This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
Henry Cohen, Senior Management Consultant in the City Administration Office, discusses population trends and the population of specific areas in NYC.
Marvin Sleeper moderates.
Panelists: Joe Gervin, John Cochrane, and Stan Siegel
The recent population trends in NYC indicate the population is stabilizing at about 8 million. With the development of Staten Island, the city may begin to grow by a few hundred thousand.
Since 1950, the Puerto Rican population has increased from about 250,000 to about 600,000, and the Negro population has increased from about 750,000 to about 950,000. Forecast an increase in both populations to about 1 million and a quarter each by about 1970 or 1975, which indicates a further decline in the rate of the white population.
Some decline of population in Manhattan, but it's not clear whether or not the decline is the result of recent clearance and redevelopment, or whether it's part of a long term trend. Manhattan has a decline of almost half a million people since 1910, and the bulk occurred before 1950, before the large scale redevelopment project took place. A historic movement of second generation families to the outer boroughs, which will likely continue. Offset by a settling in Manhattan of middle and upper class families. Negro population is no longer increasing; a good deal is an exodus to the outer boroughs, but also a substantial movement of Negroes to the suburbs.
Housing opportunities for middle income families.
The number of people on subways at rush hour has declined since 1947. Testing the suggestion that shifting work hours around the city would relieve some traffic on the subway, but most businesses are dependent upon other industries, which set their hours on other industries. A linkage problem. Similar programs in London and DC. Not successful in London. During the war, the government established an elaborate staggered work program through control of the Bureau of the Budget. There was a lot of "slippage."
Development of peripheral parking to encourage drivers to park in the outer boroughs and take the subway in.
Breakdown of city budget.
Decline of communicable diseases.Trying to develop techniques for early detection of cancer, heart disease, and glaucoma.
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 72276
Municipal archives id: LT8222
This is a machine-generated transcript. Text is unformatted and may contain errors.
How have population trends affected New York City Housing how often feel Asian factor is reflected in the city budget can working hours be staggered to relieve congestion on the subways. Or the answers to these and other questions listen now to your city stations campus press conference each week at this time in this transcribed discussion editors of college newspapers question or news where they personality Marvin's sleeper award winning reporter and columnist for The New York Journal American is the moderator of the series now to introduce the panel and tonight's guest here is Mr sleeper. Good evening and welcome to another edition of campus press conference our guest tonight is Mr Henry Cohn senior management consultant in the city administrators office Mr Cowen works on the problems of the city's social agencies such as health hospitals and welfare He's also an expert on population trends in our town and how they affect the wellbeing of our community Mr Cullen is former director of the research for the city planning commission and served as project manager for the Regional Plan Association study of the Metropolitan Rapid Transit survey here when are you Mr Cullen our campus press conference reporters Joe Girvan of the Fordham lexigram John Cochran of the Iona Ionia and Stan Siegel of the N.Y.U. square Journal I want about the first question from you Stan SIEGEL Mr Cohen what is the recent population trend in New York City. The recent population trends in New York City indicate that the population is stabilizing at about eight million. This is likely to continue into the future with the exception that with the development of Staten Island the city may again begin to grow by several hundred thousand in the next ten to twenty years when you say it's staying at about eight million you mean it's going to be static at that figure not going to love too much more it's not likely to go up there too much more or too much below that figure and how do you draw such a conclusion from the trends in density in Manhattan and the availability of vacant land in the outer boroughs almost a clone from Joe given this seems to refute a theory that people are moving out of New York is that true while there are people moving out of New York and there are people moving into New York. The population of the city can remain constant even when people move out of New York because of the excess of births over deaths stands Mr County you know of any change in the character of the New York population well since one thousand nine hundred fifty the. Puerto Rican population has increased from about two hundred fifty thousand to about six hundred thousand and the Negro population has increased from about seven hundred fifty thousand to about nine hundred fifty thousand this would suggest of the white population has declined by. About. Half a million. Is this trend going to continue is there any indication that it is or is there reached its peak well. We would forecast. An increase of both the Puerto Rican and the Negro population to about a million and a quarter each by one nine hundred seventy to one hundred seventy five which would indicate a somewhat further decline in the white population but not but the rate of decline will not be at the rate of recent years quite a from John Cochrane