Good afternoon this is Mitchell Moss of the NYU Wagner School and I’m pleased to welcome each of you today to this afternoon’s session: how disasters shape New York City. Our session today is the first of two the other’s on Friday and today we’re going to be discussing the way which New York City has been shaped by disasters with a particular focus on the most current one the coronavirus 19 I want to especially acknowledge the Wagner school team, the Dean Sherry Glied and her chief of staff Christina Powell for organizing the event and I just especially want to thank two of my assistants Rachel Wise and Olivia Limone who has helped who have both helped to put together our presentation today I want to first begin by saying that there are several themes we’re going to highlight but the first is that disasters are one way to understand New York City most scholars when they talk about New York will look at it as a city created by great leaders such as LaGuardia or perhaps Robert Moses sometimes people look at the city and just study the great buildings such as Empire State Building or structures like the Statue of Liberty I want to provide a different way of understanding New York because I think that disasters have done more to shape New York City over the past 400 years than any one individual for sure and so today we’re going to take you through those and then we’re going to focus especially on how the current one is going to influence New York in the future and what it’s doing today we’re only gonna speak dry least I’m only going to speak for 20 minutes because then we want to have questions and answers and I hope you know that you can submit them do that who you an a button on your screen and you just submit them there and they will then be read to me after my initial speech your talk will say I think it’s important though to first start by saying that you know across the history of civilization human beings have waged war with viruses and with infections and New York has not been separate from this but we’re going to weave in both some of the diseases that affected New York because some of the other disasters so let me start now we can get our screen or select row working correctly and so if we go back really to the 19th century and if we wanna go back to 1776 the great fires of 1776 and of 1835 were the first real disasters that struck New York in terms of physical events but fires were part of urban growth in the 19th century Chicago had one and Boston at one but in New York the fire of 1835 destroyed almost all of downtown and it led to a massive change in the building code but most important it led to the city to reconfigure the streets there and they’re also forced over 620 different insurance companies to abandon New York and moved to Hartford, Connecticut which as you know was once very important a city and so the the fire of 1835 not only changed the economy downtown in the land use but it also forced the city to begin to recognize needed to have a water supply capable of putting out a fire because the fires burned because we’re all relying on whales of you human beings taking different kinds of barrels and filling them with water and so the response to the fire was in fact the basis for we had was a water supply which was then really reinforced by a series of cholera epidemics I’m sure you know the cholera has been an epidemic of course all great cities when you have water supply which is contaminated by feces and it not only in the United States but it happened in across a Asia it certainly was a very big part of Europe but what I think is important in New York is that we had three different cholera epidemics and that forced New York along with the fires to acquire land and to get out of the business of having well water as a supply but to have a centralized system of water supply and this is one of the great assets New York has now starting in the middle of the 1840s we acquired land and if you look at the lower part of the map you’ll see the Croton watershed which was the first part and then later in that century early in this century New York City acquired a vast amount of land in the Catskill area in fact we acquired so much land in some of those communities how to be basically kind of changed so dramatically that people weren’t living there because we made them reservoirs and so the entire city’s water supply was a function of the need to guarantee health and in fact it was the water-supply creation which allowed buildings to be built without worrying about fire as much and certainly city to grow in density but of course it was not just the water supply but the fact that in 1866 New York City created a vast new let me just get back a second for this well we’ll see if we can do this I think we’re having a little tricky part here New York City built this water supply

but it was not requiring people to connect to it until 1866 when it established the Board of Health and the Board of Health which is one of the great devices New York City has it’s the mayor’s own private legislature miles apart after the London Board of Health and this Board of Health said if you didn’t connect to the water supply into sewer lines you would be fined and that was the beginning of the end of cholera as a serious epidemic in New York City I want to move on now to show that even disasters overseas shake New York in the 1840s a fungus affecting the potato brought from Peru to Europe led to the famine in Ireland and to the social revolution in Germany and the reason we saw a huge influx of Irish and German immigrants and you can see here from 1845 to 1860 this population of both groups really almost doubled in some cases and the Irish really went from 50,000 as I know from about a hundred thousand to two hundred thousand the Germans went from about 40,000 to roughly 120,000 because the fact that famine in Europe and the social unrest produced because the potato was no