Crafting a bold vision for the region's future

At the 2016 Assembly, RPA will unveil the first preliminary recommendations of the Fourth Regional Plan, outlining actions the region should take to ensure sustainability, good governance and shared prosperity over the next 25 years. 


Crafting a bold vision for the region's future

At the 2016 Assembly, RPA will unveil the first preliminary recommendations of the Fourth Regional Plan, outlining actions the region should take to ensure sustainability, good governance and shared prosperity over the next 25 years. 

Each proposal will be presented at a breakout session during the Assembly. After the initial presentation, panelists representing government, civic institutions, community groups and businesses will have the opportunity to respond and offer feedback. 

Morning Sessions

What Does an Affordable New York City Look Like in 2040?

As New York's population has risen since the 1980s, the city has confronted a growing crisis of affordability. Residents are facing not only increasing housing costs, but also increasing overcrowding and homelessness. Without significant action, we can expect these trends to worsen. The Fourth plan will propose policies that will lead to more and better housing options for people of all incomes, in pursuit of a growing, affordable and integrated New York City by 2040.

Xavier de Souza Briggs, Vice President of Economic Opportunity and Markets, Ford Foundation

Michelle de la Uz, Executive Director, Fifth Avenue Committee
Moses Gates, Director of Community Planning and Design, Regional Plan Association
Rick Jacobus, Principal, Street Level Urban Impact Advisors
Rachel LaForest, Steering Committee Member, Right to the City
Michael Slattery, Senior Vice President for Research, Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY)
Carl Weisbrod, Chairman, NYC Planning Commission


Running the Show: A New Model of Transit Governance

The region's transportation problems have many causes, including decades of under-investment, fragmented and overly politicized decision-making, excessive costs and legacy structures that dissuade innovation. To address the root cause of these problems, the fourth plan will propose fundamental changes in how we plan, finance, build and operate transportation systems in our region.

Juliette Michaelson, Executive Vice President, RPA

Rohit Aggarwala, Chief Policy Officer, Sidewalk Labs
Greg Clark, Chair, The Business of Cities
Veronica Vanterpool, Executive Director, Tri-State Transportation Campaign
Jay Walder, President and CEO, Motivate

Living on the Edge: Transforming Flood Zone Policy

The scope and scale of actions needed to protect our vulnerable communities from climate change require more funding and better coordination than federal, state or local governments can currently provide. An effort to engage the private sector and reconfigure existing budgets to fund a regional commission to coordinate, research, design and implement resiliency programs would transform the way we protect ourselves from floods and other effects of climate change.

Holly Leicht, Regional Administrator, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Robert Freudenberg, Director of Energy and Environment, RPA
Jonathan Goldstick, Vice President, CH2M
Megan Linkin, Natural Hazards Expert, Swiss Re
Carter Strickland, Vice President and Program Manager for Water and Natural Resources, HDR Engineering
Claire Weisz, Founding Principal, WXY Architecture + Urban Design
Dan Zarrilli, Senior Director, Climate Policy and Programs, NYC Office of the Mayor
Mayor Dawn Zimmer, Mayor of Hoboken

Beyond the Strip Mall: Reimagining Suburban Commercial Corridors

Low-density office parks and shopping centers provide an opportunity for the development of new mixed-use communities in places that already have access to infrastructure and services. The fourth plan will identify a dozen large-scale and/or strategically located sites for redevelopment.

Trent Lethco, Principal, ARUP

Steve Bellone, Suffolk County Executive
Rob Lane, Senior Fellow for Urban Design, RPA
Seth Pinsky, Executive Vice President, RXR Realty
Lynn Richards, President and CEO, Congress for the New Urbanism
Gary Toth, Senior Director, Transportation Initiatives, Project for Public Spaces

Afternoon Sessions


The Housing Affordability Crisis in Our Suburbs

Exclusionary zoning regulations  have limited housing choices and exacerbated the high cost of housing for the region as a whole. The long era of rapid expansion powered by the construction of single family homes is coming to a close, and a new model is needed. The fourth plan will propose that the states offer strong incentives to municipalities for promoting multi-family and affordable housing that will support suburban economic growth and create communities that are affordable, livable and fair.

Ingrid Gould Ellen, Faculty Director, NYU Furman Center

Elaine Gross, President, Erase Racism
Chris Herbert, Managing Director, Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University
Melissa Kaplan-Macey, Connecticut Director, Regional Plan Association
James Rubin, Commissioner and CEO, New York State Housing and Community Renewal
Peter Reinhart, Director, Kislak Real Estate Institute, Monmouth College
Kathryn Shafer, Deputy Policy Director, Partnership for Strong Communities

Photo by JayLazarin/iStock / Getty Images

Not Everybody Works in Manhattan: Fixing the Commuter Rail Network

The commuter rail system is over a century old and primarily designed toward the region's central business district. The fourth plan proposes to upgrade and rethink commuter rail service to better serve traditional commutes to the urban core, as well as the region’s other employment centers and underserved residents.

Hope Knight, Greater Jamaica Development Corporation

Richard Barone, Vice President for Transportation, RPA
Joseph Della Fave, Executive Director, Ironbound Community Corporation
Dennis Martin, Interim Executive Director, NJ Transit
Joe McGee, Vice President, Business Council of Fairfield County
Tom Prendergast, Chairman and CEO, MTA
Polly Trottenberg, Commissioner, NYC Department of Transportation

Photo by John Moore/Getty Images News / Getty Images

Reversing the Digital Divide

Inequality is one of the biggest challenge we are facing, and the digital divide threatens to make it even more extreme if we don't act now. The fourth plan will propose creating a network of fiber-optic broadband networks that serve all communities, leveraging new development as well as public-private partnerships to reduce costs and increase efficiency.

Benjamin de la Pena, Director of of Community and National Stategy, John L. and James S. Knight Foundation

Nick Grossman, General Manager, Union Square Ventures
Noel Hidalgo, Executive Director, BetaNYC
Mandu Sen, Senior Planner, RPA
Seth Wainer, Chief Information Officer, City of Newark
Maya Wiley, Counsel to the Mayor, City of New York

The Carbon Conundrum

Climate change poses a severe threat to the New York region. Every level of government has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but their efforts are beset with competing priorities and uncoordinated programs - from federal mandates and regional cap-and-trade markets to state renewable energy targets to municipal action plans. What role should the region play in reducing the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases? How do we ensure that carbon reduction efforts are cost-effective, equitable, and in the best interests of regional and global sustainability? 

Peggy Shepard, Executive Director, WE Act for Environmental Justice

Steve Caputo, Research Fellow, RPA
Rory Christian, Director of New York Clean Energy, Environmental Defense Fund
Jeanne Fox, Adjunct Professor, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs
Judith Lagano, Vice President of Asset Management, NRG Energy Inc.