I'm going to come with the attention of New York City you've been paying in the recent past to the development of housing housing projects have they in any way affected the population. You mean the population trends the population trend has it been bringing the population down at all from people out there has been. Some the client. Population in Manhattan. But it isn't clear whether or not this decline. Is. The result of recent. Clearance and redevelopment or whether it's part of a long term trend. I would point out here that Manhattan. Has. Had the Klein of almost half a million people since one thousand tens and the bulk of that decline actually occurred before nine hundred fifty before the large scale redevelopment project took place and what this indicates the same surely has been a historic movement of. Second generation families from the central borrow to the outer bar and that trend is likely to continue into the future but it will be offset as we are beginning to see in recent years by a settling in Manhattan of middle class and upper class families who desire. A close in location such as in Manhattan I might point out as part of this that from all our indications that the Negro population of Manhattan is no longer increasing in fact it seems to have declined slightly since one thousand and fifty is this part of this. Exodus to the suburbs or to the out of borrowers in the case of the Negro population a good deal of it is an exodus to the outer boroughs but we also are beginning to see a very substantial movement. Of Negroes from the south and from New York City into many suburban locations and why is that is it because they can't get any space in New York is that there's no not enough low income housing for them in in Manhattan. Well pirated represents the same type of movement as we see among other families. It frequently is a movement in relation to where jobs are located for them. Or where families may be located sometimes it's a desire to get into lower density. Dwellings and they can occupy in Manhattan question from Joe government in relation to the negro in Puerto Rican population Mr Cohn what particular problems this present to your department in more cost housing for instance well. The cities have a City Housing Authority which is the agency set up for building and providing. Public low ran housing has a very substantial program underway dating back to the one nine hundred thirty S.. We projected that. When all present projects. Completed under construction in planning are completed by about nine hundred sixty two. That the city will have over one hundred projects and about occupied by about five hundred thousand people go Well regarding this mistake on how much space do you have left and then having to build aren't you necessary necessarily. Forcing these people out of Manhattan into places such as the Bronx Queens and Staten Island Well there's no there's no empty space in Manhattan to build. Whenever you build in Manhattan you of necessity displace people if you're building on residential property and since in most cases it's desirable when you rebuild to build a lower density then for Vale in the area then in effect you are displacing people selling. To sun that up that the population of of Manhattan will not go any grade of A live is right now that's correct and that. We assume that it will have to go down the road it should be going down in the year in the next ten years to come our cost of this placement with. Unit with apartment buildings that have less units and they have now while I wouldn't say it's going to go down because of that I would think it would be going down even if the city didn't have a program just as it's been going down for forty years status Mr Cohen several people have argued that the middle income group is the group which supports New York City its core of workers. I notice that there are a great number of housing developments being put up by the city for the low income group is it possible that this this tremendous increase in low income group housing is forcing this supporting middle class group out of the city Well there are. Many important city programs for middle income housing. Both through the Title one program and through what we call the no cash subsidy program and through loans to limited dividends and cooperative groups for the building of middle income projects and these are proceeding independently of the low rent housing program and are making will over a period of time make a very substantial contribution to the city's housing supply but do you feel at the moment that kind of middle income housing that is being built by private developers is actually middle income housing have been report saying that middle income housing is for people with incomes of seven thousand dollars a year and recently I heard a report that middle income housing is for people with twenty thousand dollars a year income how does a city administrators office feel about that you do all that he's around here. We haven't ourselves to find what. Middle income families are in the. No cash subsidy program of the City Housing Authority. They have been building projects some already opened which were renting for about seventeen to twenty dollars a room and. Some of the newer ones still under construction will be renting. For twenty to twenty three twenty five dollars a room but none of those have gone over thirty dollars well. Now that we've sort of got. That general picture figured out we have a new City Housing Authority reorganizing the housing authority with a three man paid board that's replaced the old one as of I believe this might be one of the problems that will be confronting them in their first months in office well among the problems of the day will