longer able to feed people led them to come to America so our very population was in fact the found in part on disasters and other places I just want to go back one slide rather and point out to you so we’ve seen fires and we’ve seen cholera we even have snow in New York in night 1888 had a blizzard which eliminated any surface movement no food could be delivered no newspapers no mail and people couldn’t move and you see here an image of what was happening and this led New York to recognize that it had to have a subway system that was underground until then everything was above ground and so it was the snow and the blizzard which basically put the city at a standstill nothing was functioning that led to the massive investment which the city gave private firms the right to build a subway and I want to show you this is the Lexington Avenue Line you know the busiest subway line in the United States today but it began really in the beginning of the 20th century and you can see they just took the street dug down one of the reasons the Lexington Avenue Line is so attractive is it’s close to the surface it’s not like going to Washington DC we have to go 200 feet down at Dupont Circle here you go down one flight of steps and you’re at a train and of course this subway was the basis for the expansion of New York’s population once we had mass transit going underground would allow people to move further from downtown and lower Manhattan into basically healthier communities which were less crowded let’s dense and sometimes able to have our own homes would you why Brooklyn became such an important growth center after the city merged with the city of Brooklyn that we then had Subway’s connecting all the borough’s except Staten Island by the middle of the 20th century I think you’ve probably heard more about the Spanish flu of 1918 than I’m going to need to repeat but I think the lesson here is that this epidemic came from American soldiers in the north of France mixing it up with European and African soldiers of course the the flu was brought back here came by ship flus you know could travel with people and of course the flu came first to Philadelphia and New York in fact we know was very tough on this we actually had a great Board of Health and a great Department of Health and the physicians were very clear that they were going to monitor every case of it and you can see this year and especially we had a person in charge of our public health program and so that in fact New York City event took the initiative of staggering work hours of making sure that schools became checking every person and it was dr Josephine Baker one of the great school physician and doctors and who ran a program which made every child going to school having being inspected by a physician every morning and sick ones were sent home they felt that it was better to have the child in school rather than a crowded slums Wehling where the problem of influenza be very hard to manage so they could keep them in school away from the illness that might be in their home and I just want to move on because we don’t want to deal with current issues the the disaster that is no striking people’s designs until recently was the attack of September 11 2001 this is important for two reasons one it changed New York’s relationship to the country and to the world but more importantly it was the largest loss of life from a foreign attack on the American continent ever the only previous larger loss of life was the Battle of Antietam in the Civil War and when the World Trade Center was struck there was a general view that New York’s future was gone no one would want to live here no one want to work here and who would want to come back to a city which had been hit twice by terrorists unfortunately those predictions were fortunately I would say they those predictions turned out to be totally false what happened is that a new election at an election was rescheduled and then of course some of you know that Michael Bloomberg won and the immediate decision then was to reinvent lower Manhattan where Evan try

to rebuild the stock exchange lower Manhattan been dominated by finance as you can see in 2000 more than half the employment was there and under the new mayor they said we’re not going to build a new Stock Exchange in fact rape mayor Giuliani had committed four hundred million dollars to a new stock exchange building we’re gonna change it they invested in schools and Parks and they actually made it attractive to live so their lower Manhattan today below Canal Street has 50,000 people it has brand-new schools and parks it has changed dramatically in its keya occupation so today only 1/3 is in finance and we’ve seen really the World Trade Center site being rebuilt with firms of just condé nast and Spotify and fundamentally different low Manhattan than existed before we even had hotels on Canal Street unheard of but most important the city became part of the nation as a result of this New York City suddenly was viewed as a sympathetic target or attack rather than an outlier filled with kind of a unusual and progressive people and so the memorials for 9/11 were built around the country there in fact around the world if you go to England today in London you’ll see a memorial to 9/11 along with a more to world war ii and other great events which we shared destiny with united kingdom and now of course no matter who you are in this country a world if you’re coming to the united states and this is of course the pope visiting the 9/11 memorial and i thought it was appropriate given this is holy week and good friday is this week as well holy thursdays tomorrow that the fact is when the Pope comes to New York he comes here to 9/11 he goes to st. Patrick’s and then he’ll do an event at either at the garden or Yankee Stadium so 9/11 has become kind of a global site even though current president States has had to create a history where he had