Regional Plan Association

The Regional Plan Association is an independent, not-for-profit regional planning organization, founded in 1922, that focuses on recommendations to improve the quality of life and economic competitiveness of a 31-county New YorkNew JerseyConnecticut region in the New York metropolitan area.[1] Headquartered in New York City, it has offices in Princeton, New Jersey, and Stamford, Connecticut.[2]

Regional Plan Association
PurposeRegional planning
HeadquartersManhattan, New York, New York
Region served
New York metropolitan area USA
Thomas K Wright

Regional plans


RPA has produced four strategic regional plans for the New York metropolitan region since the 1920s. The chronology of their plans is as follows:

  1. The First Plan in 1929, developed under the leadership of Thomas Adams, provided a guide for the area's road and transportation network.[3]
  2. The Second Plan, published as a series of reports in the 1960s, aimed at restructuring mass transit and reinvigorating deteriorating urban centers.
  3. The Third Plan in 1996, "A Region at Risk," recommended improving regional mass transit, increasing protection of open space and maintaining employment in traditional urban centers.
  4. The Fourth Plan in 2017 suggested improving the area's transportation network, making more affordable housing, implementing measures to fight climate change, and restructure the area's public institutions.[4]

Planning philosophy


The RPA program represents a philosophy of planning described by historian Robert Fishman as "metropolitanism," associated with the Chicago School of Sociology. It promotes large scale, industrial centers and the concentration of population rather than decentralized development. Its critics point out that this results in windfall real estate profits for downtown interests. Whether this approach to regional planning is efficient, particularly because of the infrastructure and energy required to sustain such concentration, has been questioned by scholars including James Howard Kunstler.[3]

Impact in the Tri-state area


Regional Plan Association's strategic plans have proposed numerous ideas and investments for the New York metropolitan area that have turned into major public works, economic development and open space projects, including:

See also





  1. ^ a b Danielson & Doig 1982, pp. 35–37.
  2. ^ "Contact - Regional Plan Association". Regional Plan Association. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Fishman 2000, pp. 65–88.
  4. ^ "Fourth Regional Plan - Regional Plan Association". Regional Plan Association. Retrieved November 30, 2017.
  5. ^ "For Hudson Bridge Above 125th Street". The New York Times. December 28, 1923. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  6. ^ Binnewies, Robert O. (2001). Palisades: 100,000 Acres in 100 Years. Fordham University Press. p. 203. Retrieved October 7, 2014. It has also been my hope that a strip of this land of adequate width might ultimately be developed as a parkway, along the general lines.
  7. ^ Governors Island Alliance. "Our Mission".
  8. ^ "Spinal Tap". The Broadsheet. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  9. ^ Regional Plan Association. "Shaping the Region". Retrieved October 20, 2014.


Further reading