New Regional Plan for the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut region could improve air quality and quality of life

Monday, February 12, 2018 12:25 pm EST


Martin Powell, Head of Urban Development

As a company with an extensive footprint and long-standing interest in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut region, when the Regional Plan Association’s (RPA) Fourth Regional Plan was published in November, Siemens reviewed it closely. What we found and published in our response was that the plan could not only create jobs, but would also improve sustainability metrics and quality of life.

Using Siemens City Performance Tool platform, a data-driven modeling tool that helps cities calculate environmental and economic impacts, our team at the Center for the Competence of Cities determined the plan could generate as many as 500,000 full-time positions, between now and 2040 in the tri-state area. The job creation would be through direct, indirect, and induced effects of local installation, operations, and maintenance work, about a third of which would require skills training.

In addition, it was determined that the transportation mode and energy shifts outlined in the plan would result in a 37% reduction in GHG emissions, a 20% reduction in PM10, and a 58% reduction in NOx in 2040 region-wide. This is compared to a 2015 baseline for energy, buildings, and mobility sectors.

Accolades for the plan aside, we did identify two gaps that we believe are missing from the plan: the engagement of the private sector and the need for greater emphasis on digital tools. The plan needs a mechanism for public-private collaboration – both for planning dialogue as well as financing. Without unlocking private sector financing, the 61 projects outlined will take much longer. Siemens had previously examined how $35 billion of additional private funding would be available for projects as they relate to energy efficiency in buildings, citizen self-service online, vehicle routing, parking systems, road pricing, mobile workforce enablement, eBuses and eVehicles and low-energy street lighting in 40 cities alone should private financing constraints be unlocked.

These additional financing resources will also allow for further engagement of digital tools, such as MindSphere. With the right data processing platforms, and a willingness to share these data with the private sector and the public, the tri-state region will better understand how infrastructure and technology can make tangible, positive impacts on air quality, jobs creation, congestion, and safety, making NYC, my new hometown, an even more enjoyable place to live and work.


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