Land Development & Growth Management in the U.S.

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by Thomas K. Wright, Regional Plan Association

The emergence of megaregions and other recent demographic trends provide an opportunity to rethink the shape of land development in the United States. Networks of metropolitan regions can be reinforced by smart investments in regional infrastructure systems, such as inter-city rail; new regional-scale landscape preservation and stewardship strategies; and policies aimed at creating livable communities. But first, policymakers must find consensus on the desired land use and transportation systems for the emerging megaregions and how to construct new planning paradigms to shape growth at this level.
The paper concludes that to become effective, growth management in the United States must expand in scale - both moving down to more aggressively tackle local issues where zoning predominates, and ambitiously moving up to the megaregion scale, where networks of metropolitan regions are beginning to overlap each other.

This paper is part of series prepared by America 2050 for the Rockefeller Foundation Global Urban Summit in July 2007.