Leaders Meet to Discuss Megaregion Development

Thirty distinguished scholars, planners, and policy makers convened for a two-day discussion on America’s ten emerging megaregions at the Pocantico Conference Center of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, February 22-24, 2006. Sponsored by Regional Plan Association and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, the purpose of the meeting was to discuss strategies to prepare for the nation's predicted 40% growth by mid-century by encouraging investments and strategies at the megaregion scale. Bruce Babbitt, former Secretary of the Interior, gave the keynote address on the federal role in land use planning, arguing that “conditionality” is a tool that should be used by the federal government to exact conditions on the funding its disperses. Conference participants, who came from every megaregion of the nation, discussed the potential for megaregions to shape future federal policies, such as the reauthorization of the surface transportation bill and the reorganization of Amtrak, to emphasize efficiency and mobility within these extended regions. Southern California was held up as an example of where megaregional investments in goods movement and logistics are increasing Southern California’s competitiveness on the global scale.