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Old Posted Dec 25, 2017, 8:55 PM
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Is America ready for the rise of the megaregion?

Is America ready for the rise of the megaregion?


April 15, 2015

By Matt Hansen

Read More: http://theweek.com/articles/549127/a...ise-megaregion

Quote:
.....

Though the concept has existed in academia for decades, planners are now looking at these dense corridors of population, businesses, and transportation and wondering if the megaregion may, in fact, be the next step in America's evolution. With renewed interest and investment in urban centers and the projected growth of high speed rail, megaregions could easily become home to millions more Americans.

- The Northeast corridor, for example, could receive up to 18 million more residents by 2050, according to estimates from the Regional Plan Association. And the region encompassing major cities in Texas including Houston and Dallas could see a spike from roughly 12 million to 18 million people in that same time, the association says. — And where population goes, economic growth is not far behind. The Northeast corridor would be the fifth largest economy in the world, with the Great Lakes megaregion at ninth and the Southern California megaregion outpacing Indonesia, Turkey, and the Netherlands as the 18th largest, according to 2012 estimates from real estate advisory RCLCO.

- Unlike megaregions in Europe and Asia, for example, the United States has traditionally shied away from large umbrella governing organizations which surpass state borders. "In a lot of other world cities, not only do they think of themselves as part of megaregions, they also have government organizations at the megalevel," said Michaelson of the Regional Plan Association. — The United States, by contrast, has neglected "megalevel" planning organizations, with the possible exception of Amtrak, which operates rail service through many of the proposed megaregions but which struggles to maintain funding levels from the federal government.

- A 2013 Brookings Institution report by scholars Jennifer Bradley and Bruce Katz concluded that major metropolitan areas will be largely left alone to grow and develop their economies as "the U.S. government is mired in partisan division and rancour." With these areas generating 91 percent of the country's GDP, according to the report, metro regions will increasingly become "the engines of economic prosperity and social transformation in the US." — But on a purely practical level, cooperation between cities and states can still be rare today in these large regions that cross state lines, according to David Wachsmuth, a political economist at the University of British Columbia.

- That may be changing. Governor Dannel Malloy of Connecticut, for example, has been vocal about working with state governments throughout the Northeast to widen the congested I-95 corridor that snakes up the East Coast. Even the federal government has acknowledged the inevitability of megaregional planning as it lays out plans for high-speed rail and highway improvements. — And both Wachsmuth and Michaelson acknowledge that much of the hard work of building a megaregion isn't simply about adding faster trains or more durable bridges. Instead, much of it comes from creating a shared identity, something that can only happen organically.

- "If you look at the Gulf Coast, there is already a Gulf Coast identity that crosses city and state lines," Wachsmuth said. "The Atlanta and Charlotte area in the Southeast may see a regional identity there, too. But most people in Boston probably think of themselves as Bostonians. They don't think of themselves as having much in common with someone in Maryland." — Michaelson sees this slowly changing. Even in drought-stricken California, which has traditionally been culturally divided between north and south, mutual concerns have begun to forge a shared regional identity. — "I can imagine people for the first time are aware of the fact that their water needs are connected to water resources elsewhere in their megaregion," she said. And that's one of the keys to megaregional planning, she says.

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Old Posted Dec 25, 2017, 9:33 PM
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I think we're a long way off from a Gulf Coast megaregion....a really, really, really long way off. The I-35 corridor is pretty much there, it just needs more gaps to be filled between its four primary metro areas. It's also a long way off from a complete Texas Triangle, there's just no highly populated areas between Houston and Dallas as the crow flies. There's pretty much nothing between Corsicana (Dallas) and Huntsville (Houston), nothing but cow pastures and small towns that is.
     
     
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Old Posted Dec 25, 2017, 9:44 PM
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As someone who lives in Baltimore, the connection between Baltimore and Philadelphia isn't there as much as you might think (or at least as much as I thought before I moved here, five years ago). But once that's filled in, the next "open" area is in Connecticut, because DC to Baltimore is basically seemless, and Philly to NYC obviously pretty much is, too.
     
     
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Old Posted Dec 25, 2017, 10:29 PM
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I was looking at the same map a few days ago.

Really the three mega regions for the U.S. are the Bay Area, NY Metro, and LA Metro.

LA metro is just ludicrous. A continuous urban city for miles and miles, as far as the eye can see.
     
     
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Old Posted Dec 25, 2017, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
April 15, 2015
???

I am pretty sure this has been posted here before.
     
     
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Old Posted Dec 25, 2017, 11:05 PM
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And a megaregion is not necessarily contiguously linked with asphalt.
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Old Posted Dec 25, 2017, 11:22 PM
ThePhun1 ThePhun1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M II A II R II K View Post
And a megaregion is not necessarily contiguously linked with asphalt.
While true, it needs to at least have some common links such as common media sources, shopping malls, pro and college sports loyalties, etc...
     
     
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Old Posted Dec 26, 2017, 1:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris08876 View Post
I was looking at the same map a few days ago.

Really the three mega regions for the U.S. are the Bay Area, NY Metro, and LA Metro.

LA metro is just ludicrous. A continuous urban city for miles and miles, as far as the eye can see.
Technically Detroit and Buffalo are part of Quebec-City to Windsor. I think it's the fourth largest megaregion in the U.S. behind Bos-Wash, Mexico City, and SoCal.
     
     
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Old Posted Dec 26, 2017, 5:28 AM
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I don't feel like I live in any sort of Great Lakes mega region. Great Lakes is a label that people from elsewhere try to put on the Twin Cities but I don't think many who actually live here agree. The nearest "Great Lakes" mega region city is Madison and the drive from here to there is nothing but farms, forests and small towns for five hours. Chicago isn't much closer than the Badlands. The Twin Cities are the center of their own large hinterland - Minnesota, western Wisconsin, northern Iowa and the Dakotas. In the minds of most people in the Twin Cities that is our region - not the Great Lakes.

I would imagine that people in Kansas City are equally or even more incredulous about being part of a Great Lakes mega region. Some places are far enough away from everything else that they are their own thing.

This looks like the work of people who like to sort things mentally, but some of them are pretty forced. The world is a squishy and singular thing that doesn't always fit in to the sort of neat, rigid organizational schemes that those with intellectual ocd want to fit it into.

Last edited by Chef; Dec 26, 2017 at 5:47 AM.
     
     
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Old Posted Dec 26, 2017, 7:50 AM
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Milwaukee/Chicago to Toronto via Detroit and also via Cleveland would loop in, what, at least 30 million people? Even without trying to bring in other nearby cities, that is a pretty well-defined area with strong affinity.
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Old Posted Dec 26, 2017, 9:29 AM
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As long as we have the Senate giving small states undue influence in Washington, it's hard to see any funding passed for any urban infrastructure in the Blue State NE corridor.
     
     
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