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Volume 1 of 9

OneNYC 2050

With bold actions to confront our climate crisis, achieve equity, and strengthen our democracy, we are building a strong and fair city. Join us.
OneNYC 2050 : Volume 1 of 9 : OneNYC 2050

With bold actions to confront our climate crisis, achieve equity, and strengthen our democracy, we are building a strong and fair city. Join us.

Read The Story

FRIENDS,

My administration is committed to advancing our work to build a fairer and more progressive city, and our ambitious OneNYC plan is based on the conviction that the fights for environmental sustainability, economic equality, and social justice are deeply intertwined.

With this renewed OneNYC 2050 strategic plan, we are pushing ourselves to go further and faster to fight global warming on every front, from our buildings to our streets. New laws will reduce emissions from heating homes and offices. We’re encouraging more New Yorkers to walk, bike, and use public transit while ensuring the vehicles that remain on our roads run cleaner. We’re also taking on Big Oil by divesting our pension funds from fossil fuels and eliminating the plastics, polystyrene, and other single-use waste that big corporations have pushed on us all to the detriment of the planet.

Alongside our sustainability goals, we are fighting for equity — because this must be a city for everyone. Together, we are working to build a city with fewer families in poverty and a place where everyone is welcomed in civic life. We are taking steps to create an economy that works for every New Yorker, ensuring that safety and respect coexist in every community, and that schools in every neighborhood are preparing kids for success. This is a path we must all travel together, leaving no one behind.

New York has always been a beacon to the world, and we hope this plan will serve as an antidote to the challenges facing not only our city, but also our nation and the globe. I invite you to join us as we strive to become the fairest big city in the nation – OneNYC.

Sincerely,

Mayor Bill de Blasio

Fellow New Yorkers,

OneNYC 2050 is the result of a nearly year-long effort to explore and evaluate the most important local and global challenges facing our city, to craft a strategic plan to address those challenges, and to offer a vision for New York City in the 21st century.

Your voices helped us understand the issues and identify solutions. We heard from thousands of New Yorkers at dozens of events held in all five boroughs. What you told us was clear: We must take action now to confront critical problems so we can secure a better future for the next generation.

With OneNYC 2050, we choose a path that brings all New Yorkers on a journey to strengthen our democracy, rebuild our infrastructure, address inequities in health and education, confront the global climate crisis, and ensure our neighborhoods will always be places we can call home.

Join us and help to build OneNYC, a strong and fair city.

Daniel A. Zarrilli
OneNYC Director

A VISION OF NEW YORK CITY IN 2050

New York City will be a very different place in the middle of the 21st century. How will a child born today experience that future? Let’s take a look.

In 2050, New York City has more than 9 million residents.

The streets are bustling with people of all nationalities – some were born here, some are visitors, and some have chosen to make their home here. More than a million more flow into the city every day to work and explore the city’s culture and neighborhoods. A dramatic skyline, bridges, and iconic buildings rise from world-famous islands and waterways. And there’s a familiar, palpable sense of dynamism and creativity — people are in a hurry to accomplish great things.

In 2050, New York City is prepared for a changing climate, and is no longer reliant on fossil fuels.

Buildings, transportation, and our economy are powered by renewable energy — wind, solar, and hydropower — through a modern, fully electric grid. We can’t avoid every impact of climate change, but our infrastructure, public services, and residents are protected from the ravages of extreme weather. Every New Yorker benefits from these changes, which were undertaken in a fair way, and our adapted city is a model for the world to follow.

In 2050, New Yorkers no longer rely on cars.

Our streets are safe and easy to navigate, reclaimed for people. Subways and buses are fast and reliable, taking people where they need to go and connecting our city to the wider metropolitan region. Bicycle lanes abound and walking is a favorite way of getting around town. For many New Yorkers, the daily commute to work is a scenic ferry ride. New modes of transportation, enabled by technology and responsibly deployed, add to the mobility options throughout the five boroughs.

In 2050, New Yorkers are secure in their homes and neighborhoods.

Safe, affordable housing is available in all five boroughs, and our neighborhoods are more diverse and dynamic than ever. Communities are safe, the air and water are clean, and there are abundant open spaces for all to enjoy. In every neighborhood, there are cultural centers and libraries, small businesses and corner groceries open for late night shopping. No longer threatened by harassment or eviction, families can choose to raise their children in the neighborhoods that best meet their needs.

In 2050, New York City’s economic strength provides security and opportunity for all.

All New Yorkers can find a good job with fair wages, benefits, and the chance to advance. Young people, trained to think critically and ready to learn new skills, excel in their work and easily find jobs in a diversified and evolving economy. From big businesses to local start-ups, in manufacturing, technology, creative industries, New Yorkers are entrepreneurial and open to new opportunities, driving a growing economy in which everyone can take part and be rewarded.

In 2050, health care is a right for every New Yorker.

New Yorkers are healthy because quality health care is guaranteed, and our holistic approach means healthy lifestyles — good nutrition, clean air, nearby parks — are available to everyone regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, or disability. New mothers, seniors, children with asthma, people struggling with substance misuse or mental illness — all have access to care and treatment across the five boroughs. New Yorkers interact regularly with their natural environment through an extensive network of trails and waterfront greenways.

