Our history and our future meet in the present. The choices we make now to chart a new course will define us for generations to come.
If we don’t choose wisely, New York City risks becoming a place where it is more difficult for all residents to live full and secure lives, and for their families to thrive. The vast majority of New Yorkers want to choose wisely in this critical moment. And they know the city is in the strongest position in generations — with the wealth, talent, resources, and determination — to succeed.
OneNYC 2050 is our long-term blueprint to transform New York City. It looks ahead 30 years into the middle of the 21st century and ambitious goals for what New York City should be in 2050, when a child in their Universal Pre-K classroom today will be in the workforce and possibly with a family of their own. What opportunities exist for them to build their lives and pursue their passions? What is the condition of their neighborhood, their city, their planet? OneNYC 2050 imagines the city we’d proudly pass on to the next generation and it identifies the essential actions we must take now to realize that ambition.
- An empowered public is imperative for the success of our democracy. Therefore, we must create A Vibrant Democracy that welcomes newcomers and engages all New Yorkers in civic life.
- Economic security and dignity are essential to overcoming long-standing inequities and creating a city where who you are doesn’t determine your success. Therefore, we must build An Inclusive Economy that attracts and grows good-paying jobs and guarantees fair wages and dignified work conditions.
- Our lives are better and our social ties are stronger when New Yorkers feel secure in their communities. Therefore, we must support Thriving Neighborhoods with safe, affordable housing and ample community resources.
- Health care is a human right. Therefore, we must promote Healthy Lives by guaranteeing access to quality health care and a healthy environment for all, regardless of neighborhood, income, race or ethnicity, or gender.
- A quality education is an essential step to building a fulfilling life. Therefore, we must provide Equity and Excellence in Education with a focus on creating strong schools that reflect the diversity of thought, backgrounds, and experiences of the communities they serve.
- Inaction on climate change will impact every corner of the city, with disproportionate harm to our most vulnerable residents. Therefore, we must secure A Livable Climate for the next generation with a just transition that ends our reliance on fossil fuels, fully prepares for the impacts of climate change, and achieves climate justice.
- Access to affordable, reliable, safe, and sustainable transportation is central to New York’s competitiveness and livability. Therefore, we must ensure Efficient Mobility for all by restoring our subways and buses to world-class status so no New Yorker needs to rely on a car.
- Resilient infrastructure is the foundation on which we build a strong and fair city. Therefore, we will invest in Modern Infrastructure that serves the needs of New Yorkers and creates the systems to better deliver that infrastructure.
OneNYC 2050 consists of 8 goals and 30 initiatives that comprise a strategy to prepare New York City for the future. Each goal represents an aspiration for the city and offers initiatives for City leaders and the leaders that follow, and a model for our global peers. Separate volumes outline the context for each goal and strategic actions the City will pursue in the coming years.
IN 2050, NEW YORK CITY WILL HAVE:
A Vibrant Democracy
Nationally and globally, renewed forces of exclusion — nationalism, anti-immigrant sentiment, and hate crimes — threaten the values and communities that make New York City a model of inclusion around the world, while declining trust in government and civic institutions weakens our cohesion as a city. To strengthen our local democracy, the City will reduce barriers to participation in civic life, expand voting rights, promote naturalization and expanded resources for immigrants, and address disparities across race and gender. We will ensure all New Yorkers are counted in the 2020 Census, educated in the foundations of the democratic process, equipped to combat misinformation, and able to influence their communities, while continuing to build our leadership in the global community.
By bringing all New Yorkers into our civic and democratic life, we will repair our strained social bonds and work together to solve our shared challenges.
An Inclusive Economy
Despite a growing economy and record-low unemployment, many working New Yorkers remain economically insecure and face poor working conditions. The changing nature of work has increased job insecurity and widened the skills gap for quality jobs. To create economic opportunity for all New Yorkers, the City will attract and grow good-paying, accessible jobs by supporting critical growth sectors such as technology and the green economy, as well as small businesses. We will ensure workers are paid well, treated fairly, and have access to secure benefits; prepare workers for jobs of the future; promote economic democracy that benefits locally owned and operated businesses; and strengthen the City’s long-term fiscal health.
