Bloomberg v. Lindsay

As an addendum to today’s story on Bloomberg’s strategic plan, let us pass on this reminiscence from Sylvia Deutsch, the former city planning chairwoman. The other day, she recalled that she joined the commission shortly after Mayor John Lindsay’s 1969 master plan for the city appeared.

It was a really exhaustive look at each and every neighborhood: does it need more social services, does it need more transportation?… The question arose a year or so later when we were in executive session: what do we do with it now? What was finally decided was that we would-quote-file it.

Now, it turns out there is a difference in planning-speak between a “master plan,” which is how Lindsay referred to his oeuvre and a “strategic plan,” which is the term Bloomberg has used, and which planners say denotes a more flexible, broad-brush approach. Let’s hope the Mayor knows the difference.

-Matthew Schuerman