Bloomberg’s Hidden Legacy

Bloomberg’s Hidden Legacy: Climate Change and the Future of New York City, chronicles the historic effort by Mayor Bloomberg, his staff and other city leaders to safeguard New York City from the effects of climate change.

Bloomberg’s work in this area has been barely mentioned by many journalists who have analyzed his legacy as he leaves office after three terms, but experts say New York’s accomplishments rank among the best of any of the world’s leading cities.

The book is based on extensive, exclusive interviews with the key players on Bloomberg’s team, including Bloomberg himself, and illustrated with charts, diagrams, maps and photos, and in the ICN Books version, enhanced with audio and video.

The book contains key moments that help readers understand the human side of the massive urban rethink, with real people making tough decisions, facing sleepless nights, contending with resistance and disappointment, and still pushing ahead into uncharted territory.

Few if any of the hundreds of measures and dozens of initiatives that made up the city’s ongoing experiment with sustainability generated headlines. Only spectacular failures, like the bid to institute congestion pricing on drivers entering Manhattan, secured much public interest. Yet almost invisibly, the city’s fabric has changed in character.

New Yorkers might notice one thing or another – a new pedestrian plaza, or community gardens, or Brooklyn Bridge Park – but few to this day understand how sweeping and comprehensive Bloomberg’s ambition has been.  

His long term plan has decades of implementation ahead – if it continues – but already it has reduced energy use in large buildings and improved air quality, re-imagined and reconstituted the urban landscape, and set the city on a trajectory to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions 30% by 2030 below 2005 levels.

The book will be of interest to anyone who cares about New York; to citizens and leaders of other cities interested in learning how to practically and incrementally confront climate change; and to those interested in Michael Bloomberg and his relationship to an issue that will likely remain one of his core concerns in public life.