An Inclusive Process: Creating the Fourth Regional Plan

 

Ricardo Gotla is the Director of Public Engagement at the Regional Plan Association

The New York, New Jersey and Connecticut metropolitan region has made great strides in the last two decades. Yet both longstanding and new challenges threaten to derail our success, and advances that have enhanced our prosperity and quality of life have left many residents behind. In response, Regional Plan Association has launched the Fourth Regional Plan, a multiyear initiative to create a blueprint for sustainable and equitable growth, healthier and more livable communities, and fair and effective governance for the next 25 years.

 In order to chart a course for the region's future, it is vital that we have a deep understanding of where we stand today. Through 2013, RPA took an unprecedented look at our economy, environmental sustainability and governance structures, revealing some startling trends about the direction the region is headed. Those findings are contained in the report Fragile Success: Taking Stock of the New York Metropolitan Region, available at fragile-success.rpa.org.

In addition to building a foundational understanding of where the region is, RPA has secured the participation of a wide range of experts, civic, business and community leaders and concerned residents. To help build the most thoughtful and comprehensive plan possible, RPA asked 50 innovative thinkers from a variety of professional spheres, locations and interests to join the Committee on the Fourth Regional Plan. In addition, eight working groups on areas like transportation, climate change and finance and governance are providing further technical expertise. In 2015, RPA and its partners will engage a broader range of participants to help define the future we want and the actions needed to get us there.

Through neighborhood outreach efforts being led by local organizations like Partnership for Strong Communities (who is working in conjunction with a number of partners including CT Association for Human Services, Public Housing Residents Network (CT Housing Coalition), CT Coalition to End Homelessness, Transit for Connecticut (CT Fund for the Environment), The WorkPlace Inc, CT Voices for Children, Open Communities Alliance) RPA is working to ensure that local residents have a voice in the planning process. These local organizations are working in CT to engage hundreds of residents in southwestern CT to hear about their needs and concerns.

RPA wants to learn about issues that concern you and your community, and if you have proposed solutions or ideas that could help. Your voice, your concerns, and your solutions are a part of this regional planning process. For more information, visit http://www.rpa.org/fourth-plan.

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