Big Ideas Debated at the Assembly

RPA Assembly 2014

In the spirit of gathering ideas for the Fourth Regional Plan, RPA hosted a big ideas discussion session at this year’s Assembly. More than a hundred participants gathered to share their thoughts on how to improve the region in the eight issue areas the plan will address – economic development, governance, transportation, climate adaptation, communities, open space, housing and energy. We were lucky to have several experts moderate robust discussions, including Peggy Shepard from WE ACT for Environmental Justice, Projjal Dutta from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson.

The discussion on economic development underscored the importance of taking a cross-sectional approach to creating a vibrant and sustainable regional economy. From the energy table arose the importance of reusing energy production byproducts as an energy source, for instance tapping heat created in energy generation to warm homes. Other concrete ideas emerged at the transportation table, including extending the #7 subway line to New Jersey and the conversion of some highway lanes in New York City to high-occupancy or toll lanes.

What are your ideas for the region? Is there a problem for which you have a good solution? Let us know by posting a comment here, tweeting at us at @regionalplan with the hashtag #4thplan, or post on our Facebook page. We'll be collecting some of the most interesting suggestions and posting them at






Photo: Nancy Borowick