Last November, RPA released its Fourth Regional Plan before a crowd of over 800 of friends, supporters and members of the media at The New School. After five years of community focus groups, discussions with elected officials and countless hours of research, the fourth plan was ready to be shared with the world. Complete with 61 recommendations that embrace the values of equity, sustainability, health and prosperity, the fourth plan’s is designed to be a living and breathing document – serving as a roadmap for how we can make our region a better place for all over the next 25 years.
Since the fourth plan’s release last November, we’ve also had some pretty big wins. From making recommendations to move forward on congestion pricing and improving the New York City transit system, to creating more housing without new construction and launching our Anchor Opportunity Network, we’ve worked diligently to put many of the recommendation listed in the fourth plan into action.
Here are just a few of the proposals in the Fourth Regional Plan that have begun to come to fruition:
- NYCT’s Fast Forward Plan largely mirrored RPA’s recommendations to rebuild the subways; in particular, the organization called for expediting the installation of Communications Based Train Control (CBTC), improving bus service and creating longer work windows to allow transit workers to complete projects more quickly and cost-effectively.
- With the support of New York State, New York City and New Jersey, the Army Corps of Engineers has commenced a multi-year study to consider the benefits and impacts of surge barriers and other constructed resilience measures in and around New York harbor, including a potential regional surge barrier. The Hudson River Foundation and NY-NJ Harbor Estuary Program commissioned a preliminary evaluation of the potential influence that large barriers could have on the Hudson River Estuary.
- RPA recommended creating more affordable housing in communities across the region and this past year the Village of Great Neck Plaza passed an inclusionary zoning ordinance on the basis of an RPA report, Jersey City voted to create an inclusionary zoning study and the City of Newark’s inclusionary zoning law (that was passed before the plan was released) went into effect.
- Congestion Pricing gained a powerful new proponent this year in Governor Cuomo, bringing RPA’s recommendation to transform how the state funds transportation infrastructure improvements one step closer to realization. As a new class heads to Albany, political experts predict increased traction for this long-fought for revenue stream for public transportation and finally…
- RPA launched an Anchor Opportunity Network connecting anchor institutions with local municipalities and community stakeholders to drive equitable economic growth and community well being across the region.
And that’s just the beginning.
In the next year, we will continue to build upon our accomplishments, and work on making our region more healthy, sustainable, equitable and prosperous for all.
We couldn’t have accomplished any of the achievements above without our hard working and talented staff, supportive Board of Directors and partner organizations and of course, our supporters across the region.
So today, we take a moment to celebrate, reflect and prepare for the next step in the journey to make our region better for all.