Our Region

The New York-New Jersey-Connecticut metropolitan area is an interconnected region linked by a common housing and labor market, defined by shared coastlines, water bodies and mountain ranges, and connected by networks of railroads, roadways, power lines and communications infrastructure.

Map of the Region RPA works in

3

States

31

Counties

782

Municipalities

23 million

Residents

13 thousand

Square Miles

RPA 4 RP 11 Banner Shutterstock 686858950 Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY by Felix Mizioznikov

The people who live and work in the region depend on a common environment and economy extending from Trenton, NJ to New Haven, CT, and from the Catskill Mountains to the east end of Long Island.

Our Region COVID RPA Hudson History 1 RP vol2 P555 town centers IMG 5870 2
Our Region Allison Shelley for ED Uimages

The severity of the COVID-19 outbreak in the tri-state region continues to reinforce how connected our states and communities are.

Our Region COVID RPA Hudson History 1 RP vol2 P555 town centers Bicanski kid in mask
Our Region Bike Delivery

Tragically, the pandemic is also reinforcing inequity. At the height of the pandemic, COVID-19 mortality was higher among non-white and non-English-speaking people, and among those living in overcrowded housing and group quarters.

People of the Region
Our Region BASTAMRNY

One of the world’s leading metropolitan economies, the region now accounts for approximately 10% of the United States GDP. Too few share in this prosperity, however, and the pandemic only deepened the divide between those with means and those without.

Transportation

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Transportation
RPA region transportation

390+ rail stations 2,000+ track miles

Our region is served by one of the most extensive transit systems in the world.

Our Region MTA Bus

4.2 Billion Annual Transit Rides

Transportation is the backbone of the region’s economy, providing access to jobs and education and enabling intra-city and inter-state travel.

RPA 4 RP 26 Banner Shutterstock 274276538 Editorial by Barbs Images resized
The Pitt

79-minute average flight delay at JFK, LGA, EWR

Prior to 2020, we were outgrowing this aging system, which was increasingly unable to meet the region’s changing needs. Now, as a result of the changes to work and social life brought on by the pandemic, new mobility patterns are creating new challenges.

We must expand and modernize mass transit, accommodate the growth of e‑commerce, and reimagine our streetscapes — at a pace that meets demands and keeps up with innovation.

Housing & Neighborhood Planning

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Housing & Neighborhood Planning
Our Region Hopscotch
Our Region Public Housing

238,876 public housing units

Wherever they choose to live in the region, people seek many of the same things: an affordable home, a good job within commuting distance, safe streets, a healthy environment, and good schools.

Areas at Risk of Displacement

Our Region Brooklyn Aerial

Yet our region is one of the least affordable and most segregated metropolitan areas in the US, and our housing growth has not kept pace with our economy.

Our towns and cities should be welcoming, healthy, and affordable for people at all income levels and all stages of life.

Our Region Duplex

How Do Towns Treat Multi-Family Housing?

We need to invest in communities and update land use laws and regulations to reduce segregation and ensure all residents have access to opportunity.

Energy & Environment

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Energy & Environment
Our Region Delaware Water Gap

2,000,000 acres of protected open space

RPA region openspace

Our environment plays an essential role in ensuring the health and well-being of the region.

Our Region Meadowlands Kari Nousianen

78% of historic wetlands have been lost to development

For most of RPA’s history, threats to our region’s environment came from the encroachment of development upon open space. Now it’s climate change that is threatening — and already transforming — the region.

Our Region Flood NYC Adam Kuban

3,700 miles of coastline

Our Region Coastline

2,000,000 people in 2050 flood zone

Across the tri-state region, pollution is compromising quality of life while increasingly severe storms are taking lives. Most often, immigrant communities and communities of color are paying the greatest price.

We must reduce emissions by decarbonizing the region’s buildings, transportation, and energy systems, and ensure these systems can withstand severe weather and rising seas.

Governance

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Governance
Our Region 45 East along Golden Hill at C Ity Hall Park
RPA region municipalities

More than 800 state, county, and municipal governments make decisions that impact our entire region.

Public Input

Each municipality is responsible for its own decisions about land use, property taxes, and schools. This increases costs, creates sprawl, and exacerbates inequality.

Our Region FEMA Beach

$22+ billion of unmet disaster recovery after Superstorm Sandy

Faced with new challenges such as climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, and increasing inequality, most of our public institutions are slow to act, and do so piecemeal and without adequate funding.

We must reform public bodies for the 21st century, increase participation in government, and make planning more inclusive to create a region that works for all of us.