Representatives of Six States Talk about Future of Southeast

Elected officials and representatives from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee convened on January 29 and 30, 2006, for the Think Global, Act Regional Symposium in Atlanta. The attendees included federal and state legislators, mayors, public- and private-sector representatives, academics, and other community leaders. Together, they composed a diverse and enthusiastic audience who came to hear from U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson, City of Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, and others about a new wave of multi-state regionalism, called megaregions. The event, organized by Georgia Tech's Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development and the City and Regional Planning program, began a dialogue focusing on opportunities for public- and private-sector groups in the southeastern states to work together.

For more information about the Think Global, Act Regional Symposium visit: http://www.cqgrd.gatech.edu/megaregions/

As part of the Symposium, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) hosted the ULI/Joseph C. Canizaro Mayors' Forum. Like Mayors' Forums held in other parts of the country, this event provided an arena for mayors and other elected officials to discuss and learn about practical responses to development challenges in their communities. A significant outcome of the symposium was a resolution by officials from several cities and counties to initiate discussions on regional coordination and communication to address security, disaster, and health. As many participants noted, emergency preparedness is a complicated issue that not only requires fast and effective response at the site of the disaster, but also a broader network of infrastructure, services, and communication.