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

Public Safety

  • 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.

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