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Post-Bloomberg: Will Innovation in NYC Dry Up?

New York City skyline panorama view from midtown

A new report gives the next mayor of New York City a set of innovative reforms that have proven effective and scalable in other cities.

June 19, 2013 By

In his three terms as mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg has a lot of innovative accomplishments under his belt -- more than just about any big city mayor in America, or the world for that matter.

His 311 hotline revolutionized how citizens interact with government by merging new advances in technology with a level of customer service that is rare in the public sector. Bloomberg was the first big city mayor to ban smoking in restaurants and bars, sparking a trend that has swept through most large cities around the globe. He set up a competition to recruit a new applied science campus in the city, and led the way in making New York a leader in sustainability, improving New York's environment while nurturing economic growth. The list goes on.

But the Bloomberg era is drawing to a close as the city gears up to elect a new mayor for the first time since 2002. While many are wondering who the next mayor will be, a lot of academics, policymakers and city watchers are wondering if New York will lose its innovative edge without Bloomberg around.

To counter that problem, the Center for an Urban Future and New York University's Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service have jointly published a report that is designed to give the next mayor of America's largest city a set of innovative reforms that "have proven effective in other cities, that are scalable in New York and that the next mayor could implement."

Neil Kleiman, director of NYU's Wagner Innovation Lab and author of "Innovation and the City," pointed out in the report that Mayor Bloomberg drew inspiration for his innovations from cities around the world. The report follows the same, don't-reinvent-the-wheel approach by drawing on 15 proven reforms from such cities as Chicago, Denver, London and San Francisco.

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PrivateEye    |    Commented June 25, 2013

First of all, Bloomberg does not get credit for the idea of 311 systems, since the first on was in Baltimore, not NYC. Second, I'm not sure what the point of mentioning these other alleged innovations is, since none of them have to do with technology. Banning smoking is not an "innovation", and as his paternalistic "nannying" (as the NY Times put it) went on and on it became more and more annoying. "Improving New York's environment while nurturing economic growth" is an "innovation"? Give me a break. As far as technology innovations its hard to think of any under Bloomberg, and it's easy to think of several major technology disasters like E911 and CityTime. bottom line, this is a really dumb idea for an article.

Who?    |    Commented June 30, 2013

PrivateEye - as much as you don't want to admit... other mayors study what Bloomberg has done in his time in office.

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