By promoting inclusive growth, we will correct historical inequities and ensure all New Yorkers benefit from New York City’s economic strength.
As our population continues to grow, our neighborhoods face increasing unaffordability driven by a shortage of housing and parks, cultural spaces, and other community facilities in need of investment. To ensure our neighborhoods are able to thrive, the City will protect tenants from harassment and displacement, build and preserve affordable housing, and increase the supply of housing to bring down costs. To accommodate growth and address a history of unequal investment, the City will commit to safety and high-quality parks, cultural centers, and other community spaces in all communities, and double down on integrated place-based planning to create complete and thriving communities.
By investing in our neighborhoods equitably, we will ensure New York City remains a place that people of all incomes and backgrounds can call home.
While New Yorkers enjoy a longer life expectancy than residents of any other big city in America, there are major gaps in the health outcomes of different groups. These disparities fall closely along racial and ethnic lines, driven by a range of inequities in income, housing, and education. To eliminate health disparities, the City will continue to guarantee high-quality, affordable, accessible care for all New Yorkers, and promote equity by tackling the health needs of vulnerable communities. The City will make healthy choices easy and accessible to New Yorkers in all neighborhoods, and will protect our environment to support health, well-being, and environmental justice
By achieving health equity and eliminating racial disparities, we will enable all New Yorkers to lead longer, fuller lives and enjoy a healthier environment.
Equity & Excellence in Education
The legacy of segregation and devaluation — in funding and perceptions — of low-income communities of color has created stark inequities in New York City’s public school system. To eliminate gaps in educational outcomes, the City will increase investment in early childhood education — the foundation of success — by expanding 3-K for All and focusing on early literacy. We will upgrade our school buildings and ensure all students have access to algebra, computer science, and AP courses, as well as college-prep programs. And we will implement restorative practices, continue implicit-bias training, and increase the diversity and inclusiveness of our classrooms, so that all students have an equal opportunity to succeed.
By creating diverse and fair schools, we will empower the next generation of New Yorkers to support their families, become active citizens, and pursue their dreams.
A Livable Climate
Climate change is real and poses an existential threat to humanity. The impacts are already being felt around the world and in our neighborhoods. To lead the global fight against climate change, the city will achieve carbon neutrality by electrifying the city, investing in clean electricity, making deep cuts in energy use, and promoting sustainable transportation. We will strengthen communities, buildings, infrastructure, and the waterfront in the face of climate change. We will divest City pension funds from fossil fuels, invest in climate solutions, and create green jobs in a new clean economy. And we will facilitate a just transition by ensuring the costs and benefits are shared equitably so no community is left behind.
By transitioning to a future that is free from fossil fuels, we will protect New Yorkers and be a global example, while preparing for a changing climate and pursuing accountability.
Our transit system is in crisis due to decades of underinvestment and mismanagement. As service declines, those who can afford it are shifting to for-hire vehicles or buying their own car to get around, thereby increasing street traffic. Those who can’t find alternatives are stuck on slow and unreliable transit. To guarantee all New Yorkers have access to safe and affordable mobility, the City will invest in and advocate for major upgrades to our bus, subway, bike, and road networks, while reducing gridlock through a fair congestion pricing program and tougher enforcement. We will eliminate traffic and pedestrian fatalities, and fight for effective regional transportation and freight mobility.
By creating an efficient transportation network, we will ensure all New Yorkers are able to get around safely and affordably, returning hours to their lives while combating climate change.