to show that he was there whether it’s accurate or not is something I’ll let you discover now the other crisis so we’ve had terrorism we have fires we have snow we have disease and the other fires disaster was the financial crisis and I want to bring this up because the financial crisis occurred 2008-2009 and once again it demonstrated how the city responds to crisis and disaster and catastrophe this was a global crisis the 9/11 was a localized one but the city took the initiative are reinventing lower Manhattan and 2008 the challenge was how could the city would recover and the first part you should know is that President Bush who was in his last few months and President Obama both adopted the same policy to save the banks so the banking system was saved unlike Detroit where somewhat owe companies had to be kind of merged and what is important here is that as this commentator says Mark Zandi no city got as much federal government help as New York City and the reason this is important is that we were getting federal hub and by saving the banks we the federal government saved New York but the city realized at that time that it could no longer just be a financial center and had a different destiny finance was important but it could no longer become to be the core of our economic rationale and so what happened was the financial sector declined and you can see this from 2001 we went from having really there was a massive declines of today and this is what’s important financial service have gone down about 11 and a half percent but the economy grew by 18% so New York changed its economic mix finance still vital but no longer is important and what happened was the city made an aggressive effort to foster tourism to foster high-tech industries and to become a more kind of diversified economy not just based in Manhattan and here we have a strategy of the Bloomberg administration I think it’s important to see they took Roosevelt Island which had two hospitals developed really for other physical diseases especially tuberculosis they turned Cornell which had been stuck up in a blintz magnificant New York great University in the middle of Christmas tree farms and they finally got a foothold in New York City with the Technion from Haifa Israel there was a conversion of the Brooklyn Navy Yard so it became a much more important incubator for new businesses which a new lab building shows and the NYU School of Engineering was given a very very old MTA building on J Street which has now become a Center for art and design and technology really run by the NYU School of Engineering which I think reflects we the decision to rebuild the intellectual infrastructure so lower Manhattan was physically rebuilt and after 2008 the economic infrastructure was redefined and so we see that disasters don’t just affect New York and once and they go away they become part of the city because the city is aggressively responded by taking the initiative to correct the problems that led to them that meant to water supplied to fight cholera that meant Subway’s does fight vulnerability to snow and I think more important the building code every time

we’ve had a physical disaster has been rebuilt and redesigned and so one of the great parts is our buildings are very safe compared to other cities I always point out after the Chicago fires they only said you couldn’t have wood buildings in a very small area of downtown but they LED would be the dominant structural material elsewhere in New York City you’re not gonna find any wood buildings that are over 4 storeys anywhere this is a very tough building code and after 9/11 we became even more challenging to make sure our buildings could withstand attack now this is really important disasters then are not event that current isolation they are something the city responds to and uses as a strategy to change its public policy so having an activist government so and sometimes we build a water supply other times you build a subway I would even argue the great municipal park movement of the 19th century leading to Central Park and to Prospect Park and Van Cortlandt Park the result of the vast immigration from Ireland and Germany in the 1840s and 50s which if any went on to Eastern Europe and the parks were viewed as a way to make sure that the new immigrants had fresh air they could get the benefit of the you know out being outdoors rather than in slums so we’re constantly responding to the disasters and diseases by creating new parts of the city whether it’s a park whether it’s a transit system whether it’s a water supply and even having an intellectual infrastructure that’s for the 21st century now let me move along now to talk about the current crisis because I think that’s what the one on everyone’s mind and I do want to recommend especially today that the New York Times has an article by David Goodman citing the decisions and non decisions by our mayor and governor and I do not want to discuss it in detail here but you can ask questions later but it’s a wonderful story of how our city was much slower than other cities look at the mayor of San Francisco what’s more active in closing the schools and our current mayor and how in fact New York leg and his capacity to respond the Department of help is one of the great treasures of New York City government it’s historically one of the great assets great magnet for talent and yet this is a time when the Health Department according to New York Times simply could not get its recommendations responded to by City Hall for reasons that I’d really don’t know but what’s striking here is that just as the President and other people really underestimated the crisis New York City’s leadership did too until it was the really middle of March really didn’t do anything until they decided to cancel the st. Patrick’s Day Parade and that led eventually you know the closing of the school’s the same week and eventually in March 22nd