Introducing the Fourth Regional Plan for the New York Metropolitan Region

American Planning Association


Tuesday, February 13, 2018
noon - 1 p.m. CST

CM | 1

Add to My Log


The New York metropolitan region faces multiple threats that could undermine its success: growing inequality, a changing climate and aging infrastructure systems that are starting to fail. And it is communities of color and low income communities that are likely to bear the greatest cost.  For a long time now, and even to this day, planning decisions often prioritized efficiency over health and well-being or reflected institutional racism and other biases. Today, high income people in the New York region live six years longer than low income people, and blacks and Hispanics are three times more likely to be poor than whites.

Regional Plan Association’s Fourth Regional Plan for the New York Metropolitan Region is seeking to remedy that.  It lays forth an ambitious agenda that includes creating a healthier environment as a response to climate change, rebuilding and expanding the region’s transportation network to work for everyone and creating affordable and healthy communities.  To achieve this ambitious agenda, the plan also proposes deep reforms to how the region is governed, from regional agencies to local land use decisions.

 Proposals include:

  • Reforming local planning by allocating more resources to it, engaging all community members, especially those not traditionally included, from the get go in order to promote health equity and incorporating health impact assessments into them.
  • A true regional rail system and regional trail network to connect underserved communities to jobs and to nature.
  • A regional coastal commission and trust fund to meet the challenges of climate change.

This webinar will describe how the Fourth Regional Plan was developed and provide an overview of its policies and proposals.

 About Regional Plan Association

Regional Plan Association is an independent, not-for-profit civic organization that develops and promotes ideas to improve the economic health, environmental resiliency and quality of life of the New York metropolitan area. We conduct research on transportation, land use, housing, good governance and the environment. We advise cities, communities and public agencies. And we advocate for change that will contribute to the prosperity of all residents of the region. Since the 1920s, RPA has produced three landmark plans for the region and is working on a fourth plan due out in 2017. For more information, please visit

Learning Objectives

Participants in the webinar will be able to learn the following:

  • Lessons learned from the process of developing a plan for a region of 23 million people
  • The key policies of the Fourth Regional Plan
  • What institutional reforms are recommended in the New York region to create capacity for large scale planning
  • Concrete tools on integrating health and equity into planning


Christopher Jones

Senior Vice President & Chief Planner, RPA Christopher Jones directs research and planning for Regional Plan Association. Since joining RPA in 1994, he has led many multidisciplinary initiatives to improve economic, social and environmental conditions in the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut region. He led the research and policy development for RPA’s ... Read More

Mandu Sen

Mandu Sen is a program manager at Regional Plan Association, working primarily on the Fourth Regional Plan. She focuses on how long term planning can improve health and equity and works to translate the impact of digital technologies into policies around infrastructure and governance. Prior to joining RPA, she worked ... Read More