RPA Announces Winners of Fourth Plan Design Competition

We’re pleased to announce the winners of the design competition for the fourth regional plan, A Region Transformed. Four teams were selected by a jury of leading experts to explore design visions for multiple sites along four large geographic areas within the tri-state region. The winning teams are Port + Range, WORKac, Only If + One Architecture and Rafi Segal A + U.

The seven jurors who took part in selecting the winners are: Barry Bergdoll, Meyer Schapiro Professor of Modern Architectural History, Columbia University, and Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art; Shaun Donovan, Former Director, U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Maxine Griffith, Executive Vice President for Government and Community Affairs & Special Advisor for Campus Planning, Columbia University; Mary Margaret Jones, Senior Principal and President, Hargreaves Associates; Mark Lee, Founder and Principal, Johnston Marklee; Annabelle Selldorf, Principal, Selldorf Architects; and Karen Seto, Associate Dean of Research and Professor of Geography and Urbanization Science, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies at Yale University.

RPA would like to thank the jury and congratulate the four winning teams. RPA is excited to launch this initiative, with the generous support of The Rockefeller Foundation, to address challenges of equity and resilience in these four geography corridors.

Read more about the four teams:

Port + Range will address the challenges and opportunities in the Highlands Corridor.

PORT is a Philadelphia and Chicago-based design consultancy synthesizing professional expertise in urban design, landscape architecture, architecture, ecology and urban planning in order to employ a hybrid model of design practice necessary to negotiate today’s complex public realm challenges. PORT’s work leverages the latent civic, environmental and cultural potentials of a place in order to imagine fresh, compelling and memorable public landscapes. Collaborating with PORT is Range, a Brooklyn-based landscape and public policy practice focused on large-scale and large-scope problems involving land, water, development and ecology. Range helps people find openings for change in long-standing arrangements of capital, material, policy and belief, applying physical design skills and systemic thinking to find ways to make the most of those openings. Together, the PORT w/ Range team will undertake the rigorous and imaginative work necessary to elevate the Highlands in the collective consciousness of the region, helping to test, visualize and convey the ambitions of the Fourth Regional Plan in ways that are easily digestible and compelling to the myriad audiences the plan must address.

WORKac will tackle the pressing challenges communities in the Inner Ring Corridor face, as well as address a range of typological issues from our legacy of such as underutilized infrastructure, abandoned industrial parks and transformed office complexes.

By bringing design thinking, visualization and the projection of alternate scenarios to build upon the principles of the Fourth Regional Plan, WORKac will utilize architectural, planning and design imagination to make tangible the problems and possibilities. What are new models for mixed-use development? How can nature be both protected and enabled through new sustainable infrastructure, and how can we retrofit our built environment – beyond preservation - to think instead of recycling entire corridors or neighborhoods as material for new forms of live-work, culture and community? Their ambition to reimagine alternate scenarios for the future of cities will help address the pressing challenges for the Inner Ring corridor which will capture 20% of the region’s future population.

Only If + One Architecture have joined forces to work on the Triboro Corridor.

Only If, a NYC firm that seeks to focus on the fundamental questions and to create clarity within often complex circumstances and constraints, together with One Architecture, a Dutch firm working primarily Netherlands’ spatial planning will attempt to define tangible infrastructures, prototypes, and initial, small-scale interventions that can all ultimately lead to big changes. They believe the articulation at different scales and combination of top-down and bottom-up thinking will enable a pathway towards the success of the long-term vision. Working on the Triboro Corridor- an existing freight and intercity commuter rail link between the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn- they will focus on the potential to link many of the poorly-served neighborhoods with new employment as well as cultural and educational opportunities outside of New York City’s core.

Rafi Segal A + U and his team will take a comprehensive approach to the Bight Corridor.

Rafi Segal A+ U and Susannah Drake have collaborated on several design competitions and taught together at Harvard’s GSD and at the Cooper Union School of Architecture. Together with Sarah Williams, Brent Ryan and Greg Lindsay, they will work to design and address key ecological infrastructure challenges and threats posed by climate change to the region’s coastal areas. Their interest in dispersed urbanism and emerging forms of collective housing, along with urban ecological infrastructures, climate change and mobile technologies will allow them to address the pressing challenges of the Bight corridor. A series of future scenarios, from new strategies on managed retreat for vulnerable coastal areas to novel restoration strategies must be developed to manage the continued loss of fragile marsh lands. There is an opportunity to recast and restructure this corridor as an impactful ecological, infrastructural, and community asset, enhancing the region’s ecology and resiliency.

Over the next couple of months, these design teams will work as a collaborative to develop ideas for each corridor. These teams have been charged with developing design proposals that are grounded in specific places but also strategic enough to be applied across the region and over the long term. They will also need to showcase how places might evolve over time as the recommendations are enacted. Design teams will need to create materials that communicate to multiple audiences, showcasing how proposed designs address different fourth regional plan recommendations. These teams will explore how the vision for the fourth regional plan is realized and manifested in different places throughout the region over time and across scenarios.


RPA looks forward to working with these teams and engaging in fruitful discussions and workshops with our community partners, local stakeholders, and other experts to shape imageries and ideas for the region’s future.