and this is important you can see it took the beginning of death right before Saint Patrick’s Day to suddenly see that New York City had to do much more I just really wanted to show you this graph because here we have a chart showing really the week of the 15th of March the 22nd of March April 29th and sweet green out so in less than four weeks we’ve seen the emergence of this virus killing thousands of people New York’s striking many more and making New York what has been called the epicenter of this pandemic and the reason I brought this graph is to show you look at everything from the middle of February during the Lunar New Year no one was suggesting people not gather in fact we had people suggesting to go out to eat to celebrate on March 5th you know in other cities they were doing things so New York didn’t do really anything until the week of the 15th to aggressively change the way in which people behaved and it really wasn’t until the 22nd of March when the city had winners cause a pause and people were told that there were gonna be no businesses open except those which were essential so if you didn’t get your hair color to style before March 22nd New York City you’re gonna be waiting quite a while let me then talk to you about what the nature of this disease is doing there is every night on the news a body count vary somewhat to the Vietnam War and we keep track every day who’s where the cases are across the country in what cities in what states but I want to point out to you and then today there’s a huge amount of attention on the way it’s affecting different racial groups but I do think it’s important to know that the death in New York City has been largely concentrated among older people now the actual disease does affect people who are young and it certainly is pretty strong among 18 to 44 and even up to the mid 50s but death is particularly striking those or older because those the people have the underlying conditions of basically respiratory problems pulmonary problems diabetes and I wanted to highlight this because that is really one of the great kind of reasons why the vent related debate which you read about all time is so such a mystery because they’re being sought after were people who are really at their very final years in any event now I just want to highlight not only is death concentrated among the old but I also want to say it’s concentrated in the borough’s other than Manhattan and I think this is these are really important this is the rate of the cases by borough by a hundred thousand and Queens has the highest kind of rate of people with the actual coronavirus you can see 928 per

hundred thousand this is actually as of the start of this week followed by Brooke the Bronx which is 9:27 then Staten Island and instead now is a relatively low density your borough but as a high density for this illness and then you see Brooklyn and finally Manhattan why is this relevant I want to raise the issue people suggest that coronavirus is due to the density of cities and that the density is the cause well it’s not just n city Manhattan is 4 million people on a given day when it’s working and visiting and ever people not just live here and coming to school here so it’s one of the densest areas what could be denser than the central business district of Manhattan the area from picks the East Street South to the battery but in fact people don’t live in high-density relatively small and high sized households they have a lot of square footage and sometimes density can be a fight mistaken for what is really intense social interaction so we have very low density areas like Albany Georgia which has high rates of run a virus because we have very large amounts of social get-togethers for religious events and so density does actually ease the spread of the virus because the virus is spread from person to person but it’s not just density it’s sustained social interaction and that is important and what makes New York crucial is not just density but this global population here is one of the great reasons we are such a strong center for it because this is the only city which has 120 direct international flights and different destinations every day we have 50,000 foreign students in college in New York international students we have a city in which it’s important to million people fly every week from different countries into the New York airports you know this is a city in which the global population is at the center of right ivities that’s why we have people from hundred different countries and I think I want to point out as much as we talk about density we have member as a New York Times points out today it was a woman coming from Iran who actually brought who was the first person who was identified with the virus in New York and this is a city which because its global linkages the very reason we exist we’re tied into a global kind of social economic structure it makes it very easy for this virus be brought into the city and to move through the cities different neighborhoods the second part so we have density we have globalization and the third part is that we have people who believe in intense social interaction in fact much of our life is dependent on people being near each other in fact the Corps from New York is in fact face-to-face contact so it’s no surprise of the city in which people basically are crowded together not just on the subway but at bars at sports events in theaters and in office buildings are going to have ample opportunity to spread a virus so it’s not just a density it’s the way we interact with each other and I want to point out to you when you look at Queens and the Bronx you’ll find out that the leading neighborhood and I think when the next one shows you the leading zip code I want to put this way is East Elmhurst which also includes Rikers Island that’s where the black arrow is and I want to say that it’s Queens which has Elmhurst