“Environmental and economic sustainability must go hand in hand,” declared Mayor de Blasio today as he released the City’s new sustainability and climate resiliency plan: OneNYC.
OneNYC builds on PlaNYC, the multi-pronged “sustainability blueprint” created under the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg. According to de Blasio, OneNYC will expand on the targets established in previous plans, while also incorporating the priorities of his own administration.
Growth, sustainability, and resiliency remain at the core of OneNYC – but equity is now an additional guiding principle throughout the plan.
The City highlighted four goals in its release of OneNYC today:
- Lifting 800,000 New Yorkers out of poverty over the next 10 years
- Zero waste to landfills by 2030
- The cleanest air of any large city, and a dramatic reduction in emissions
- Elimination of long-term displacement from homes and jobs after shock events by 2050
“This is a bold and ambitious plan – and New York City requires nothing less,” de Blasio stated.
The plan is organized around four major “visions”- “Our Growing, Thriving City,” “Our Just and Equitable City,” “Our Sustainable City,” and “Our Resilient City.”
The Challenges Facing New York City
New York City faces a number of challenges, says the City, including a rapidly growing population, rising inequality, an aging infrastructure, and climate change. OneNYC lays out a series of targets and initiatives to “prepare New York City for the future generations,” including:
- Making New York City home to 4.9 million jobs by 2040.
- Creating 240,000 new housing units by 2025, and an additional 250,000 to 300,000 by 2040.
- Enabling the average New Yorker to reach 25% more jobs – or 1.8 million jobs – within 45 minutes by public transit.
- Lifting 800,000 New Yorkers out of poverty or near-poverty by 2025.
- Cutting premature mortality by 25 percent by 2040, while reducing racial/ethnic disparities.
- Reducing the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050, over 2005 levels.
- Sending zero waste to landfills and reducing waste disposal by 90 percent relative to 2005 levels, by 2030.
- Ensuring New York City has the best air quality among all large U.S. cities by 2030.
- Reducing risks of flooding in most affected communities.
- Eliminating long-term displacement from homes and jobs after future shock events by 2050.
- Reducing the city’s Social Vulnerability Index for neighborhoods across the City.
- Reducing annual economic losses from climate-related events.
- Continued investment as part of an over-$20 billion program that includes a range of physical, social, and economic resiliency measures.
Does the City’s Plan Prepare Us Sufficiently for Climate Change?
As you read the City’s plan, here are some questions to consider, especially in its discussion of climate resiliency.
How Will the City Carry Out Its Vision?
The New York League of Conservation Voters applauded the Mayor for “laying out an aspirational vision of the city we want to become, a city that is not only environmentally sustainable but also economically sustainable,” in a statement today.
But, the League added, “as PlaNYC showed us…successfully achieving our ambitious goals requires a roadmap that allows us to measure progress. The de Blasio administration should quickly follow up with an implementation plan that includes funding sources, a timetable, baseline indicators to track progress, and an agency responsible for implementation.”