies, I optimistically think it will be more green than you think from this first unveiling speech.

  • someguy

    Following up on what I just said, a good example came to mind: By focusing on expanding transit capacity as one of their major goals, they are not talking about the big question mark that that goal raises: how do we pay for it? And that may be where the fun stuff (for us high-minded progressive alfalfa types) gets teased out in the next couple of months.

  • JK and others have nailed a significant point. The tiny minority of drivers that this will affect have the rest of us hostage, and seem to have a firm grip on popular (even if errant) perceptions that this is another tax.

    Has anyone looked closely at that actual number of Manhattan CBD commuters from Queens represented by the “Keep NYC Congestion Pricing Free” group? Weprin probably represents the most, and it’s just over 5,000 daily drivers as far as I can tell from the Manhattan Institute study (out of closed to 1M daily drivers to the CBD, or 3.6 M daily CBD commuters/visitors).

    From a 2002 report by KEA on bridge tolls:
    http://www.bridgetolls.org/whowillpay/whowillpay_revised.pdf
    See table 6 on page 13 in particular.

    Very few New Yorkers will be hit hard by the tolls. The 98% of New York City
    residents of driving age (ages 18-80) who do not drive daily to work on an East River
    bridge will spend, on average, less than $50 a year in East River bridge tolls.

    Regular users of the East River bridges tend to be relatively well-off. Compared to
    their neighbors who don’t drive to work via an East River bridge, bridge commuters
    earn, on average, $14,300 a year more.

    Toll revenue from non-residents of New York City will replace a third or more of the
    revenue lost when the commuter tax was repealed in 1999.

    While more than half of the tolls will be paid by residents of Brooklyn and Queens,
    the prospective toll burden on either borough is lighter than the cost to Manhattanites
    of the residential property tax surcharge enacted as a budget-balancing measure last
    fall. Seen in this context, bridge tolls look more like equity than highway robbery.

  • P

    “The tiny minority of drivers that this will affect have the rest of us hostage”

    I imagine that was the case in ripping down the Els and the street cars in the first place as well.

  • Nicolo Macchiavelli

    Also, methinks the Queens politicians protesteth too much regarding MTA service. The last large expansion of service came with the fare-increas, MetroCard, end of two fare zones alignment of planets. Those same constituents were the big winners then, but they seem to have forgotten that.

    Regarding the union issues, the dichotomy in the Central Labor Council has been amplified by the demise of the manufacturing unions, the ILGWU(now UNITE) as a function of NAFTA. Many others were driven down by public policies that moved the port to Jersey with containerization and erased the elctrical district in lower Manhattan. This preceded Bloomberg but his vision of the city as a playground for the rich and the residentialization of industrial areas of the city will only further erode manufacturing in the city.
    The Central Labor Council has been instrumental in fighting the Big Box phenomena though not always with success. There are many posiblities for alliances but a lot of people have to be convinced about Congestion Pricing and the groundwork has yet to begin.

  • someguy

    The downsides of the unions probably outweigh the upsides of the unions at this point in time. It’s too bad we have to pander to them at all, so neanderthal is their thinking. I’d be more interested in hearing the hopes and dreams of non-unionized low-income immigrant workers than spoiled, exclusivist union members at this point. My personal opinion.

  • Nicolo Macchiavelli

    Gee,someguy,if only those low income immigrant workers could vote, you might be somewhere using them as the point of the spear. Though if they told you their dreams it would probably be a good union job with health benefits, in fact I know a few hipsters who have that same dream. Try the Breslin book I recommended.

  • Rex

    Setting goals, whether it is ten or thousands also suggests the need for comment on the process of setting them. If these goals can be set firmly with the intent of producing a clear set of objective then the goals of become renewable because objectives measure progress.

    Building a constituency for long term planning is the work of institutions and the people that lead them and serve them. It will be useful to test the language and products of the Mayors office. For example, a stated goal is to make a park available to every New Yorker within a ten-minute walk. If objectives are set there would be a open well publicized plan, schedule, and remedy for the areas of NYC where a 10-minute walk does not lead to a park or accessible waterway.

    The affordability of housing question is even more daunting. Defining NYC’s maximum build out is a capacity issue assigned to the location of every square foot of real estate. It also means restricting the pace of NYC “max” build-out whatever that may be, but given the goals it is based on principles not tested in law. (zoning, and land use regulations defining roads/railways/bikeways) Between the lines, this website says overdevelopment is less of an issue than the hectic pace of it is this “frenzy” that is staring NYC squarely in its aging face. If it is the pace and not the mass, then the City Council’s representation of the housing needs in NYC is right on the 421a issue and the risk is worth taking to find out. We shall see.

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