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New York Magazine Casts a Cynical Eye on “Bloomtopia”

1:59 PM EDT on May 1, 2007

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New York Magazine's Chris Smith, who calls congestion pricing a trojan horse, suspects fewer cars and more trees may be a "green screen" for mayor Bloomberg's real estate development agenda:

MayorBloomberg's Earth Day speech compiled 127 ideas for making the citymore "sustainable" by 2030. But congestion pricing has dominated theconversation ever since. Which may be just what the mayor needs to getthe rest of PlaNYC going.

Last week, the mayor added $150 million to the city budget to launchhis 2030 initiatives. Yet he's deferring some relatively easyfixes like pushing harder to "green" the building code. And thesketchiness of when and how he intends to deliver on the grandest ideasfeeds suspicions that PlaNYC is a green fig leaf for boostingreal-estate development.

Bloomberg has created a profoundly hopeful moment in the environmentallife of the city. It would be truly depressing if the primary result ofthe Olympics bid and PlaNYC turns out to be the same: lots of big newbuildings, only this time with Bloomberg's million new trees growing inthe shadows."

Photo: BigMikeNYC/Flickr

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