ReThink Studio’s Regional Unified Network (RUN) is a multi-stage program to build a world-class regional rail network for the New York City Metropolitan region. When fully built, it will allow you to get from anywhere in the entire region to everywhere else via mass transit, either directly or with seamless and easy connections.
By making a few crucial investments at key chokepoints, it unlocks the full potential of our mass transit system and lays the groundwork for further growth and expansion over the coming decades. By creating new transit hubs and more useful service patterns, it will allow the Tri-State Area to develop as a connected whole rather than a series of disconnected parts.
Whenever possible, RUN re-purposes existing infrastructure, and in general every constituent part of RUN replaces or modifies an existing proposal. It reallocates or redirects proposed spending, and fits within the overall fund raising capacity of the region. Counter-intuitively, one large project is both more feasible and more efficient than a series of smaller ones – and can provide benefits at a far greater scale.
Phase 1 of RUN – the singular, essential part of the proposal – is a modified version of Amtrak’s Gateway Program. Rather than demolishing an entire dense Midtown Manhattan block to build a new station adjacent to the existing Penn Station, RUN instead builds new connections and yards that will bring together every single suburban transit line in the Metropolitan Region into a series of four-transit hubs focused on an improved Penn Station. RUN solves all three of Penn Stations problems – crowding, inefficient train movements, and discontinuity – gives Moynihan Station access to every platform at Penn Station, and is compatible with any design choices above the platform level.
Beyond this core proposal, RUN includes a series of proposed modifications to previously proposed major investment projects in the New York Metropolitan Region. These individual proposals are not necessary for the successful functioning of the RUN system, but add significant value to it. They are designed to be modular, meaning they can be phased or developed in any order or simultaneously, with each individual addition adding value synergistically with both preceding and following modular development.
We are an award-winning urban transportation planning firm based in New York City. We are known for developing holistic solutions for both small and large-scale transportation problems. We pride ourselves in designing elegant solutions to complex problems. This is done by looking at a rich variety of analogous examples, questioning underlying assumptions and thinking holistically. Our present focus is on our flagship project, ReThinkNYC, which has inspired interest from all over the world.
For more information, visit rethinkstudio.org
Jim Venturi is the founder and principal designer of ReThink Studio and ReThinkNYC. Through his experiences in information technology, planning, and architecture, Venturi focuses on solving the infrastructural, social and economic challenges of transportation planning.
This holistic approach is reflected in both his work at ReThink Studio and his past work as a network architect, bridging analytical and creative assets by building early technology networks and developing software. He founded Creative Technologies, a boutique systems integration technology firm catering to architects and designers. In 1996, the company shifted focus to designing and implementing email and network migrations for Fortune 1000 companies.
Venturi’s work experience in architecture and urban planning comes from working with architects in his early career and teaching architecture students CADsoftware at Parsons School of Design. He gained further experience more recently from the production of Bob and Denise, a feature film in post-production about the renowned architects Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown.
Venturi is the 2015 recipient of the James Parks Morton Promise for the Future Award, which was given in part to recognize the ReThinkNYC project.
Aurelie is an urban planner and civil engineer with over 10-years of professional experience in the field of planning. Prior to ReThink Studio, Mrs. Barbier worked as a planner in Switzerland where she led various large scale master plans for development agencies (World Bank, AFD-French Development Agency) in European and Global South cities. Mrs. Barbier holds a Masters degree from INSA de lyon / Urban Istitute (IUL) and is also completing a Master of City & Regional Planning degree at Pratt Institute.
Fernanda is an urban planner and civic-tech enthusiast with over 5 years of experience in the public sector, including international development, planning and local governance. Prior to ReThink Studio, she worked as a consultant for the World Bank and for a local community board in Brooklyn. While in Mexico, she became involved with the Government of Mexico City on projects that focus on civic innovation and urban development. Fernanda holds a Master of Urban Planning from NYU, a certificate of Political Science from Science Po, and received her Bachelor’s in International Affairs from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education.
Lane is a registered architect in New York. In addition to her work with ReThink Studio, she is a co-founder of the Brooklyn- and San Francisco-based studio Office of Things. She also writes and draws about things and ideas that are interesting, including Times Square, chinatowns, and storefront churches. Lane’s drawings have been shown in galleries in Shanghai, Toronto, New York, and Atlanta. Lane received her Master of Architecture from the Yale School of Architecture in 2012.
Karim is a New Yorker, born and raised in Brooklyn. He graduated from The Cooper Union in 2013 with a Bachelor of Architecture. Following graduation and research in North Africa and Southern Europe, he worked in New York City for three years on a range of architectural projects including residential, commercial, public housing and stage/gallery planning. He has also worked with a variety of contractors and fabricators for interior construction, furniture and installations. He joined Rethink Studio in August 2016.
Liam is a 2017 graduate from Rutgers University with a Bachelor’s in Planning and Public Policy. He has worked in Rhode Island and New Jersey on various projects in the fields of planning, politics, and urban design. With a long-standing passion for public transit, Liam co-founded the New Jersey Commuters Action Network (NJCAN) before joining the ReThink team as a Transportation Analyst in June 2015.
Barry has a deep background in urban policy, having served as chief policy advisor to mayoral candidates and various elected officials. A graduate of Princeton University, his Junior Independent Research was on the West Side Stadium project and the intersection of major urban redevelopment programs involving sports stadiums with underlying transportation infrastructure.
Jenny du Pont
Jenny is an attorney and nonprofit leader with more than fifteen years’ professional experience both nationally and internationally. She has a background in conservation/preservation, sustainability, and urban affairs, and is passionate about public transit’s influence on socio-economic development. She received a joint J.D./ M.S.F.S. from Georgetown University, and an A.B. from Princeton University.
Diego has worked as an architectural designer in both New York and Guatemala on projects that focus on reactivating underused public spaces. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from The Cooper Union.
Hannah is a public engagement and media export with a background in sustainability messaging, renewable energy, green buildings, human rights, and telecommunications. As a political organizer, manager, and journalist, Hannah has driven community engagement on issues of healthcare funding, climate change, electoral campaigns, land use, election reform, democratic budgeting processes, and energy policy in 12 states and the District of Columbia.
Cezar holds a Master of Science in Architecture and Urban Design from Columbia University, and a Bachelor in Architecture as well as in Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design. He has worked in the United States, France, Morocco, and Italy on projects of all scales. He has taken on a varied assortment of research projects at Columbia University.
Yannis is an urbanist and technologist with a focus on infrastructure systems. Prior to ReThink Studio, Yannis was a research associate at Harvard University where he led research on sustainable infrastructure and data analytics. Previously, Yannis worked in international practices in London, Barcelona, and Athens, and as project manager successfully delivered large-scale projects, such as the new DHA City Karachi for 600,000 people. Yannis holds a Master in Architecture and Urbanism from the AA Design Research Lab.
Yubi is a Brooklyn-based designer. He has worked in New York on various urban-scale projects and has co-authored a research project on stormwater management and urban resiliency. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Pratt Institute.
Dr. Vukan Vuchic