From Nathan Kensinger:
One of the most controversial tools Mayor Bloomberg has utilized in his quest to transform New York City is eminent domain, a practice whereby the state seizes private property to clear the way for an impending development meant for civic and public improvement. This was a favorite tool of Robert Moses, "who rammed highways through dense urban neighborhoods with a 'meat-ax' and became the unstoppable engine of 'slum clearance'," according to Metropolis Magazine. Moses' methods were often vilified, but he created the infrastructure for present day New York City, building highways, bridges, tunnels, parks and institutional landmarks like the Lincoln Center and the United Nations that have been freely used by countless millions of people. Michael Bloomberg, on the other hand, has approved the use of eminent domain for private development projects that include luxury residences and retail shops, college campus facilities and a sports arena. When completed, none of these developments will be open to the general public. They include several neighborhoods documented on this website: Willets Point (aka The Iron Triangle), Manhattanville and the Atlantic Yards.
In the past decade, every neighborhood in New York City has seen new residential towers built. "Across the city, residential construction doubled under Mr. Bloomberg, to more than 30,000 units a year from 2004 through 2008," according to a 2009 NY Times assessment. "Construction spending has also doubled since he took office, reaching a high of $32 billion in 2008" However, after the development bubble burst in 2008, every neighborhood in New York City has been blighted with empty lots and abandoned buildings. Bloomberg's ambitious rezoning and pro-development policies have led to widespread Bloomblight in the form of hundreds of stalled construction projects throughout the five boroughs.
In years to come, how will the public evaluate Bloomberg's contributions to the city skyline? Will New Yorkers embrace the hundreds of luxury condominiums which have been constructed? It remains to be seen what Michael Bloomberg's final legacy will be, however the NY Times summed up the feelings of many New Yorker's in a 2010 editorial written for his third inauguration: "The next time some bigwig wants a stadium or a fat new zoning change, the mayor should take care to demand more parks and public facilities as part of the deal. The bottom line for any development should be that it helps out more than the developer’s bottom line."