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The concept of “the city” —as well as “the state” and “the nation state” —is passé, agree contributors to this insightful book. The new scale for considering economic strength and growth opportunities is “the megaregion,” a network of metropolitan centers and their surrounding areas that are spatially and functionally linked through environmental, economic, and infrastructure interactions.
Recently a great deal of attention has been focused on the emergence of the European Union and on European spatial planning, which has boosted the region’s competitiveness. Megaregions applies these emerging concepts in an American context. It addresses critical questions for our future: What are the spatial implications of local, regional, national, and global trends within the context of sustainability, economic competitiveness, and social equity? How can we address housing, transportation, and infrastructure needs in growing megaregions? How can we develop and implement the policy changes necessary to make viable, livable megaregions?
By the year 2050, megaregions will contain two-thirds of the U.S. population. Given the projected growth of the U.S. population and the accompanying geographic changes, this forward-looking book argues that U.S. planners and policymakers must examine and implement the megaregion as a new and appropriate framework.
Contributors, all of whom are leaders in their academic and professional specialties, address the most critical issues confronting the U.S. over the next fifty years. At the same time, they examine ways in which the idea of megaregions might help address our concerns about equity, the economy, and the environment. Together, these essays define the theoretical, analytical, and operational underpinnings of a new structure that could respond to the anticipated upheavals in U.S. population and living patterns.
"This book deftly navigates through the largely uncharted waters of megaregions in 21st century America. With contributions from some of the best minds in the field, it challenges us to pursue public infrastructure investments that increase global competitiveness, redress spatial inequalities that occur when trade-sheds expand, and forge new forms of governance that protect natural habitats and resources across multistate regions."
Robert Cervero, Professor of city and regional planning, University of California, Berkeley
"As the contributors to this timely and valuable book make clear, America's continued strength in the global economy is dependent on our ability to rethink the spatial and functional infrastructure that links our communities into larger networks—megaregions. Together, the chapters in this book elucidate this complex and essential underlying force in our lives, and offer guidelines for going forward."
William W. Millar, American Public Transportation Association
"What are megaregions good for? As this book amply demonstrates, the megaregion construct of linked metropolitan areas set within their environmental context has provoked new thinking about urban planning, infrastructure, economic development, ecology, and social equity. In short, megaregions are helping us to organize responses to the challenges of the 21st century at an effective scale."
Armando Carbonell, Department of Planning and Urban Form, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
"Ross's book investigates the origins of megaregions, and ways that transportation, economic development, social justice, and environmental and climate strategies must be formulated at this new scale. This book is essential reading for policy makers, planners and others interested in learning about these places that are now home to nearly three out of four Americans."
Robert D. Yaro, president, Regional Plan Association
Table of Figures
List of Tables
PART I. Spatial Planning and Defining the Megaregion
Chapter 1. Scale Matters
Chapter 2. The Megalopolis, The Blue Banana, and Global Economic Integration Zones in European Planning Thought
Chapter 3. Spatial Planning in Asia
Chapter 4. Identifying Megaregions in the United States
PART II. Planning and Designing for Livable Megaregions
Chapter 5. Megaregions or Megasprawls?
Chapter 6. Megapolitan America
Chapter 7. The Imperative of Growth, The Rhetoric of Sustainability
Chapter 8. Mobility in the Megaregion
Chapter 9. Investing in Megaregion Transportation Systems
Chapter 10. Social Equity and the Challenge of Distressed Places
PART III. Spatial Planning for a Future America
Chapter 11. Novel Spatial Formats
Chapter 12. Governing American Metropolitan Areas
Chapter 13. The Megaregion and the Future of American Planning