have. Will be that of strengthening the authority and its management over the projects they will also have to concern themselves with important policy decisions in tenant the Victualling and tenant selection and tenure relations. And they will also have to concern themselves. With. Problems which have been raised and which no one has. An easy answer that concerns the racial composition of the project. Has this is the administrators office got any suggestions on this you were the people who put out the. Survey report that recommended the reorganization of the Housing Authority Let's take them one by one the problems you mentioned have at the first one well our our position in regard to. Ten selection victualling. Kind of composition was that these were. Fundamental policy decisions which your reconstituted board would have to resolve through discussion in the community and through study Stansell How about the actual care of the buildings that some people have argued and rightfully so in some cases that the old slums had been replaced by new slums. Well there have been instances where management has been inadequate in maintaining properties. I don't think that. Is correct to say that the new projects are equal to the slums from which the people have come. We in our report on the housing authority made recommendations for centering responsibility for maintenance. In a new unit. And we've urged stronger management policies and strict theory supervision. To keep the project from the theory away question John Cochrane I must to come with this shift to the suburbs in the population trends and to the outlying counties of New York. I understand has quite a transportation found one that has arisen. With a problem could Office Hours in New York City be staggered to relieve the congestion on the subways and surface transportation let's say sixty four thousand dollar question with which we are concerning ourselves. You might not realize it from right from riding on the subway. But the number of people riding during rush hours has actually declined since nineteen forty seven nevertheless. Something over fifty percent of all subway riders on an average weekday ride during the four peak hours. Our office and cooperation with the transit authority and the City Planning Commission have been looking into this matter to see whether or not it's possible. To stagger hours sufficiently to achieve a more comfortable loading level. Our current estimates would indicate that if we could get fifty percent of Manhattan's working force to shift its working hours either one half hour earlier or one half hour later in an organized pattern. That we would achieve a level of comfort on the subways which would not provide each passenger with a seat about which would provide each passenger with elbow room for reading a full sized newspaper. And which would enable him to enter and leave the subway car without the struggle. With huge fines today. What we're doing now is organizing a series of feasibility studies. To test. Our preliminary assumption and see whether or not the necessary degree of cooperation from New York workers and employers is possible now what are the feasibility studies how do you go about that to get right into what the city administrators office does well I was a particular problem what we were actually doing in this is outlining a series of studies for which we would have to attempt to obtain some kind of financing to have them done but what they consist of for example is an attempt to study the ways in which different types of firms are dependent upon the hours of other firms in what in the way they do business so for example. A restaurant on thirty fourth Street doesn't set its own hours it's completely dependent on a more basic working force in that area in the department stores and the office buildings in the garment center. And the people that deliver it to the restaurant or the collect the garbage from the direction of the restaurant set their hours and Theron's of the way the restaurant sets its hours so what you get is a a lot we call a linkage problem and what we would attempt to do through the survey and sample survey and analysis is to see what these relationships are an attempt to define what number of employees and what number of establishment are actually the pacesetters in. In the working hours to see whether or not these could be modified or whether or not it would impair the actually economics of their businesses. And if it did we couldn't do it if it didn't impair their business we could attempt to. Manipulate their working hours in other words that we're trying to figure out is what particular businesses should go to work. Other people in certain businesses should go to work at a certain time in other words the restaurant workers the garment workers the department store workers should go to work half hour earlier or a half hour later as that yeah would I know exactly would we with breach group we would try to see which of them could be moved forward a half hour earlier or later without impairing their business and that practically would have to be done for every occupation in the city that's correct and mainly men had to yell that half of them would be going to work a half hour earlier and a half hour later it might be for example that. You would hit three out of at of every four in a stylish men in a certain stylish meant you couldn't touch any because of the nature of their business like this will stand still Mr Conan the same difficulty I know existed in London England in a very great degree and I believe recently they tried a program I think they called it is the squeeze or something of that sort with a very deep ours with some measure of success is any other program of tha