PORT explored a progressive land use strategy for The Highlands—the strained ecological backbone of the region—as part of the Fourth Regional Plan for New York. The approach optimizes conservation and urban growth by tying development incentives to ecosystem conservation.

Location: The Highlands, New York
Client: Regional Planning Association

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

PORT_RPA_01_Macro ExchangePORT_RPA_01_Macro Exchange
PORT_RPA_02_Campaign PostersPORT_RPA_02_Campaign Posters
PORT_RPA_03_Lowland Front ViewPORT_RPA_03_Lowland Front View
PORT_RPA_04_Development Typologies_ExistingPORT_RPA_04_Development Typologies_Existing
PORT_RPA_05_Development TypologiesPORT_RPA_05_Development Typologies
PORT_RPA_06_Lowland Front ViewPORT_RPA_06_Lowland Front View