RPA Assembly

How to Create the Region We Need



Plenary Panel

Photo: MTA

Photo: MTA

Building Big for Less

Sponsored by PwC

It costs a lot and takes a long time to build large transportation infrastructure in New York City, much more than in other parts of the world. This session will explore what drives the high cost of capital construction in New York and how we could make vital projects more efficient and bring costs down.

Julia Vitullo-Martin, Senior Fellow, Regional Plan Association

Charles W. Moorman, President & CEO, Amtrak
Seth Pinsky,° Executive Vice President, RXR Realty
Thomas Prendergast, Executive Vice President and Chief       Strategic Officer, STV
Denise Richardson,° Executive Director, GCANY
Riz Shah, Capital Projects & Infrastructure, US Public Sector Leader, PwC
Polly Trottenberg, Commissioner, New York City Department of Transportation

Morning Sessions

Crossing the Hudson

Hundreds of thousands of people cross the Hudson River every day on trains and buses that rely on a network of overcrowded, outmoded tunnels and transit hubs. How can we comprehensively plan for major changes to Penn Station, the Port Authority Bus Terminal, the trans-Hudson tunnels and other facilities and avoid pitting transit modes or geography against one another?

Paul Josephson,° Partner, Duane Morris

Vishaan Chakrabarti,° Founder, Practice for Architecture Urbanism
Sen. Robert Gordon, State Senator, New Jersey Legislature
Andrew Lynn, Director, Planning and Regional Development Department, Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
John Porcari, Interim Executive Director, Gateway Program Development Corporation
Polly Trottenberg, Commissioner, New York City Department of Transportation


Facing Climate Change in the Meadowlands

The Meadowlands – home to over 30,000 at-risk residents, Teterboro Airport, the Secaucus rail station, Giants Stadium, the American Dream entertainment project, thousands of industrial jobs and several critical roads and rail lines – could be nearly underwater with 3 feet of sea-level rise, a possibility as soon as 2080. What should be done to prepare for this reality?

Eugenie Birch,° Lawrence C. Nussdorf Professor of Urban Research, School of Design, University of Pennsylvania

Robert Ceberio, Founder & President, RCM Ceberio LLC
Stephen Dilts, New Jersey Office Leader, HNTB
Debbie Mans, Executive Director, NY/NJ Baykeeper
Catherine Seavitt, Principal, Catherine Seavitt Studio


Designing an Inclusive Planning Process

Rezonings, new development, urban planning and government policy all have the power to radically transform communities on the ground, and yet many local and state efforts fail to reach those most affected. How can government officials and private entities best facilitate meaningful participation in planning decisions? What are the tradeoffs to making current community engagement processes more open and inclusive? And how do we reach and empower communities which have been underrepresented in the planning process?

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

Toni Harp, Mayor of New Haven
Purnima Kapur, Executive Director, New York City Department of City Planning
Anthony Marchetta, Executive Director, New Jersey Housing Mortgage & Finance Agency
Antonio Reynoso, Council Member 34th District, New York City Council
Javier Valdés, Co-Executive Director, Make the Road New York

Afternoon Sessions


Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images News / Getty Images

Planning for the Transportation Revolution

App-driven ride sharing is rapidly growing in the region, and autonomous vehicles are around the corner. Technology is already transforming our surface transit options and could continue to evolve into a multimodal, user-driven shared mobility system. How can cities embrace shared mobility and manage the effects of new technologies on congestion, curb management, the labor force and the public realm? What strategies should government employ to integrate autonomous technology into the larger public transportation system?

Trent Lethco,° Principal, Arup New York

Robin Chase, Co-Founder & Former CEO, Zipcar
Jessica Robinson, Director, City Solutions, Ford Smart Mobility
Bruce Schaller, Principal, Schaller Consulting
Matt Wing, Corporate Communications Lead, Uber


Bridging the City-Suburb Divide

New York City and the region’s 781 other cities, towns and villages inhabit a common economy and environment, but feuds over funding, services and resources make it harder to tackle shared problems. What are the biggest challenges facing different parts of our region and how have their situations changed under the Trump administration? Are there new ways to collaborate to fund infrastructure, address climate change or solve our affordable housing crisis?

Mitchell Korbey, ° Partner, Chair Land Use & Zoning Group, Herrick Feinstein LLP

Jun Choi, ° CEO, Menlo Realty Ventures
Jonathan Drapkin, President & CEO, Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress
Juanita James, President & CEO, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation
Veronica Vanterpool, Executive Director, Tri-State Transportation Campaign

Photo: Ajay Goel

Photo: Ajay Goel

A Healthier Region Through Street Design

Just another ten minutes of walking a day can lengthen a person’s life by years, but the streets of today are designed primarily for cars, rather than for people. Good design principles and new technologies can help us create more healthy streets, whether in busy commercial districts or suburban areas.  This session will explore how streets can be designed to meet all people’s needs and to promote everyone's physical and mental health. 

Jo Ivey Boufford, MD° President, New York Academy of Medicine

Victor Calise, Commissioner, NYC Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities
Kate Fillin-Yeh, Strategy Director, National Association of City Transportation Officials
Ydanis Rodriguez, Council Member 10th District, New York City Council
Sharon Roerty, Senior Program Officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Jeff Shumaker, Director of Urban Planning and Design, Kohn Pederson Fox Associates