and Corona and Jackson Heights which are three of the leading centers for the köppen 19 virus as well as Borough Park in Brooklyn and the Borough Park of course as you know is a center for ultra-orthodox Jewish community and you know they have a strong belief in collective activities and just as you find out in some of the Middle East you find people who involved in pilgrimages and you find people involved in intense religious events that are very large you find that as well in Borough Park and other Orthodox communities in parts of Ulster County I just want to point out to you that and a great book William McNeill Road and this is a fabulous book about and I think I want to recommend it to you he wrote in 1976 called plagues and peoples he pointed out that there’s no question and I think it’s important to understand that there are people who are religious and they believe that a disease comes from God as he pointed out and he would argue that in fact they feel that it’s inappropriate in pious in fact to interfere with God’s purposes by trying to take precautions against disease and so when we talk about some of the religious communities which have vulnerability to this virus we have to point out this is the core they religious practice they think that is part of the kind of experience that goes with being religious so of course they’re gonna resist this and I just I do want to point out that you know McNeal pointed out in a very powerful sense you know that in fact disease spreads because these communities actually believe that they’re coming from God and that you can’t stop the will of God so I don’t want to be a feel Arjun although it is the first night of Passover but I think we should

understand that some of the resistance we have to precautions comes from the very religious beliefs that make them vulnerable now within this particular event here I hope you see that this disease is striking the working-class communities of the outer borough is not Manhattan and that is very important to understand because we’ve had some very unusual interventions recently you couldn’t have lived in the United States without seeing a huge hospital ship come to the west side of Manhattan as well as the conversion of the Javits Center on the west side of Manhattan and but that’s not where the disease is striking its striking in Queens and in Brooklyn and so in a kind of crazy way we’re putting these new hospitals precisely in the inappropriate locations where the patients are which is why Elmhurst Hospital and Brooklyn Hospital Center have gotten so much attention I just want to show you some members I want to leave time for questions and answers but let me just wrap up very quickly and say look at our hospitals we have 20 hospitals in Manhattan and we have nine thousand three hundred seventy three beds but only about a million point six people look at look at Queens nine hospitals and we’re being very generous including North Shore nor well which is really across the border they have under 4,000 beds and so there’s no question that you know we have kind of a medical center hegemony in Manhattan where Columbia and Presbyterian located in well you ain’t going and I’m out Sinai and yet the disease is striking you know miles from those hospitals and even though they some of them have satellites in Brooklyn the vast need is in Queens and yet that’s not where the hospitals are there is a real in congruence between where the major teaching hospitals are they do a great job and where the patients are will being struck with this illness I want to quickly point out that during this very instant disaster once we decided to change the city’s policy and closed down businesses what we saw was a vast reduction in people going anywhere in the subway so we went from 32 million riders in the subways per week on really the beginning the end of February and 31 million the beginning of March down to less than 5 million today so ridership has gone down 86 percent on the subways 90 percent on the commuter railroads this is creating a vast problem for the MTA because we need to maintain the system so the essential workers can get to and from taking care of people to deliver groceries to take care of patients work in the healthcare sector but the very point is they’re losing vast amounts of money because the ridership is gone and this is going to be a challenge which is going to be part of our life for the next year because even though there’s four billion dollars in federal aid coming that’s hardly going to be sufficient I just want to show you what’s happened look at Grand Central today never hasn’t had such a shortage of people and such beautiful light and air because there’s no one there and so the city itself has become depopulated when I say the city Manhattan’s great train stations it’s great infrastructure the streets the places people around the world come to they’re not coming anymore this is leading to a vast economic kind of hemorrhaging because restaurant workers are 225,000 people now unemployed those are both of people paid hourly they’re not going to get the kind of great health benefits that they’re because they don’t have jobs anymore so we have been in crisis facing our city of people who are suffering because they no longer have incomes jobs health benefits and yet there’s no immediate cure for this because they may not qualify for some of those federal programs so I want to end with this one note there is a future and it’s not something we really want to have well one is the kind of future the governor of Rhode Island can’t understand what’s in her mind suggesting they should basically prevent New Yorkers from leaving because they’re spreading the illness and there’s been a ton of a view sometimes I could buy a president but this is a New York crisis only but the map shows it’s not New York is at the start of a national kind of diffusion of this virus but I do want to point