Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been making lot's of moves lately to ensure New York remains the world's greatest city, with efforts to ban transfat, bring talented musicians into the classroom and remake education. Now he also aims to make the city greener and more sustainable, with a concerted strategy to address what I call the "externalities" of the creative age.
According to The Economist: "To Mr Bloomberg, New York is competing—especially with London—to be one of the great cities of the 21st century, attracting the increasingly mobile and wealthy global elite. His plan addresses what he sees as the three chief challenges facing the city as it makes that transition. ... To transform New York into a “sustainable city” Mr Bloomberg has set ten goals, to be monitored by a new Sustainability Advisory Board...The goals include a massive increase in affordable housing; the pledge that every New Yorker will live within ten minutes' walk of a public park; and an overhaul of public transport, including a subway extension. Mr Bloomberg wants New York to have the cleanest air of any big city in America and to reduce emissions that contribute to global warming by 30% by 2030. And he wants to open 90% of the surrounding rivers, harbours and bays for recreation by reducing water pollution and preserving natural spaces. More here.
While Washington buries its proverbial "head" in the sand refusing to even believe the creative age is upon us, mayors like Bloomberg have become the engines of policy innovation developing new strategies not just to accelerate the transition to the creative economy but to begin to address its downsides.