Experts believe a recovery is possible, but it’s a tall order, reported CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas.
It’s not about getting back to normal. They say it’s important to tackle the disparities that the pandemic has amplified.
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The city has weathered many storms. Yet this pandemic appears to be the worst in recent history.
“Maybe it’s 2022 or something, but I think we will come back eventually. It’s just hard to wait until the end, ”said one person.
Iconic retailers are closing their doors. Tourist bus workers are now standing in a virtually empty Times Square. Office buildings sit empty as many employees continue to work from home, the very people that Tomorrow’s City Summit wants to return.
“For each office worker, there are five service jobs, so it’s the restaurateur, it’s the dry cleaner, it’s the pharmacy, it’s the florist,” said the CEO of RXR Realty , Scott Rechler.
On Tuesday, 92nd Street Y hosted a summit with thought leaders to consider New York’s recovery.
“Even if we have a vaccine, it might take two or three years in which we have to learn to move, to move and to make things happen again,” Rechler said.
Experts say the recovery must serve essential workers and the vastly under-represented communities hardest hit by the pandemic.
Quality of life issues such as crime must also be addressed.
“I would like to see affordable apartments in every part of the city scattered around every building,” said Eran Chen, founding director of ODA Architecture.
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What remains to be seen is a comprehensive plan that, at the very least, would inspire hope.
“I guess I’d like to see a little more leadership,” said one New Yorker.
“A real plan, a call to action. Some people roll up your sleeves and do it back to normal, ”said another.
The longer it takes, experts say, the more difficult the recovery will be.
“In the long term, I have no doubts about New York’s rebound. In the short term, we have very serious challenges, ”said Kathryn Wylde of the New York Partnership.
Business leaders say they have contacted local authorities, but feel they have been largely ignored.
And while they say money is a problem, they say how it’s managed is even more important.
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