New York City’s critical infrastructure is essential to the smooth functioning of both the city and the local and regional economy. Yet much of this infrastructure is in need of investment. Inequitable access to digital infrastructure restricts economic mobility. To meet the needs of a growing city, we will make forward-looking investments in core physical infrastructure, emergency management, and hazard mitigation. The City will invest in digital infrastructure to support connectivity for all New Yorkers, and we will support modern best practices for maintaining and delivering infrastructure to make sure public dollars are spent wisely and have the broadest impact.
By upgrading our infrastructure and leveraging technology, we will ensure the safe and reliable operation of the systems that keep our city running and help reduce the digital divide.
The Values of OneNYC 2050
In 2015, Mayor de Blasio fundamentally reframed how the City thinks about long-term planning when he said the City must “make sure that as we build a stronger, more sustainable, and more resilient city, we are also creating a more equitable one.” This statement is the starting point for thinking about how to address the challenges facing New York City, and informs the five values that are woven throughout OneNYC 2050:
Equity is the bedrock of our future vision for New York City. New Yorkers deserve fair pay and benefits, opportunities for economic advancement, and a secure retirement. Children from all neighborhoods are entitled to a quality education and a chance to pursue their dreams. No New Yorker should face higher health risks or lower life expectancy because of where they live. All communities should be safe, and all residents treated with dignity and respect no matter their gender or race. And all New Yorkers should have a voice in our city’s future.
Growth is essential to creating a strong and fair city. A growing population supports diversity and injects new energy into our neighborhoods. A growing economy supports new jobs and provides tax revenue to fund schools, transit, and other public services. Growth keeps New York City competitive with peer cities around the world. But at a time of rising housing costs and economic uncertainty, growth alone is not enough. As we grow, we must ensure our neighborhoods remain livable and affordable, and that all New Yorkers benefit — not just the few.
Sustainability is how New York City secures our future. With the world’s largest subway, and dense, walkable neighborhoods, New Yorkers have long left a lighter environmental footprint than other Americans — but we need to go much further to preserve our way of life. We need to eliminate our contributions to climate-change-causing GHG emissions, and build neighborhoods and infrastructure that support sustainable lifestyles and consumption, while creating economic opportunity for all.
Resiliency is both a defining feature of New Yorkers and a necessity as we face an increasingly uncertain future. New York City has faced and overcome catastrophic disasters, from 9/11 to Hurricane Sandy, and emerged stronger through the strength and resolve of our people. Now more than ever we need to ready our neighborhoods, economy, and public services to withstand the impacts of climate change and other 21st century threats — from cyber threats to public health epidemics — and emerge stronger.
Diversity & Inclusion
Diversity & Inclusion defines who we are as a city. For centuries, New York City has welcomed people from all cultures, religions, and identities. New Yorkers take pride in the incredibly diverse mix of people we encounter every day. Our city is strongest when we celebrate our diversity and aim to create a city where people from all backgrounds can find their way and contribute to their communities and city
We will build a strong and fair city. We will be OneNYC. Join us.
In 2007, New York City released PlaNYC 2030, a successful effort to bring sustainability planning to New York City and confront the challenges of the time: namely economic and population
growth and their impacts on infrastructure. In 2013, the devastation of Hurricane Sandy led to the creation of a first-ever resiliency plan to prepare for the growing risks of climate change.
With OneNYC: The Plan for a Strong and Just City in 2015, Mayor de Blasio expanded on this foundation, broadening the City’s thinking about strategic threats and articulating equity as a strategic goal for the first time. It is in this context that we offer OneNYC 2050 to define our future and chart a course to get there. OneNYC 2050 takes a global perspective on the long-term needs of the city and how we must grow responsibly and sustainably while supporting the well-being of all New Yorkers.
OneNYC is a major component of the tool kit that guides the City’s long-term strategy, complementing the Ten-Year Capital Strategy, annual socioeconomic reports, Citywide Statements of Needs, and Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, and other strategic plans on specific topics. Collectively, with OneNYC, these plans represent a comprehensive strategy to tackle the challenges of today, and secure a strong and fair future for New Yorkers.
