What Makes a City Great?
In New York City, it was twelve years of billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg. When he was sworn into office on January 2, 2002, the budget was $4 billion in the red. The World Trade Center was only partially cleared after September 11th. Tourists stayed away. People smoked everywhere indoors and out. The High Line was a rusted hulk.
As he leaves office, Mayor Bloomberg and his administration have accomplished the following:
Greenspace & the Environment
- more than 850 acres of parkland added
- 800,000 trees planted
- 16% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since 2005
- New York harbor is the cleanest it's been in 100 years
- October opening of City Water Tunnel No. 3, one of the largest infrastructure projects in the City's history
- New York is the safest large city in the United States
- New York has the fewest murders and shootings in 45 years
- incarceration rates are down 35%
- violent crimes in schools have decreased 59%
Arts, Culture & Tourism
- record 54.3 million visitors in 2013 with a $59 billion annual economic impact
- the arts have a $21 billion annual economic impact supporting more than 320,000 jobs
Jobs & Economy
- surpassed the 1969 record for number of private sector jobs. NYC has gained back 327% of the jobs lost during the last national recession, while the country as a whole has gained back only 87%
- NYC's population reached an all-time record high; for the first time since before 1950 more people are moving into NYC than are leaving
- Record growth in the tech sector; venture capital for tech startups founded in NYC is second only to Silicon Valley
- leaves a 2.4 billion budget surplus
- 470 miles of bike lanes created.
- in the system's first 200 days, Citi Bike users took 5.8 million trips for more than 11 million miles.
- traffic fatalities are down nearly 30% since 2001
- record expansion of transit options through water ferry, bus rapid transit, five borough taxis and bike sharing
- Smoke-Free Air Act
- ban on TransFats
- 50% drop in youth smoking and 28% drop in adult smoking
- life expectancy for New Yorkers increased three years in last decade.
- NYC's air quality has reached the cleanest levels in more than 50 years
Housing & Development
- 37% of the city rezoned
- 160,000 units of affordable housing were built or preserved
- creation of the largest affordable housing plan in the nation
New York is in far better shape than when Bloomberg became mayor. We wish him luck as he becomes a private citizen and takes on various causes like gun control, immigration reform, climate change and healthier citizens.