to that there has been an effort to kind of take New York and view it as the cause of the crisis rather than a product of global economic and demographic forces and I just want to show you that even the governor of New York plains the president wanted a quarantine New York he said it would be illegal of course of this section for the Constitution you know interstate commerce would not give the president that power and so what is the future well I don’t want to answer it today I think we have Friday but I do want to point out we’re going to have to change the way we live in New York and just as after 9/11 people became used to having their bags checked and having ID cards we’re going to change the way we function I think we’re gonna have to have a variety of sensors built into our clothing so that it takes the temperature before you get an elevator the workplace is going to have to be more than 50 square feet as it isn’t so many of these little open offices and in fact the very way we go about two big events is going to require a new attention to the air to the safety and just as we’ve made physical safety important we’re gonna have to make health safety important I predict in the future the police commissioner is going to be super cited by the health

commissioner because that’s the person people in account on to assure that New York is a safe place to live and to work and to thrive so let me now open it up for questions I hope you’ve been able to submit some thank you very much are there any questions we have yet or any comments we have a number of questions don’t lead our way I’ll read the couple out this one is from an anonymous attendee is Manhattan relatively low are the rates in Manhattan relatively low because loads of Manhattan employees are commuters who are going back to New Jersey Long Island and Westchester and therefore they’re being counted in those totals I think there’s no question that when New Rochelle was quarantined it was because a lawyer who worked in Manhattan lived there and they focused on New Rochelle because that’s where so much of the spreading the virus occurred so yes I think certainly in some cases it’s because mahan population is living elsewhere and spending time there I think the other part is that Manhattan’s population tends to be much smaller than Brooklyn and Queens and so we don’t realize it’s only smaller it’s more affluent 70% of the people in the head and they have college degrees there’s it’s a much much different workforce than you find in the other boroughs and because of that I think they’ve been able to kind of they have some health conditions make them much less vulnerable and I think there that’s one of the real reasons I think their underlying health can be stronger we’ve gotten a lot of questions about the transit system and the MTA so how do you think we would avoid a financial collapse of the transit system I think the MTA has a purpose which is so central to New York that no governor could let it really fail in addition it’s one of the largest issuers of tax-free municipal debt so the municipal debt of the MTA turned out to be a diminished value every state every county would have their own interest rates go up so what do I think is important here is to recognize that we can’t even maintain our health care system without the MTA because that’s how people get to work I think we’re not going to be able to maintain groceries when I have pharmacies because the working people don’t have cars and they need the subways to get to work it’s bad enough we’ve had to reduce the amount of service because of the number of MTA employees who have had the test positive and we have a very serious shortage of workers so I don’t think we’re going to allow it that’s why the federal government provided support I think the state legislature last week changed some of the financing options and we should be very thankful about the MTA unlike other systems which have closed down the Muni system in San Francisco was almost stopped running and other cities have said that New York is maintaining it sometimes the reduce levels and secondly the MTA gets revenues from multiple sources income taxes real estate transaction taxes the mansion tax as well as the sales tax so I think that by not just having the tolls and the fares we have a better revenue stream but it’s going to take a long time because people gonna be nervous when they get on trains and I think we’re gonna have to have the MTA taking much more aggressive posture about having sanitizers right near the fabulous new Omni system if you can have a card that uses Omni you should be able to have sanitizers there in some modern form I think we’d have to have masks at one point required for the trains so I think we have not even begun to impose new requirements on people who trade think that so words next question considering disaggregated data is going to be crucial for post coronavirus policy response is it fair to say the census will aid that or what role will the census play in that if any let’s just hope people fill out the census I think the great concern about the census is that it struck it’s April 1 when everybody received them is also you know point when we’re at the really peak of the coronavirus season I’m much more concerned with having people return their census forms and given the distractions I remember this virus is not just the virus of the body it’s a virus of the head because it kind of takes over your thinking and your mind and where am I going and what can I do so I think the census has been caught short because it’s being done just it’s competing with the virus and I think the virus is always going to supersede the you know your health and it’s going to supersede a government request for information regrettably next question what do you make of New Yorkers newfound affinity for Governor Cuomo and his response to the pandemic this is delicious the governor has found his voice you know he has been a very effective to getting things done and now he he discovered you know that he has his human being I think the governor is fortunate I think because he’s been able

