October 24, 2011
Mayor Michael Bloomberg
The following is the text of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, October 16, 2011
“One of the best ways we can keep our city’s economic recovery on track and help put more New Yorkers to work is by continuing to make it easier and more efficient to do business with City government. A big part of that involves getting construction projects off the drawing boards faster.
“Last week, we opened a new, high-tech operation called “The Hub” that will dramatically reduce the time it takes building developers to get the green light for their construction projects. Architects and engineers can now submit their plans digitally – and then those plans can be discussed via video conference with representatives from the Buildings Department and other agencies. Under this new system, everyone is able to review the plans together, identify problem areas, and mark them up – all digitally, and all in real time.
“Here’s why this will make a big difference for our economy: The review process requires securing approvals from a host of City agencies. Many of those approvals are necessary for public safety – but until now, securing them has often been a complicated, time-consuming process with a lot of back and forth, which can keep projects in limbo for months on end.
“But there’s no reason why public safety and good customer service can’t go hand-in-hand, especially when new jobs are at stake. By using technology to bring everyone together in the same room, we can speed up the approval process. That will save developers time and money that could be better spent on finishing a project faster and moving on to the next one, creating more new jobs in the process.
“So helping the private sector to get construction projects going is a great way to spur our economy – but it’s not the only way. Another growing industry in New York is our tech sector, which has not only attracted global brands like Google, Facebook and Twitter to open offices here, but is also giving birth to our own homegrown companies like Etsy, Tumbler, Foursquare, Kick-starter and Meet up. Innovative businesses like these are great engines for job growth – so we will continue to invest in start-ups and provide them with support they need to get their ideas off the ground.
“And here’s some more good job news – and another clear sign that the world’s most dynamic companies regard New York City as the place to be. Last week, the Japanese clothing retailer – UNIQLO – opened its biggest store ever on Fifth Avenue. Later this week, it’s opening another store near Herald Square. Together, these two new locations are creating 1,200 jobs for New Yorkers. UNIQLO’s confidence in our city is based on our incredible quality of life, our talented workforce, and our great business environment. Our success in maintaining these elements is a major reason why our city is in better shape economically than many other parts of the nation, and why our future is even brighter.