The Highlands, located 30 miles from New York City’s core, is a collection of highly charismatic landscapes that provide essential ecosystem services to the region. However, growing regional populations—both at its core and on the periphery—threaten these services and run the risk of permanent loss. The PORT team’s proposal intertwines conservation and development by monetizing ecosystem services, as well as tying development incentives to conservation investment. This approach establishes a system of exchange of resources that allows cities downstream to make investment in upstream conservation, while guiding and optimizing where and how development will occur. Such an approach allows for the integration of ecosystems and economies, design and management, providing a vision for the Highland’s future that fully embodies the goals of the Fourth Regional Plan.
Consultant Team: Range