to use the powers of the governor which are substantial to intervene and of course he was very very fortunate because the mayor of New York was slower than the governor and the governor has found that uh you know he lived in the shadow his father for many years and now who’s kind of uh become larger his father because it every day around 11 o’clock or 12 percent and I think the governor’s aggressiveness has been a contrast with the mayor and I think people in a crisis learn that leadership kind of comes when you’re tested and he’s been tested and though he was initially not as focused on this once he got focused I think he’s been relentless and I think that his being a champion and his willingness to go hand to hand with the Andrew Trump and government the Andrews well he’s in over his head with a Donald Trump has been terrific but at the same time he’s been able to kind of convey the fact that people have to maintain attachments their families and their friends so there’s been kind of a both a remarkable way in which he’s been they’ve been a strong force as well as a compassionate one which of the city’s vital industries are best positioned to survive the economic depression especially if the pandemic leads to a long period of unpredictable shutdowns it’s a fabulous question I wish I could predict the future but I’ll tell you this much I think we do not know how remote work is going to affect the office of the future but I think once people get used to working remotely they’re not going to come back to five days a week commuting into their jobs NBC Universal has 67,000 employees and only 3,000 are coming to an office and most of those are news or technical Jimmy Fallon can stay out in the Hamptons for the rest of his career do his show Stephen Colbert can do it out montclair but if you know the news is being done out of Manhattan or out of Washington and so you know I’m the technical people there so I think we have to realize that there are certain industries which is going to require face-to-face and they will come into Manhattan the second part is that the the nature of work is changing because as I said Ted technology has now shown that you can have financial institutions doing trading from home JP Morgan sent their workers to the trading floor which resulted in a widespread diffusion of the virus and now they’re finding people are doing it from home so I think I’m very concerned about how the future office market is going to work people are gonna want to go to offices for the structure for the interaction but I don’t think they’re going to be working in 40-foot cubicles with open air and I think that the office is gonna have to find a way to change the experience so it’s safe I tell people all the time the most dangerous place to be in New York is an elevator because you’re standing next to someone you don’t know who knows what germs is carrying or she and you know you can’t jump out of the elevator because it’s going up 30 or 40 floors we’re going to have to make those buildings health safe that means we’re gonna to change the actual technology that is in the lobby so when you walk in you’re going to be comfortable going up to your office with trying to predict the future do you see current patterns of regionalization of resources and sharing resources across public and private institutions continuing after the pandemic I’m not sure they’re going on now I mean upstate New York doesn’t want to share with downstate their ventilators I think this is a we’re very lucky we have three Democratic governors who kind of all are willing to get along right now but at the core I think that yeah there will be some regional cooperation that comes out of this is more regional goodwill but I do believe that you know fundamentally the states are independent political entities and the cities within them the subordinate so I think there will be some regional cooperation but I would not over ate it I think we have a kind of a low because they all want the same thing which is money from Washington do you think there will be an expansion of hospitals and healthcare in the outer boroughs well I think this is a great question because we cut out hospitals because the medical system said we don’t have to keep them in you have surgery you go home I grew up as a kid I remember when I was young if they were in the hospital they said well stay a couple days to take some rest now the minute they do anything knee replacement hip replacement appendix you’re home maybe you’re there overnight so the medical care industry doesn’t want you in the hospital they have different reasons and choice companies or maybe in spread of the illness but I think that we’re not going to necessarily be building new Queen’s hospitals I think the outer borough politicians fail to understand look they built a new medical school out and NASA for one state senator but I think we need like to the fish they’ll say I think have neglected to understand that they deserve more than the US Tennis of facilities and Citi Field they deserve some higher level academic teaching presidents it could be one of the hospitals in New York establishing the presence there if

