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NYC: Is bigger really better?

It really is quite striking: this globe-trotting mayor has seemingly never thought about (let alone has caused to be studied) the public health consequences of a growing New York City population. Nor has he examined any alternatives to his vision: How could a stable population not only sustain New York City, but also help it thrive for more of its residents than it has in the past? How could smaller be better? How could we cooperate with neighboring jurisdictions instead of just beating our chest as the biggest and best?

And he has apparently failed to do so even though he often does take a public health perspective in other contexts. The Bloomberg administration, for example, recently unveiled a new public education campaign targeting teen pregnancy, and defended that controversial but factually accurate campaign on the grounds that it sends an important message that “teen pregnancy has consequences — and those consequences are extremely negative, life-altering, and most often disproportionately borne by young women.”

Broader population trends, too, can be extremely negative, city altering, and disproportionately borne by those with the least resources.

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