The Regional Plan Association (RPA) has unveiled the final designs for the Fourth Regional Plan. The four schemes envision a New York–New Jersey–Connecticut metropolitan area 25 years into the future while addressing the emerging challenges the region faces and also capitalizing on new opportunities.
Initiated by The Rockefeller Foundation, the competition began in January and asked architects, planners, and designers to incorporate elements such as policy changes, future investments, and growth patterns into the plans. The winning proposals were selected in March and, through a grant from The Rockefeller Foundation, they were each awarded $45,000 to work with RPA and a team of professionals to develop their ideas further. In doing so, the four winners expanded their programs, looking at four regional corridors. Dubbed “4C,” the RPA describes the designs as a “principal component” of its upcoming Fourth Regional Plan, titled A Region Transformed.
The four corridors in question are:
Seen here is the Coast plan’s Gateway Station, what the RPA describes as “a series of plazas, beaches, and public programs form an intermodal station and recreational center built along the existing elevated rail of the Rockaways, Jamaica Bay 2050.” (Courtesy RPA)
Rafi A+U and DLAND Studio
Creating what they call a “bight,” the two studios propose an artificial coastline that bridges the boundary between the built environment and the water, addressing rising sea levels around Long Island with half-submerged communities able to continue living when change inevitably happens.
Only If and One Architecture
Defined as the “Triboro Corridor,” the plan sees light rail utilizing already-laid freight rail tracks in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens. The project would foster development around the new stations; new rail service would connect to existing subway and commuter rail lines. As One Architecture told The Architect’s Newspaper, the plan aims to “transform the region’s transportation system from a hub and spoke system to a more resilient network with circumferential connections, greater redundancy, and community amenities.”
“In Norwalk, [Connecticut], green corridors and transit connections could give a new life to an ex-downtown that has become a patchwork of strip malls and parking lots,” said the RPA in describing WORKac’s Suburbs plan. (Courtesy RPA)Suburbs
Just as with Only If and One Architecture’s scheme, WORKac’s plan is centered around transit and connecting underserved neighborhoods around a ring of suburbs from the New York cities of Port Chester and White Plains, through the New Jersey cities of Paterson, Montclair, Rahway and Perth Amboy.
In PORT Urbanism and Range’s Highlands plan, “Hybrid development formats tie landscape performance and character (ecosystem service upgrades) to bonuses and incentives related to the production of new concentrated settlement in low-ecological value landscapes adjacent to, or nearby existing population centers and transport.” (Courtesy RPA)
PORT Urbanism and Range
Covering the entire region, this proposal spans from the Delaware River to Northern Connecticut. The scheme allows wildlife—not humans—to enjoy the area and migrate north as a result of climate change. The Highlands Corridor would also utilize streams and valleys to connect to the coast.
An exhibition of the of final design can be found at Fort Tilden through September 17. Find out more here.