The Process

How might Fourth Regional Plan recommendations look once they are implemented? How would better housing policies, more modern and reliable transportation infrastructure and far stronger environmental policies affect daily life and the shape of our communities?

Earlier this year, RPA, in collaboration with Paul Lewis and Guy Nordenson of Princeton University, and Catherine Seavitt of City College of New York, launched  a design competition which called on architects, landscape architects, designers and urban planners to visually demonstrate how policy changes, new investments and innovative thinking proposed in The Fourth Regional Plan (to be released this fall) can reshape different geographic areas in the Tri-State region and prepare them for the next 25 years.

As with RPA’s previous plans, innovative community, urban and regional design solutions will play an essential role in demonstrating how RPA’s recommendations could transform communities around the region. These designs show how changes in transportation infrastructure, new approaches to environmental resiliency and open space conservation and more sustainable and inclusive development can take shape, and the design process has allowed RPA and outside participants to continue to gather community input and support from around the region.

Juried Selection

A jury of leading experts and designers selected four design teams  to explore design visions for multiple sites along four large corridor geographies within the tri-state region. These design teams were asked to create proposals that were grounded in specific places but also strategic enough to be applied across the region and over the long term. They were also asked to showcase how places might evolve over time as the recommendations are enacted.

The seven jurors who took part in selecting the winners are: 

Barry Bergdoll, Meyer Schapiro Professor of Modern Architectural History, Columbia University, and Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art 

Shaun Donovan, Former Director, U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Maxine Griffith, Executive Vice President for Government and Community Affairs & Special Advisor for Campus Planning, Columbia University; 

Mary Margaret Jones, Senior Principal and President, Hargreaves Associates; 

Mark Lee, Founder and Principal, Johnston Marklee 

Annabelle Selldorf, Principal, Selldorf Architects

Karen Seto, Associate Dean of Research and Professor of Geography and Urbanization Science, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies at Yale University.

Design Phase

From March to July, design teams collaborated with RPA and others to develop their proposals for each geographic corridor. Three workshops were held in New York, at monthly intervals, where design teams along with the Initiative’s Design Advisors, reviewed each proposal and challenged each teams’ hypothesis. The final products were showcased in a preliminary exhibit at NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge, where Shaun Donovan led a discussion with the design teams.

Exhibition and beyond

The materials will be part of the release of RPA’s fourth regional plan, as well as a series of exhibitions.

The first public exhibit in Fort Tilden will showcase the innovative designs of the four teams, as well as the role design has played in RPA’s previous regional plans. It will remain open to the public from August 5 through September 17 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between 11am and 6pm.