Sustainable Communities

Regional Plan Association fosters and supports communities that have a variety of housing and transportation choices and offer a healthy, prosperous and environmentally sustainable way of life for residents..

Sustainable communities connect housing, transportation and jobs. They emphasize wise use of land and other natural resources, and include walkable neighborhoods and convenient retail choices. Their mix of residents and proximity to jobs make them more resilient to economic and demographic changes.

We conduct research and assist cities, towns and villages in developing ideas for successful neighborhoods. RPA is the lead coordinator of the federally backed Sustainable Communities Initiative in New York and Connecticut. RPA also is a member of the Sustainable Communities Initiative for New Jersey. Under these programs, RPA and its partners have organized public workshops across the region and are working in more than a dozen locations to create more livable, mixed-income communities that are accessible to transit.

RPA’s sustainable communities work over the years includes BGreen2020, a 10-year in initiative in Bridgeport, Conn., to take advantage of the city’s excellent rail connections to modernize the city's infrastructure, create wealth, intensify urban amenities, enhance environmental quality, enable revitalization and retain Bridgeport's historic character. RPA also has conducted planning projects oriented around transit in Stamford and Fairfield, Conn., Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y., East Harlem; Camden, N.J. and many other towns and cities. We have published groundbreaking research in 2010 and in 2013 demonstrating how improving suburban commute times increases home values near train stations.

Learn more about RPA’s work on sustainable communities in our programs on transit-oriented development, housing and economic development.

Read about the federally supported Sustainable Communities Initiative for New York and Connecticut (site opens in new window).