NEW YORK CITY-Tuesday in a speech at a meeting of the League of Conservation Voters, Mayor Michael Bloomberg broke down the various areas of New York City that will need extra attention in the years to come and outline a sustainability plan to reach through 2030. Number one on the list is housing concerns.
In January, Bloomberg asked Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff to create a long-term land-use plan. From that initiative came the realization that New York needed a sustainability plan, not a land-use plan. Within three months the mayor plans to have proposals in order to reach the goals. He is calling the process Plan-Y-C. With the newly created Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability, the Bloomberg identified three major areas of concern the city will be forced to tackle in the next quarter of a century.
“First, we are getting bigger,” Bloomberg said. “By 2030, projections show that our city will add nearly one million more people, along with millions of additional tourists and three-quarters of a million new jobs. Second our infrastructure will be getting older–more than a century old in many places. And it will be under increasing pressure.”
The mayor said that by 2030 New York City’s population will be equal to adding the residents of Boston and Miami into the boroughs. “The result is a surge that is taking our population to new heights and out city into uncharted waters,” Bloomberg said. Housing, parks and transportation will be needed for the additional residents.
Housing, especially affordable housing is key. The first goal Bloomberg outlined was, “Creating enough housing for almost a million more people, and finding even more creative ways to make housing more affordable for more New Yorkers.” Earlier in the year, the mayor launched the New Housing Marketplace Plan. The initiative calls for the construction and preservation of 500,000 affordable housing units by 2013. But Bloomberg admitted yesterday that even that was not enough, “with more than a third of New York City renters already paying more than half their income on rent, we can’t let that pressure on family budgets grow any worse.” As GlobeSt.com reported the mayor is also backing proposed legislation that calls for 421-a tax abatements to be given only to developers who include affordable housing as a portion of the development project.
Bloomberg also called for work to be done on the city’s modes of transportation. He said creating cleaner and safer subways helped increase ridership but that now makes “some commutes more of an up-close-and-personal experience than we’d like.” Last month the government began issuing bonds to fund the extension of the No.7 subway line to 11th Avenue and 34th Street. The current line stops at the Times Square station at Seventh Avenue and 41st Street. Construction is slated to begin next summer but will most likely not be complete until 2013. The subway line will better connect the developing Hudson Yards area to transportation.
The mayor’s list for sustainability also included creating back-up systems for the city’s water; repairing the area’s highways, roads and rails; upgrading the energy system; cutting down of global warming emissions; cleaning contaminated land; and giving every resident a park within 10-minute walk from home.