In 2050, every child in New York City has equal access to an excellent education.

Our large public school system provides every child a chance to learn and discover the world, regardless of where they live or their race or  their family’s income. We give students every opportunity to succeed, with the best teachers and facilities, and recognize and respect that each child has their own needs and talents. High school graduates are prepared for higher education and the challenges and opportunities awaiting them.

In 2050, New York City’s infrastructure is modern and reliable.

Roads and rail lines, tunnels and bridges, our water supply and our electric grid are ready for the demands of a growing, thriving city. Strategic investment and capital planning policies mean infrastructure projects are delivered on budget and on time, and new digital infrastructure gives New Yorkers equal access to the digital world. Millions of New Yorkers bike, run, and relax along miles of waterfront parks, which also function as a barrier to coastal flooding.

In 2050, New Yorkers actively participate in a vibrant democracy.

New York remains a beacon to the world for those seeking refuge and a new start in life — and immigrants from every culture are warmly welcomed. Residents actively participate in elections and join civic institutions, volunteer to help neighbors, and proudly stand up to make their voices heard. New Yorkers may not all agree on the best direction for their city, but all communities feel their voices are heard by government, including communities historically left out of decision-making. Across the city, young people feel invested in the future of their community and city, and train to be future leaders in a democracy that is stronger than ever.

This is a vision of New York City three decades from now. It is ambitious and exciting and requires that we overcome seemingly insurmountable challenges. Easy? No. Idealistic? Think again. Read on as we describe what the journey will be like, and how we will create a strong and fair city in the 21st century. Join us as we create our future together.

Executive Summary

For nearly 400 years, New York City has served as a beacon to the world.

From our earliest days as Nieuw Amsterdam through waves of immigration over decades, the Big Apple has attracted so many seeking refuge, economic security, the American Dream, or, simply, acceptance. As an iconic metropolis, people look to New York City for inspiration and ideas — and for generations, the culture, values, and talent incubated in
New York City have influenced and helped shape the world.

Yet, like all great cities, New York in 2019 is a place of striking contradictions. We have extreme wealth alongside dire poverty and homelessness. There is unmatched cultural and population diversity amid some of the most racially segregated urban neighborhoods in the United States. Our landmark skyscrapers are recognizable worldwide, and towering high-rises are reshaping our skyline. Yet in many neighborhoods most buildings are just a few stories tall.

Our city gave rise to social justice movements and influential figures fighting for equality, and our streets are hotbeds of public activism. But we are still confronting injustice and social and economic inequities and a lack of faith in civic institutions. New York City’s subway system is one of the largest in the world, but it is decaying due to neglect and disinvestment. We have hundreds of miles of majestic waterfront, and a natural harbor, both built for commerce, but which now, in an era of climate change, are exposed and endangered.

These contradictions exist against the backdrop of national and international political trends that have led to broad distrust in government. There is a disturbing rise in nationalism, intolerance, and authoritarianism in many countries, including ours; this impacts New Yorkers personally, reflects a turning away from the values we hold dear, and contributes to voter apathy. Across the globe, governments are failing to take necessary actions to protect the climate, address economic inequity, and secure basic human rights, requiring that global cities such as New York take the lead and form partnerships to address these issues.

As we look to 2050, the challenges facing New York City are significant, but we have faced challenges of equal measure before and prevailed. Today, we are stronger than at any time in our history. In recent years, we have embraced progressive policies that address our most pressing challenges head-on. And as we look ahead, we are committed to resolving our city’s contradictions without compromising or relinquishing our legacy of openness, inclusion, and progress.

We strive to transform our city for the future, building on past achievements and using our unparalleled talent and resources as an antidote. OneNYC 2050 aims high to achieve these goals. As New York has done so many times in the past, our city will serve as a model for the nation and the world, to repair divisions and create a better society.

Together we will build a strong and fair city.

Progress Since 2015

Since the launch of the original OneNYC strategy in 2015, New York City has made significant progress toward our goals of strength and fairness, implementing progressive policies that serve all New Yorkers, provide global leadership, and secure a sustainable future.

  • Among the highlights, New York City has:
  • Enrolled 70,000 children each year in Universal Pre-K and launched 3-K for All, providing a solid foundation for their education and improving the opportunities available to the next generation.
  • Successfully advocated for a $15-per-hour minimum wage and strengthened worker protections and benefits, putting us on track to lift 800,000 New Yorkers out of poverty or near poverty by 2025.
  • Delivered affordable housing to 275,000 New Yorkers through the most ambitious affordable housing plan in the city’s history, with tens of thousands more units on the way.
  • Laid the groundwork for 19,000 good-paying jobs in high-growth sectors through New York Works, with plans to create 100,000 jobs over 10 years.
  • Cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 17 percent below 2005 levels amid significant population and economic growth.
  • Committed to divest $5 billion of the City’s pension funds from fossil fuels, and invest $4 billion into climate solutions, becoming a global leader in the divestment movement.
  • Reduced pedestrian fatalities by 45 percent with the Vision Zero initiative, making New York City’s streets the safest they’ve been since the dawn of the automobile.
  • Launched a citywide ferry network to address transit gaps in communities in all five boroughs.
  • Reduced incarceration rates to the lowest level in decades while maintaining record-low crime rates, enabling the long-overdue commitment to close Rikers Island, and bringing neighborhood policing to every neighborhood in New York City.
  • Expanded neighborhood policing to every neighborhood in New York City, contributing to the lowest number of major crimes in the modern era.
  • Achieved the city’s highest-ever high school graduation rate, the lowest-ever dropout rate, and double-digit increases in college readiness and English proficiency, with notable gains for students of color.
  • Launched ThriveNYC, a mental health system that works for everyone by ensuring New Yorkers who need mental health support have access to it, where and when they need it.
  • Invested billions of dollars in all five boroughs to strengthen core infrastructure and support vibrant public spaces, and committed billions more to adapt our city for a changing climate.

