By Edith Honan
NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg gives his final major policy speech on Wednesday, two weeks before he steps down after three terms in office.
Bloomberg, addressing the Economic Club of New York, will speak about "the rise of American cities, the strategies needed to continue urban progress and the threats cities face," according to an announcement sent out from his office.
The mayor, who was elected as a Republican and later gave up his party affiliation, led the city in the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001, and during the recession that hit six years later.
He has been credited with making the city safer, greener and more livable as he pioneered public health and anti-carbon initiatives that have become models for other cities.
Bloomberg will be succeeded on January 1 by Bill de Blasio, currently the city's public advocate. An unabashed liberal who won in a landslide, de Blasio has vowed to address a gap between rich and poor that he blames in part on Bloomberg's policies.
Bloomberg has set up a website, progress.mikebloomberg.com, to highlight his accomplishments and is touring the city's five boroughs to tout initiatives on issues such as economic development, transportation, crime, public health and the arts.
(Reporting by Edith Honan, editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Gunna Dickson)