Achieving the OneNYC Vision
To track New York City’s overall progress, OneNYC 2050 establishes 10 indicators that, collectively, represent a strong and fair city. The indicators include several featured in the original OneNYC that remain our guideposts. Others step up earlier targets and set higher goals to reflect the growing urgency of the work we need to do. Finally, several indicators acknowledge new challenges and a renewed vision for what a successful, fair city looks like.
The indicators intentionally cut across challenges, goals, and the work of any one agency to reflect the interconnectedness of the actions required to achieve the OneNYC 2050 vision. The City will track and publish these indicators every year to assess our progress and course-correct as needed. We invite New Yorkers to hold us accountable.
In addition to these primary indicators, each of the 30 OneNYC 2050 initiatives includes a set of secondary indicators to measure success. For a complete list of OneNYC indicators, including progress on past plans, visit nyc.gov/onenyc.
To complement these targets, New York City is also exploring methods to measure overall quality of life in the city — the ultimate metric of success for building a future that serves all New Yorkers.
Implementing the 30 initiatives outlined in OneNYC 2050 will require coordination across all City agencies and offices, as well as private and nonprofit partners, global peers, and New Yorkers. Formal responsibilities for specific initiatives are spelled out at the end of each volume in a section titled “The Path Forward.”
Aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are the global blueprint adopted by all countries at the United Nations to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. The 17 SDGs recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth — all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.
With OneNYC, New York City was the first city to map our local strategy to the SDGs and to submit a Voluntary Local Review to the United Nations. The Voluntary Local Review monitors New York’s advancement toward the goals, identifies areas where we can learn from others, and addresses remaining challenges. By demonstrating directly in our strategy how OneNYC aligns with the SDGs, we strengthen our efforts to build a strong and fair city and deepen the city diplomacy that makes New York City a leader on the world stage.
In OneNYC 2050, SDG symbols appear in each volume to demonstrate how New York City’s initiatives align with and advance our progress towards achieving the goals. These goals are outlined at right.
Learn more about the SDGs online at sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs
New York City Can’t do this alone
Throughout OneNYC 2050, there is a clear theme of New York City stepping up as the federal government falls down on the job. But we cannot afford federal failure if we are to fully meet the challenges facing our City. A robust federal response to the challenges of our day is not just important, it is essential. Historically, while Members of Congress representing New York City have led the fight to improve this situation, but others in Washington refuse to deal with the problems facing our city and country, leaving us where we are today.
The Investments in Fighting Climate Change That the Green New Deal Demands: The world faces an existential threat from climate change. Every time those in Washington who understand this reality make a step forward, others find a way to force us back. As Washington pulled out of the Paris Climate Agreement, New York City served as a model for cities to keep the commitment. We need a national commitment out of Washington, like the Green New Deal demands, to invest in combating climate change, build a carbon-free electricity grid powered fully by clean energy, retrofit our buildings to make them more energy efficient, and transition away from reliance on fossil fuels for our transportation needs. These actions are essential to averting the worst threats of climate change for New Yorkers.
Invest in New York City’s Infrastructure: The American Society of Civil Engineers gives U.S. infrastructure a D+ grade. This problem did not develop overnight, it’s due to decades of federal underinvestment in infrastructure. We need a national infrastructure strategy to become a stronger, safer, more accessible City, with investments in mass transit, freight, high-speed rail, bridges, tunnels, highways, broadband and housing. We need renewed investment in water and power infrastructure to secure a 100 percent renewable energy future and a just transition for communities disproportionately impacted by climate change. We need the federal government to keep its commitment to build the Gateway tunnels — helping to create jobs and improve New York City’s economy.
