Who could disagree with Mick Dundee’s 1986 characterization?
Richard Mason: New York City, Mr. Dundee. Home to seven million people.
Michael J. "Crocodile" Dundee: That’s incredible. Imagine seven million people all wanting to live together. Yeah, New York must be the friendliest place on earth.
Since then, the City has grown to almost 8.4 million people. Currently, New York is the 14th largest city in the world, looking only within the City limits, just behind Jakarta, Indonesia and Kinshasa in the Congo. Of course, different countries have different approaches to drawing boundaries, so if you include the metropolitan suburbs, we move up to number 5. But even within city limits, the population is projected to grow to 9.1 million by 2030.
One of Mayor Bloomberg’s accomplishments has been the creation of PlaNYC 2030, a comprehensive strategy to accomodate this growth while at the same time reducing the city’s greenhouse emmissions by 30%, to mitigate the impact on climate change. This strategy was developed under Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff at the peak of the real estate market and Wall Street boom. The collapse of the economy heralded by the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 meant that Bob Leiber, his successor and himself a former Lehman Brothers executive, had far fewer resources with which to work. Now Leiber has returned to the private sector, and Rohit Aggarwala, who developed the Mayor’s sustainability team has left the state. One of the key questions facing City Hall is whether the Administration will continue sustainability as a focus, move more towards basic job creation, or try to fashion a new way of trying to do both. A lot may depend on who fills those shoes.