Michael Bloomberg served as the 108th Mayor of New York City, holding office for three consecutive terms beginning with his first election in 2001. He is also the main owner, founder and CEO of Bloomberg L.P, a global financial data and media company.
In office, Bloomberg brought a results-based approach to city management, appointing city commissioners based on their expertise and granting them wide autonomy in their decision-making. He is a proponent of large-scale development and has repeatedly supported major projects such as the Atlantic Yards mega-development, the Hudson Yards redevelopment, and the Harlem rezoning proposal.
In the most recent issue of Foreign Affairs magazine, Michael R. Bloomberg writes an interesting article about how cities are catalysing sustainable economic growth and spurring development solutions across the globe.
“By concentrating the brainpower of humanity in relatively small geographic areas, cities have promoted the kinds of interactions that nurture creativity and technological advances. They have been the drivers of progress throughout history, and now—as the knowledge economy takes full flight—they are poised to play a leading role in addressing the challenges of the twenty-first century.”
Further, Bloomberg explains his view how cities boast a flexibility that fosters innovation and ingenuity, boldly driving global shifts in thinking around our urban infrastructure and systems. The C40 organisations of cities has a focus on knowledge-sharing and collaboration and is a major part of this.
“Urban leadership on climate change has also led to an unprecedented level of cooperation among cities. The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, for which I serve as president of the board, has brought together more than 75 cities committed to sharing best practices and spreading proven solutions. The evidence is clear that this networking strategy is working, as many carbon-reduction projects have spread to cities across the globe…”
“Cities are also working together through the Compact of Mayors, an initiative developed by C40 and other city networks to help cities demonstrate measurable progress toward reducing greenhouse gases and hold themselves accountable for their results. It also gives national governments more reason to set ambitious environmental goals and to empower cities to lead the way in reaching them.”
Though climate change remains one of the defining issues of this generation, the actions cities are taking to combat it generate significant benefits across economies and throughout communities.
“No longer do mayors see the economy and the environment primarily as conflicting priorities. Instead, they view them as two sides of the same coin. That is why mayors have so enthusiastically embraced the challenge of tackling climate change as a means to economic growth, and they have many tools at their disposal for doing so.”
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