Brooklyn then and now, according to Bloomberg

December 17, 2013 Helen Klein
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Brooklyn’s doing well, according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, one of whose parting gifts as he leaves office is an evaluation of changes in each borough over the past 12 years, while he was in office.

Bloomberg’s office charted the borough’s progress in a variety of subject areas, from population (up more than 94,000, as of July, 2012, when the population was calculated at 2,565,635) to crime (a 43 percent decline in murders, and a 35 percent drop in shootings).

There were 141 murders in Brooklyn in 2013, as of December 15, compared with 249 at that time in 2001. In addition, there were 462 shooting incidents in Brooklyn in 2013; as of mid-December, 2001, there had been 712.

Other salient statistics released by the mayor’s office included a 29 percent decrease in the number of traffic fatalities in Brooklyn over Bloomberg’s three terms, and the addition of 43,457 new units of affordable housing in the borough.

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In addition, the mayor’s office says that under Bloomberg, 102 acres of parkland have been added across the borough, with 106 new parks overall, and more than 150,000 trees planted since 2007. The city has also added some 84 acres of waterfront parkland under Bloomberg, according to the mayor’s office.

In the economic arena, according to the statistics released by the mayor, nearly 79,000 private-sector jobs have been added in Brooklyn since 2002, representing a 19 percent increase. Nationally, according to the mayor’s office, the job growth has been under three percent.

Some of those jobs are in the hospitality and tourism industries. With 36 new hotels over the course of Bloomberg’s tenure, “industry jobs have nearly doubled” in Brooklyn, according to the material provided by the mayor.

In the area of the arts, according to Bloomberg, the city has finished over 100 cultural capital projects in Brooklyn since he took office. Among these is the Brooklyn Cultural District, anchored by BAM, Theater for a New Audience, BRIC Arts/Media House and UrbanGlass.

The cultural institutions are drawing more visitors as well. While 2,455,208 visited them in 2001, that number had gone up to 2,624,075 in Fiscal Year 2013.

In other areas, there have been 29,068 new school seats added in the borough, and 219 new schools (many of which were carved out of old schools determined by the city to be failing). According to Bloomberg, the graduation rate is now up to 65 percent, a 33 percent increase since 2002.

Finally, the longevity of borough residents has increased, with men living an average of three years longer than they did back in 2001, and women living almost three years longer than in 2001. In addition, from 2002 to 2012, the percentage of smokers in Brooklyn decreased from 19.7 percent to 16 percent, according to the mayor’s office.

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