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Greater than Ever: New York's Ultimate Comeback Story

Daniel L. Doctoroff

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The former deputy mayor of New York City tells the story of the city's comeback after 9/11, offering lessons in resiliency under the most trying of circumstances, and a model for the rejuvenation of any city.

Cities that stand still perish. Especially one that is supposed to never sleep.

Alongside Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Dan Doctoroff led New York's dramatic economic resurgence following the September 11th terrorist attacks. The five-borough economic development strategy included the most ambitious land-use transformation in the city's modern history; the largest affordable housing program ever launched by an American city; the formation of new Central Business Districts and Industrial Business Zones; and the creation of new destinations like the Harbor District, which will link together new parkland and miles of waterfront esplanades in Lower Manhattan, Governors Island, and Brooklyn. These projects have helped lead New York to its strongest economic position in decades.

During his tenure at City Hall, Doctoroff also led the creation of PlaNYC, a 127-point plan designed to make New York the first environmentally sustainable twenty-first-century city. The plan focuses on every facet of New York's physical environment--its transportation network, housing stock, land and park system, energy network, water supply, and air quality--and sets the course for a 30% reduction in global warming emissions by 2030.

All of this, plus the rejuvenation of Brooklyn, the flourishing art scene around the High Line, and the signal failure to land the Olympics, took place in a city with more complicated vested interests, local tribal politics, and gigantic egos than any other. The story of the reinvention of New York is a high-octane drama with some memorable cameo performances. At the middle is Doctoroff: intense, driven, determined to save a city from a monstrous outside attack and its own worst demons.

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