New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York Governor Kathy Hochul released “‘New’ New York: Making New York Work for Everyone,” set of 40 proposals intended to make New York City the best place to work and serve as a roadmap for the city’s future.
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The New New York panel was launched in May 2022 and is being led by co-chairs and former New York City deputy mayors Richard Buery, now CEO of Robin Hood, and Daniel Doctoroff, former CEO of Sidewalk Labs.
The broad and diverse panel of civic leaders and industry experts worked for six months to generate recommendations for the city and state at a time of historic alignment between the two to partner with each other and across sectors to reimagine a “New” New York that propels the city and the region forward for its next chapter of equitable, inclusive growth.
While the initial scope of the panel focused on reviving New York City’s business districts — especially those that have been slower to recover in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic like Midtown and Lower Manhattan — the panel quickly expanded its focus to address a wider range of interconnected challenges affecting all New Yorkers, from transportation to housing and from public space to childcare.
The city and state’s action plan reflects this expanded focus by proposing three overarching goals that work together to ensure that New York works for all New Yorkers:
Reimagine New York City’s commercial districts as vibrant 24/7 destinations:
Transforming New York City’s single-use business districts into great places where people live, work, and play.
Make it easier for New Yorkers to get to work: Improving commutes into Manhattan while strengthening employment hubs and workspaces across the five boroughs so people can work closer to home.
Generate inclusive, future-focused growth: Supporting the growth of jobs and innovation and breaking down barriers to economic mobility.
Across those three goals, the plan proposes 40 initiatives to be advanced through legislation, policy changes, additional funding, and other actions that Mayor Adams and Governor Hochul embrace as a roadmap for the future, including the following five key areas of action for 2023:
Make Midtown and other business districts more mixed-use and flexible: Actions include facilitating market-based conversion and redevelopment of outdated office buildings to residential uses, easing conversion of buildings built before December 1990, eliminating the 12 floor area ratio cap on residential buildings, and passing the ‘City of Yes for Economic Development’ zoning text amendment to create needed flexibility to fill vacant storefronts and allow businesses to evolve and expand.
Create modern, pedestrian-oriented districts with major public realm interventions: Actions include appointing a director of public realm at City Hall to oversee all public realm-related policies and projects, advancing a coordinated master plan to reclaim street space for new pedestrian and cyclist spaces in Midtown, and bringing public realm improvements to business districts and job hubs in all five boroughs.
Increase the supply of housing by removing regulatory barriers to housing growth across the city, to increase affordability, reduce displacement and encourage inclusive communities,ensure workers have access to stable housing, and give employers confidence that they can retain and attract talent in New York City.
To meet this urgent moment of our housing crisis, this set of city and state legislative changes will encourage housing production for all income levels to address the need for hundreds of thousands of new housing units across the city and state over the next decade.
Increase access to jobs and decrease commute time to Midtown and other business districts: Actions include dramatically expanding the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) CityTicket program to make all Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad trips, including peak travel, that begin and end within New York City cost only $5, while encouraging greater housing density around downstate regional transit-oriented development.
Help working families participate in the labor force and drive an equitable recovery by making childcare accessible and affordable: Actions include continuing to implement the city’s childcare blueprint, encouraging uptake of the recent Business Income Tax Credit and Property Tax Abatement for creation of new childcare seats, exploring expanded eligibility for childcare vouchers and the Empire State Child Tax Credit, and clarifying and streamlining city regulations around using second floor and basement spaces for childcare centers.
The implementation of the action plan will be led by the “New” New York Leadership Steering Group, a cross-governmental convening hosted by the first deputy mayor and the director of state operations and led by the deputy mayor for economic and workforce development and the deputy secretary for economic development and workforce.
A new, dedicated senior advisor in the Mayor’s Office of Policy and Planning will be hired to staff the steering group and oversee the day-to-day management of implementing the plan. Mayor Adams and Governor Hochul plan to make additional policy announcements informed by these recommendations in the weeks ahead. ■