I were the mayor or a governor I would say that I would take the property they were in a give to Jeff Bezos and turn it into a biomedical research center to fight disease to fight infections infections and disease and not going away we may have this vaccine but there’ll be others so I would take either the Brooklyn Navy Yard or the property we were going to give three billion dollars to Amazon and put it into biomedical research here in the borough of Queens and let that be a magnet for the world to know that we’re going to invest in this there’s going to be a massive growth of the biotechnical world just as it was a massive growth after Sputnik when the Russians launched a satellite we invested in science technology we’re on the verge of a new investment in health care especially bioengineering if I were the governor of New York I would not waste a dime on Amazon but I’d put billions into bio technical research how do you see the virus affecting voting now and next year when the city will see so many competitive races this is gonna mobilize people to vote in levels but no one ever imagined we are seeing for the first time rates of unemployment which are not caused by people but by caused by a virus and it’s not a hidden virus it’s real and I think this is mobilizing people they suddenly realizing that you know we have to have some safety net for people in comes some safety net for healthcare I think this is gonna create a vast political upswell in New York I can’t predict the presidential election but the 2021 mayoral election it’s not going to be fought on who’s the happiest warrior it’s gonna be Ford who’s the most competent person because we’re gonna have a city government with a need to cut back somehow to find a ways to force the growth and to assure the health and safety so I think this is going to politicize people at levels that we haven’t seen or expected and it’s not going to be acceptable to just be continuing as is and people are going to want a serious leader not just more of the same how could you see Broadway and sports events in New York coming back you did note today that tourism is now a key part of the city’s economy well first of all I would say that I am going to assure you that during the flu epidemic of 1918 they kept the Broadway theatres going by actually throwing people out of the theater the minute they cost there were heavy rules about what you could do in the theater we may have to have some strong social sanctions much bigger than social distancing remember most of those Broadway theaters are a hundred years old and the seats are really quite close together I’m very concerned about tours I think New York has now gotten kind of a threatening edge to it and I just as tourism was vital after 9/11 I don’t think it’s going I think you know I don’t think it’s gonna be easy to renew tourism and restaurants aren’t coming back at 100% we’re not gonna suddenly take the stigma of being with people out we’ve educated people that they’re at risk in dense social settings you know I don’t think we’re gonna see people sitting in those tight Soho restaurants with really four people at the table squashed eggs to another table and I don’t think restaurants can make money if they spread in the tables apart so the restaurant industry is gonna be a challenge we have a lot of people who just suddenly learned how to find their way through a kitchen because they can’t eat out number two thirds of most meals are out of the house and suddenly it’s reversed now so I worry about the restaurants because one they’re not coming back at a hundred percent true there’s going to be a lot of stigma and I think the worst place you should be is a basketball arena where people get up and Cheer spit out volumes of fluid and coughing and air I’d be I I can’t imagine anything no we should be thankful the Nixon that was so mediocre they’re never gonna be in an NBA championship in my lifetime but this is really a real important issue will you go to basic events unless you’re sure of safety so I think it’s gonna be incumbent upon the baseball and football teams to make sure that everyone coming in has their temperature taken just as you go through an airport now and you’re gonna be checked for security we’re gonna be checking for your health condition when you go to a major event you any other questions we have one last question there have been a number of people who asked about hurricane sandy and you didn’t mention that on your list of disasters how well did the city respond to that weakness in our infrastructure that sandy exposed and are there any weaknesses that remain today well I want to acknowledge I did to Sandy I also didn’t do the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in the 1900 1900 s both of which were disasters simply because I didn’t want to cover too much a sandy revealed that New York City has large areas which are really in flood plains we’ve remapped the city so we know where the flood plains are we’ve changed the building code so you don’t have the flooding of your infrastructure and you can’t have a you know all your power systems at the basement at ground level and I think there’s been a vast improvement in how we’re building things but still remains a lot of homes have never been really adequately repaired

there are portions of New York which still should not have any buildings I think the state has done a great job acquiring land down on the Staten Island sure so we were building in wetlands without doing that but you know there’s no question that’s been a slower and more difficult process and it’s really the areas of the city were vulnerable have in fact seen some changes of course we’re going to find out whether there’ll be changes on the Lower East Riverside which of course is now under debate so I think it’s almost 1:45 in my correct and I want to say to everyone here I want to thank you I also want to suggest that if you want to participate Friday I hope you’ll register because I think that’s how you get interest into this webinar and I want to also let you know that next week the Wagner’s will be hosting at the Dean sherry glide one of the foremost health economists in the country and I hope you’ll be able to participate there I want to thank you for your time your attention I hope it’s been useful and of course if you have any questions or further ones you can email me at Martha Mitchell at gmail.com so thank you Christina and thank you the rest of the audience was still with us