A story in the New York Times on Mayor Bloomberg’s speech in Singapore, where he was accepting an award for urban sustainability, noted that the mayor also commented on the problems of governing in an era of social media. The article focuses on this passage:
“Social media is going to make it even more difficult to make long-term investments. We are basically having a referendum on every single thing that we do every day, and it’s very hard for people to stand up to that and say, ‘No, no, this is what we’re going to do,’ when there’s constant criticism, and an election process that you have to look forward to and face periodically.”
It’s a fascinating comment from New York’s most high tech mayor. Different viewpoints may be expressed at the upcoming panel discussion on social media and urban planning, held at Studio X on Tuesday, March 27th.
More content from the mayor’s speech is available at his own website, but not the section critical of social media. His speech does highlight specific successes in the city’s planning, like the High Line, which triggered $2 billion of private investment in the surrounding neighborhood. The transcript available is worth reading for a recap of the city’s recent innovations, long term vision, and international position, as framed by City Hall.