Creating a fairer society: The economy is changing and working class people are being left behind. New Yorkers are working longer hours than ever but don’t see the wealth that they help create. We need change in order to avert the concentration of wealth in the 1 percent, and the first step is repealing the portion of the 2017 tax cuts that benefited big corporations and the rich. We can put these funds to better use – investing in infrastructure, education, and services to help those most in need. Then we need a national recommitment to supporting and protecting workers, with a higher minimum wage, paid sick leave, paid family leave, and other protections for workers. We must strengthen the right of all workers to organize and collectively bargain, and we must create real economic opportunity through support for college, job training, and access to capital for starting businesses. If the federal government won’t step up then New York City will have to step in. Because we can’t do it with one hand tied behind our back, the cap on the State and local tax deduction must be eliminated.
A Comprehensive Resiliency Agenda: Washington’s approach to resiliency is completely backwards, only providing resources after devastating events like Hurricane Sandy, instead of protecting communities from increasingly dangerous natural disasters before they strike. We need a change – a national commitment to resiliency and disaster preparation, with proactive infrastructure investment for coastal protections, increased funding for disaster relief, catastrophe insurance, and funds for states and localities to prepare, respond, repair, and rebuild.
Comprehensive Immigration Reform: Less than a decade ago, comprehensive immigration reform seemed within reach, but a few in Washington have repeatedly blocked action, leaving us with a system that is now being exploited to spread fear and chaos in our cities. These cruel and unjust policies do not reflect New York City’s values. Immigrants also contribute to our economic success, including providing over $2 billion to the GDP in our city, and we must find a way to legally grow, not halt, this impact. We need a change – real and comprehensive immigration reform. Let’s start by passing H.R. 6 – The American Dream and Promise Act.
National Investment In Affordable Housing: Thanks to years of neglect from Washington we face an affordability crisis in New York City. Instead of proposing new rules that make it harder on the poorest New Yorkers, Washington should be investing in creating new affordable housing and expanding the Section 8 program. Instead of the decades of disinvestment in public housing, the federal government should provide the resources to preserve these vital public assets, and help fund capital needs at NYCHA, including the gap in its physical needs assessment. Instead of ignoring protections to ensure fair housing, Washington should work night and day to prevent discrimination in housing policy.
A Commitment to Early Childhood Education: New York City is leading the country on early childhood education, demonstrating that Pre-K and 3-K are vital to ensuring that all children have the strong educational foundation they need to succeed. Studies have found that students who attend two years of preschool are better prepared for kindergarten and perform significantly higher on academic and social outcome measures compared to children who attend only one year. We cannot reach the full potential without support from the federal government. We need a federal government that believes in the importance of investing in the next generation of New Yorkers and recognizes that a strong public education is a cornerstone of our democracy. We need to increase Head Start funding, and we need federal resources to continue to support Pre-K for All and to expand 3K for All across the city.
Fixing Our Broken Democracy: New York City has recently made great strides on campaign finance reform, helping to restore faith in our democratic processes. But Washington must reform campaign finance laws at a national level and begin the process to reverse the Citizens United decision and eliminate the Electoral College. We must make it easier to vote, so that no one is denied their right to participate because of long lines or language barriers. Washington must fully fund the 2020 Census and remove the citizenship question so that we can ensure an accurate, fair and orderly count and make sure New York City gets its fair share of federal resources and representation.
Guaranteed Health Care and Mental Health Care For All: Washington made great progress in improving the lives of millions of Americans when it passed the Affordable Care Act. Yet almost immediately opponents went to work trying to delay, repeal and sabotage the bill. Washington needs to strengthen, not undermine, the ACA, and then must work to quickly establish a truly universal healthcare system. In the absence of federal action, New York City is filling the gap with NYC Care, but Washington must be held accountable for ensuring that all New Yorkers have access to quality healthcare. New York City has made huge progress in addressing the mental health needs of New Yorkers through Thrive NYC, but we need federal support to fully confront the scourge and stigma of mental health concerns that affect 20 percent of our population. Passing the Excellence in Mental Health and Addiction Treatment Expansion Act and the Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency Act would help set us on the right path.