Competition Guidelines

Download a PDF of the guidelines.
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  • Develop creative designs that strategically respond to the issues present in each corridor. These would be based on case study sites but applicable to the corridor at large. Designs should be applicable at multiple scales that are at once based on specific places but also capable of being deployed in a strategic way over the larger RPA geography and over the long term horizon of the fourth regional plan.

  • Communicate to multiple audiences how the proposed designs address the fourth regional plan recommendations.

  • Explore how the vision for the fourth regional plan is realized and manifested in different places throughout the region over time and across scenarios.

Expectations & Deliverables

  • Design representations in a range of formats, from drawings to models, will be used in various formats including the fourth regional plan website and publications, and an exhibition coincident with the phased rollout of the plan through the fall of 2017.

  • Ongoing and intensive interaction, throughout the design phase, with project administrators, relevant stakeholders, and other experts.

  • Participation in multiple intermediate review sessions with RPA staff, the other design teams, and selected advisors and community-based constituents.

  • Collaboration with selected community-based stakeholder organizations.

Criteria for Selection

  1. Capacity for innovation, experience in envisioning creative approaches to urban, landscape and architectural futures.  

  2. Philosophy/approach/understanding of the objectives.

  3. Ability to work through a collaborative process with other design teams, project administrators and selected advisors and stakeholders.


Process & Schedule


This initiative has three phases:

RFQ solicitation: January 26 through February 9, 2017
A committee composed of representatives from Regional Plan Association, the Princeton University School of Architecture, and The Rockefeller Foundation, will review submissions to create a shortlist between 10 and 12 prospective finalists.

Juried selection: February 25, 2017
The finalists will be interviewed by a jury of renowned professionals and thought leaders who will select four winners.

Design Phase: March to June 2017
Intensive design work with frequent iteration involving project staff and others. It is anticipated that there will be four workshops/reviews held in New York, at monthly intervals. Final products will be showcased in an exhibit and the materials will be part of the release of RPA’s fourth regional plan.


The competition is open to anyone in related professions, including but not limited to architecture, design and planning. Teams may be a design firm, organization or collaboration assembled for this work.   Interdisciplinary teams are not required, and should only involve a limited number of collaborators. An individual, firm or organization may participate in only one RFQ submission. Ability to participate in person in the design workshops held in New York City is required. Members of the judging panel, competition organizers and their employees, and family members of judges, organizers and employees of those organizations are prohibited from entering the competition.

All competition entrants must be willing to participate in an interview with the competition organizers prior to the announcement of the four finalist teams to discuss the terms and timeline of the competition. Competition entrants may be disqualified for failing to participate in twice-monthly calls and monthly evaluations during the duration of the competition.

RFQ Submission Materials

Please send the following materials in a single PDF [not to exceed 50MB]:

Cover Letter:

  • Summary of your team’s relevant strengths and experience [500 words]

  • Explanation of your team’s understanding of the objectives and conceptual approach to this challenge [500 words]

  • List in order of preference, from 1 to 4, which corridor you want to work on [The Highlands, The Bight, The Triboro, The Inner Ring]


  • Photograph of and short [100 words each] biographies of those individuals who will be committed to a key role for the duration of the project.

  • Identify a single lead contact with affiliation, phone number and email for follow up.


  • Portfolio of relevant design work, up to 10 projects that show relevant experience and limited to 40 pages.

How to Submit

  • Submissions shall be made electronically by uploading a single PDF of your complete submission to this location.

  • All submissions must be uploaded no later than February 9, 2017 at 6 PM EST.

  • Questions about the competition must be made in writing to [email protected], by January 31, 2017. Answers to these questions will be sent as an addendum to all participants.

  • Complete legal terms and conditions for the competition are forthcoming. As soon as these are available, the link to the submission form on this website will become active. In the meantime, please express your interest and send your email so you can receive the competition's Corridor Workbook. 


Each team will receive a stipend of $45,000 to be distributed as follows: $20,000 upon signing on to the challenge, $20,000 upon submission of final documents and $5,000 upon completion of exhibition.  Stipend is intended to cover all travels and materials related to the competition and deliverables

Upon expression of interest, each team will receive a package of resource materials, including a detailed digital workbook about the regional corridors

Legal Terms

Intellectual property: Regional Plan Association will have the exclusive right to use or not use in any manner any material submitted during the competition for publication in print and online anywhere in the world through the completion of the fourth regional plan. RPA will retain the non-exclusive right to use the materials in any manner thereafter. 

Confidentiality: Until the publication of the fourth regional plan at a time designated by Regional Plan Association, any non-public material that Regional Plan Association provides competition entrants and any material prepared by competition entrants for the competition is confidential and may not be disclosed publicly in any form.

Cancellation: The competition organizers reserve the right to cancel the competition at any time for any reason. Competition entrants will be compensated for the work completed to that point, based on a determination made by the competition organizers.

Warranties: All submitted materials must be original work, and/or the original work of the persons and entities you represent, and/or is done with the authorization of the owner(s) with proper credit given within your submission. Submitted materials may not contain any confidential information or trade secrets from you or a third party. Materials may not violate or infringe upon the intellectual property rights (including, but not limited to, patents, utility models, industrial designs, trademarks, and copyrights), confidentiality rights, privacy rights, or other legal rights of any third party, including, but not limited to, any contractual rights. Materials may not trigger any undisclosed reporting or royalty obligation to any third party. Submitted materials may not violate any applicable law, statute, ordinance, rule, or regulation.

Liability: By entering and applying to the competition, participants agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the competition organizers and their affiliates, subsidiaries, agents, representatives, shareholders, and employees from and against all and any claims (including claims related to the infringement, misappropriation, or violation of a third-party’s intellectual property rights and/or confidential information), actions, or proceedings of any kind and from any and all damages, liabilities, costs, and expenses relating to or arising from competition entrant’s  participation in the competition.