America 2050 Update: February 22, 2008

In This Issue:
  • About America 2050
  • Transportation Reform: What the UK Can Teach America
  • Events: Northeast Climate and Competitiveness Summit; National Meeting in New Orleans; Northern California Megaregion Forum

About America 2050

America 2050 is a national initiative based at Regional Plan Association to shape America's growth in the 21st century. With partners across the country, we are developing a physical and policy framework for growth that anticipates the challenges of rapid population growth, climate change, mobility, and ensuring national prosperity in a changing global economy.

A major focus of America 2050 is the emergence of megaregions - large networks of metropolitan areas, where most of America's growth by mid-century will take place - and how to organize infrastructure investments, environmental protection, and economic opportunities for all at this new scale.

America 2050 includes a network of partners in megaregions across the country developing long-range strategies for sustainable growth and prosperity. A list of America 2050 partners is available on the America 2050 website at

Transportation Reform: What the UK Can Teach America

Regional Plan Association and the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program hosted a luncheon forum on February 20 in New York featuring former U.K. Department of Transport Official Oliver Jones to speak on transportation reform in the U.K. The luncheon was supported by the Surdna Foundation and JPMorgan Chase.

Jones led the team that wrote the Eddington Transport Study--an independent review for the British Government chaired by Sir Rod Eddington (former British Airways CEO), which made the case for tying transportation funding and decisions to economic performance objectives. The study led sweeping reforms to the Department of Transport in the U.K. and a reorganization of the Department of Transport from modally-focused departments (aka dept. of roads, rail, aviation, etc.) to objective-driven departments focusing on cities, intercity travel, and global trade, to name a few.

Oliver Jones' visit coincided with the release of the final report of the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission recently and the start of discussions in the U.S. about the next surface transportation legislation at the expiration of the current bill at the end of FY 2009. Jones was joined in New York by panelists Richard Ravitch, principal of Ravitch Rice and Company, Astrid Glynn, Commissioner of New York State Department of Transportation, Frank McArdle, Commissioner on the National Policy and Revenue Study Commission, Emil Frankel, Director of Transportation Policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, and Robert Puentes, Fellow at Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program.

Read the complete summary of this forum on the America 2050 website.

Upcoming Events

Feb 29, Baltimore: 2nd Northeast Climate and Competitiveness Summit: Next Friday RPA and Lincoln Institute of Land Policy will host the 2nd Northeast Climate and Competitiveness Summit at the Tremont Grand Hotel in Baltimore, MD. The Summit convenes business, civic and government leaders of 12 Northeast states and the District of Columbia to develop a shared policy agenda for economic prosperity and sustainability in the Northeast megaregion. This year's summit includes keynote addresses by Gov. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania and Congressman Earl Blumenauer of Oregon. Registration is open until Wednesday of next week. For more information, click here.

March 5-7, New Orleans:  America 2050 National Meeting at PolicyLink Summit: America 2050 will send a delegation to the PolicyLink National Summit on Equitable Development, Social Justice and Smart Growth in New Orleans on March 5-8. We will also hold the America 2050 annual meeting there on March 5, from 3:00 - 5:30 at the conference hotel. America 2050 partners are invited to participate in the America 2050 delegation and attend the national meeting, which will review a draft "National Framework for Growth" and discuss how America 2050 can play an active role in shaping surface transportation legislation in 2009. Our participation in the Summit is motivated by the recognition that regional equity must be an underlying goal in a national growth strategy.

There will also be a workshop on March 6 on "Megaregions and Long Range Planning: America in 2050," which presents an opportunity to get feedback on how equity goals can help shape a national growth strategy.  For more information on the conference, visit PolicyLink's website on the Summit.

To participate in the America 2050 delegation and national meeting, please contact Petra Todorovich at

March 19, San Francisco:  SPUR, the Bay Area Council and RPA will host a morning public panel discussion in San Francisco on the Northern California megaregion. Drawing from SPUR's recent study of the Northern California megaregion, panelists will discuss policy implications and responses to this emerging geography. Panelists include Gabriel Metcalf, Executive Director of SPUR, Jim Wunderman, President & CEO of the Bay Area Council, Carol Whiteside, Founder of the Great Valley Center, and Robert Yaro, president of Regional Plan Association as moderator. RSVP to

America 2050 Update
Edited by Petra Todorovich
Director, America 2050
212-253-2727 x322