Over the last generation, the New York metropolitan region has flourished. Job growth has climbed steadily; people are choosing to move here; safety, public health and quality of life have improved. The region has been able to capitalize on global trends that favor places with large concentrations of highly educated workers and walkable, transit-oriented communities.
Yet our success is fragile. There are too many people who haven’t shared in this prosperity, and the affordability crisis has reached dramatic proportions. Years of neglecting our infrastructure have led to daily disruptions on our transit system, troubles looming in our train tunnels, outdated airports and unrelenting traffic. Five years after superstorm Sandy, we remain unprepared for the next big storm and rising sea levels. And above all, our governing institutions are failing to make the hard choices necessary to address these most intractable problems.
These challenges are not tomorrow’s problems. They are here today. The continued success of our region depends on our ability to meet these challenges head-on. The New York-New Jersey-Connecticut metropolitan area must become a place that fulfills its promise of equal opportunity; a coastal region that shows the rest of the world how to adapt and prosper in an age of rising seas and temperatures; and a global hub that harnesses its immense resources and innovative talent to make this fast-paced, expensive metropolis an easier, healthier and more affordable place to live and work.