New Bloomberg Venture Seeks to Help Other Cities Manage Problems

Monday, 16 Dec 2013 02:49 PM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Billionaire Michael Bloomberg plans to go global after he leaves the mayor's office in New York by helping to redefine troubled municipalities all over the world - such as the often-chaotic Mexico City.

The outgoing mayor is launching a new consulting firm, Bloomberg Associates, to help cities manage their problems, from rising crime to infrastructure development, while making their cities more beautiful to attract millions of tourists, according to The New York Times.

Bloomberg is hoping to use his experience at amassing a vast fortune and running one of the world's largest and most complex cities to help other mayors reshape the future of their cities. And although it will cost tens of millions, Bloomberg doesn't plans to charge them a penny.

Bloomberg Associates, which will have close links to the mayor's charitable foundation Bloomberg Philanthropies, will be run by a string of his former deputies at City Hall in New York, including George A. Fertitta, who as chief executive of the city's tourism agency has taken much of the credit for the record 54 million visitors to New York this year.

Described as an urban SWAT team, Bloomberg Associates will help other cities replicate the New York success of adding bike lanes, pedestrian plazas and slower-speed lanes to its congested streets.

“You can make these changes quickly and inexpensively,” said Ms. Sadik-Khan, who plans to join Bloomberg's team, along with Amanda M. Burden, the director of city planning.

Burden said, "We have heard this huge demand and need from other cities to learn from New York City. Under this mayor, New York is the epitome that cities look to of how to get things done.”

According to the Times, Bloomberg changes in New York have influenced Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago and Newark.

And New Orleans Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu said he'd received a $4 million grant from Bloomberg last year to hire a team of outside experts to help the city lower its murder rate. The murder rate in the Louisiana city has fallen by 17 percent this year.

“To his credit,” Mr. Landrieu said of Mr. Bloomberg, “this guy is putting his personal money into making city government work better.”

Bill de Blasio takes over as New York's mayor on January 1st.

Related Stories:

What Others See in Future for Michael Bloomberg
Bloomberg: Unquestioned Impact, Debated Legacy

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