0805nycglobe.jpgThe Department of City Planning, under the orders of Bloomberg has discovered that the city's land mass is less than originally thought. After spending months analyzing aerial images the geographer of the department, Michael Miller, reports that the five boroughs contain 304.8 square miles, while for 20 years it's been documented at 322 square miles.

Miller says the new number isn't a reflection of rising sea levels from global warming or beach erosion, just that it's "a refinement of the measurement." What difference does the 17 square miles make? The NY Times narrows it down; if the city had 17 more square miles it could hold:

  • 13 more Central Parks
  • 1.1 million more people
  • 3.8 million more trees
  • 1400 more restaurants and 284 more street vendors
  • 1.3 million more parking space
  • 185,000 more apartments/houses

They also note that at the current price per acre in Midtown, the space would be worth around $1 trillion. But since we've lost the land lottery, Miller says the only thing to be done is revise the land charts and amend official records. And while he states no particular neighborhood has vanished, Brooklyn shrank the most -- losing about 12 percent, the borough is 72 square miles compared to the previous measurement of 82. Borough president Marty Markowitz doesn't seem too worried, but says, “Now is clearly the time to annex Governors Island."

Photo of NYC snowglobe via mayotic's flickr.