February 6, 2007Through Public Meetings and Website Has Received Feedback From Thousands of New Yorkers - Third Phase Planned
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability today announced that it is preparing to launch the third and final phase of a citywide, public outreach effort, after the successful completion of phase two - a series of meetings in all five boroughs with 300 grassroots community leaders who gave their views on sustainability challenges outlined in the Mayor's December 2006, PlaNYC speech. The Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability was created in June, 2006 and is charged with preparing a plan to meet the challenges faced by our growing city.
"We've been having conversations with New Yorkers in all parts of this city. It's not surprising that New Yorkers have innovative ideas about how to address the toughest problems that we're facing because people want to move here, and stay here. We're taking many of these ideas seriously," said Mayor Bloomberg. "As I've said before, every idea is on the table and we'll put our resources into enacting those policies that will positively shape this city for decades to come."
In December, as part of a speech presenting PlaNYC, Mayor Bloomberg announced that the Administration would conduct a major public outreach effort over the next few months, to solicit ideas, get feedback, and build a consensus for the implementation of policies to meet the challenges created by the successes and growth of New York. Due to historically low crime rates, sound fiscal policies that are growing our economy, and an increase in the quality of life here, New York's population is expected to increase by more than one million people over the next three decades. During the speech, the Mayor promised "We're now going to go to the real experts...New Yorkers in all five boroughs."
The Mayor's office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability identified neighborhood leaders and asked them to participate in a public process to help identify ways to meet the city's needs for the future. Last week, the Mayor's Office completed a total of six evening meetings over a three week period with community leaders from this group, in each borough. These meetings were attended by more than 300 participants who were able to speak to representatives from City agencies, including: the Parks Department; Housing Preservation and Development; Economic Development Corporation; Department of Environmental Protection; Department of Transportation; City Planning Commission; Department of Buildings, and the Department of Health. The Borough Presidents of the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island joined the meetings in their respective boroughs.
The city website, www.nyc.gov/planyc2030 invites New Yorkers to offer suggestions for meeting the challenges that the Mayor laid out in his December speech. So far, the website has received 52,000 visits from almost 15,000 unique visitors who have sent more than 2,500 different suggestions. These suggestions have ranged from using an invention to eliminate double-parked cars, to greening our Building Code, to creating more bike lanes, and developing new rapid bus transit routes. The largest numbers of responses, accounting for 45% percent of the feedback, have been about reducing traffic congestion and ensuring that every New Yorker lives within 10 minutes of a park.
In addition, representatives from the Administration have given presentations to the American Planning Association (APA), Regional Plan Association (RPA), The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), New York League of Conservation Voters (NYLCV), the American Institute of Architects, New York New Visions, and managers of the larger business improvement districts.
Phase one of the outreach took place prior to the Mayor's December speech. This phase consisted of meeting with over 50 advocacy organizations. To date, the Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability has met with over 100 organizations, including advocates, trade associations, and unions, as part of efforts that will continue through March.
The third phase of outreach will include a forum with leaders from New York's immigrant communities at Gracie Mansion on February 16th. Issue-oriented meetings and public town hall-style meetings in each borough are expected to begin the week of February 22nd. More information and additional dates will be posted on the website at www.nyc.gov/planyc2030.