Infrastructure and climate change were on the minds of mayors, county executives and other public officials from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut at a meeting hosted by New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio. Convened in partnership with RPA, the March 20 meeting offered an unprecedented glimpse of local leaders, including Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer and Stamford Mayor David Martin, working across municipal and state boundaries to address common problems.
The intent of the meeting was to recognize how leaders from throughout the tri-state region can work together on common goals. The mayors emphasized the importance of investments in transportation, and in particular transit linking the region’s diverse assets, as key to both the region’s continued economic competitiveness and expanding opportunity to more of its residents. They zeroed in on issues such as how flood insurance might be reformed in ways to create incentives for more resilient infrastructure and communities. The mayors also talked about local issues, from rail bridges in Connecticut to green infrastructure development in Hoboken, NJ, that have an impact beyond city or state borders.
The gathering was meant to be the start of a continuing collaboration of local leaders, one that will take many forms. The mayors are planning to press Congress for a transportation bill with more adequate funding for infrastructure. RPA's work on the Fourth Regional Plan, a multiyear initiative to craft a blueprint for the region's future, involves working with local governments and civic groups throughout the tri-state region to identify solutions to some of our most pressing challenges. And future updates to PlaNYC, New York City's long-term sustainability effort, are expected to have a regional dimension.