It is predicted that NYC could face up to 2.5ft in sea level rise and a 6.6F increase in average temperature by 2050. Air quality is already a major concern for the city, with 0.4% children hospitalised for asthma in 2012. To tackle climate change, NYC set plans to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80%, by 2050, preventing the release of 47.4 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent. The city must also factor in its growing population, estimated to hit 9 million by 2040, and financial insecurity of it citizens: 20.7% of New York residents were living below the poverty line in 2014, as calculated by the City’s Center for Economic Opportunity.
New York is taking action through numerous climate and social equity programmes. The City has eradicated the use of the dirtiest forms of heating oil and installed nearly 9 megawatts of solar power capacity at its facilities. 19 New York hotels pledged to cut their GHG emissions by 30% over the next ten years as part of the NYC Carbon Challenge. The City launched the NYC Clean Fleet, a comprehensive strategy to create the largest city electric vehicle fleet in the USA and halve municipal vehicle emissions by 2025.
OneNYC funded roof replacements in New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) public housing to eliminate the root causes of mold and improve living conditions. The volume of solid waste refuse collected by the city has been reduced to 3.2 million tonnes, down 11.5% from 2005. The Department of Sanitation increased its collection of curb-side organics by over 50,000 households. Recycling has been made available at 120 NYCHA developments, serving 43% of NYCHA residents, contributing to NYC’s Zero Waste by 2030 goal.
In January 2016, it was announced that all City employees and social services contractors would earn at least $15 per hour by 2019, and the City was successful in advocating for New York State to pass a $15 per hour minimum wage by 2018. The proportion of residents that can access 200,000 jobs within 45 minutes by public transit has increased from 83% to 88% (2011-2015). Additionally, the City has financed or preserved 40,000 units of affordable housing since 2014.
264,000 square feet of buildings have been upgraded against flood risk and the rate of flood insurance coverage has increased from 55% to 68% for high risk households. 84,100 linear feet of costal defences have been completed, and 14.9 acres of coastal ecosystem restored. Furthermore, $9.2 billion has been secured in federal funds to rebuild and improve resilience of the city’s infrastructure and public services.
Programmes within OneNYC will contribute towards a citywide GHG emissions reduction of 80% by 2050. By 2030, the City aims to have the best air quality of any large US city and be sending zero waste to landfills. Additionally, 2,000 electric vehicles will be added to the NYC Clean Fleet by 2025.
The City estimates that had the minimum wage been $15 in 2013, over 750,000 NYC residents out of poverty or near poverty status. The City’s wage actions, combined with New York’s State’s recent enactment of a $15 minimum wage, will contribute significantly to the OneNYC goal of lifting 800,000 people out of poverty by 2025. The plan also mobilises mechanisms for creation of more than 4.9 million jobs by 2040. In OneNYC, the City established goals to finance the new construction of 80,000 affordable housing units and preservation of 120,000 affordable housing units by 2024, and to increase the share of New Yorkers that can access at least 200,000 jobs within 45 minutes by transit to 90% by 2040.
To tackle public health concerns in the city, OneNYC seeks to mitigate urban heat island effect in the city, to reduce premature mortality by 25% (2040), to reduce infant mortality by 20% (2040), and to eliminate all traffic-related fatalities through its Vision Zero programmes.