CQGRD Hosts Megaregions & Transportation Symposium

Sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration

Molly Allen
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Summary Sentence:

Experts were asked to address the topic of megaregions

Full Summary:

A group of planning and transportation experts were asked to help answer some of the most pressing questions on the topic of megaregions and transportation. Their answers to these questions will ultimately help outline a strategy for exploring the potential of the megaregion as a value-added structure.

Megaregions are networks of metropolitan centers and their surrounding areas that have existing environmental, economic and infrastructure relationships. These metropolitan agglomerations currently host a significant portion of the country's population, economic activity and global connections. As a result, they also struggle with intense traffic congestion and a challenging environment, both physically and financially, in which to respond to new transportation needs.

How should America respond to continuous and geographically focused population growth, spreading traffic congestion, natural resource depletion and the loss of economic competitiveness in the global economy? More explicitly, how should we structure transportation and infrastructure investment and an appropriate policy framework to be more responsive to these challenges and opportunities?

To begin addressing these questions, the Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development at Georgia Tech hosted an invitation only Megaregions and Transportation Symposium on Friday, June 20, 2008, in Atlanta, GA. The Symposium is part of the Center's research on megaregions funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration.

A diverse mix of experts in the field of planning and transportation were asked to participate. Dean Allen of the Georgia Tech College of Architecture started the day by welcoming the group. Featured speakers included: Emil Frankel, Director of Transportation Policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center and former U.S. Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy of the U.S. Department of Transportation; Professor Chang-Chun Feng, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Peking University, Beijing, China; Professor Michael Meyer, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Georgia Tech; Petra Todorovich, Director, America 2050, Regional Plan Association; and Catherine L. Ross, Ph.D., Harry West Professor and Director of the Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development (CQGRD). After several presentations, speakers and participants worked in break-out groups for in-depth discussions of the process of megaregion planning, challenges to megaregion planning, and how to define megaregions.

The information gathered will ultimately help outline a strategy for exploring the potential of the megaregion as a value-added structure that will guide national transportation policy and investment, while explicitly addressing the relationships among demographic change, land resources, infrastructure investment and economic development. This outline will examine mechanisms to plan for, finance and supply infrastructure that reinforces the competitiveness of current leading economic regions, while simultaneously linking to rural areas and under-performing regions that often experience only the negative externalities of economic growth.
The results of this project will have implications for the practice, policy and study of transportation planning and will be particularly useful to elected officials as they prepare to outline a national strategy for transportation reauthorization in 2009.

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CQGRD - Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development

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  • Created By: Molly Allen
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: Jul 1, 2008 - 8:00pm
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:10pm