OneNYC 2050 at A Glance

New Yorkers can be proud of the progress we’ve made. Yet we also know there is much to be done to address critical challenges such as climate change, increasing unaffordability, and failing infrastructure that have been decades, if not generations, in the making. Now we must go further.

The following pages outline 30 strategic initiatives New York City will undertake to achieve this vision for 2050.

Highlights of the strategy, which lay the foundation for transformational change, include:

  • Committing to carbon neutrality by 2050, and a just transition that benefits all New Yorkers. We will be a leader among global cities by pursuing steep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions from buildings and sourcing 100 percent clean electricity, while creating green jobs and holding polluters responsible for climate-related costs.
  • Leading by example on climate change by ending City purchases of unnecessary single-use plastic foodware and phasing out the purchase of processed meat, cutting beef purchasing in half, committing to a carbon neutral City fleet by 2040, pursuing expanding mandatory organics collection citywide, and undertaking comprehensive projects to mitigate climate risk, including Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency.
  • Introducing congestion pricing, to reduce traffic in Manhattan and generate funds for essential subway repairs and enhancements, while dramatically improving bus service through expanded and improved bus lanes, stronger bus lane enforcement, and signal improvements that prioritize buses as they travel through city streets.
  • Reclaiming streets to meet the needs of the public by creating People Priority Zones that restrict vehicular access, create public spaces, improve safety, reduce congestion, and improve air quality. We will start with a zone in Lower Manhattan to test a potential expansion citywide.
  • Guaranteeing health care for every New Yorker, to create the most comprehensive, universal coverage in the nation for uninsured New Yorkers, regardless of ability to pay or immigration status.
  • Ending the opioid epidemic by treating substance misuse as the public health emergency it is, investing $60 million to distribute naloxone kits and provide training, expanding peer counseling at hospitals, and deploying engagement teams alongside first responders to support people with mental health and substance misuse needs.
  • Expanding the IDNYC municipal ID card to enable banking access for more than 1 million underbanked New Yorkers, saving low-income households as much as 10 percent of their paychecks from avoided fees.
  • Supporting working New Yorkers by aggressively enforcing fair wage and work regulations, supporting mandated paid personal time, expanding retirement and other benefits for workers not covered through their employer, and promoting business models, including M/WBE and worker-owned businesses, that help generate community wealth and address the racial wealth gap.
  • Protecting tenants from displacement by guaranteeing legal counsel to all New Yorkers facing eviction by 2022, creating a new office to coordinate anti-harassment efforts with advocates and community organizations, and more aggressively monitoring and penalizing unscrupulous landlords.
  • Securing the City’s financial stability by delivering capital projects on budget and on time and targeting operational efficiencies to free up funds to invest in equity strategies and preserve essential services during downturns.

New York City’s Green New Deal

The nation is now engaged in an important conversation about the Green New Deal, a bold vision to meet the twin challenges of climate change and inequality across the nation. Here in New York City, we have long recognized the connection between environmental and economic justice, and that work is already under way.

With the launch of OneNYC in 2015, New York City demonstrated the fundamental link between climate action and inclusive growth by introducing an equity lens into the city’s long-term planning.

Four years later, OneNYC 2050 is raising the bar. We recognize that we face a true climate emergency, one that requires us to transform how we live. We also recognize that effectively mobilizing to confront climate change requires a new social compact – one that strengthens our democracy, invests in our communities, promotes an inclusive economy, and addresses historic inequities. Everything we do to combat climate change and support growth must also advance human rights, public health, and economic prosperity for all New Yorkers.

In OneNYC 2050, we demonstrate a model for inclusive growth and climate action with a focus on:

  • Creating good-paying jobs, including green jobs, and promoting prosperity and economic security for all.
  • Ensuring equitable access to nature, clean air, and water; climate and community resiliency; and healthy food.
  • Guaranteeing the right to quality health care and education in all communities.
  • Promoting justice by recognizing, and repairing the damage caused by, historic oppression of communities of color, migrant communities, youth, and other frontline and marginalized communities.

By taking action on these strategies, New York City will demonstrate not only the effectiveness of this model, but also its necessity. Our nation, and indeed our planet, deserves nothing less if we hope to secure a livable future for humanity.

Effectively mobilizing to confront climate change requires a new social compact.