America 2050 Update: July 17, 2008

In This Issue:
  • Rebuilding and Renewing America Forum: Report of Proceedings
  • Media coverage of America 2050  
  • Megaregions and Transportation Symposium at Georgia Tech
  • About America 2050

Rebuilding and Renewing America Forum: Report of Proceedings

The proceedings of the Rebuilding and Renewing America forum sponsored by America 2050 on May 9, 2008 in Washington, D.C. are now available for download. (PDF 2.7MB)

Timed to commemorate the Bicentennial of the historic Gallatin plan of 1808 and the Centennial of Theodore Roosevelt's Conference of Governors in 1908, the forum drew attention to the need in 2008 for a 21st century infrastructure plan that will shape America's growth, with implications for the nation's global competitiveness, sustainability, and national economy. The America 2050 forum assembled business and labor leaders, Democratic and Republican members of Congress, transportation and engineering industry leaders and environmental advocates to address the nation's energy, water, and transportation infrastructure needs.
The forum was co-sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, The Surdna Foundation, Regional Plan Association, and the Division of United States Studies at the Woodrow Wilson Center.
The report summarizes keynote addresses and remarks by Gov. Ed Rendell, Judith Rodin, Tom Donohue and U.S. Representatives Earl Blumenauer, Chris Shays, Rosa DeLauro and Tom Petri, among other noteworthy speakers. It also reports on roundtable discussions on energy, water, and transportation infrastructure.
The May 9 forum marked the launch of a national series of "Rebuilding and Renewing America" forums around the country to draw attention to the nation's growing infrastructure needs and gather input on the key priorities in growing megaregions.

Media Coverage of America 2050

This spring and summer, growing media coverage has highlighted the nation's infrastructure woes and America 2050's call for a national infrastructure investment plan. With attention to transportation issues heightened by rising gas prices, numerous articles have focused on the failure of our transportation systems to respond to key national challenges, such as fossil-fuel dependence and the demands of a global economy.  Recently, America 2050 director Petra Todorovich was interviewed on Talk Radio News Service on the emergence of megaregions and the right of Americans to live in safe, well-planned communities that provide transportation choices.  The Economist's article "The Cracks are Showing" has brought international attention to America's deteriorating roads, bridges and transit systems, and prompted additional comment in blogs and editorials here in the U.S.  NPR also ran a June series on "America's Crumbling Infrastructure," interviewing America 2050 partners, Robert Fishman, Judith Rodin and Armando Carbonell.   
"Giant multi-city regions dominate America's economy." Talk Radio News Service, July 8, 2008. 
"American Infrastructure Needs Big Money, Spent Wisely." Houston Gulf Coast Institute Blog.  July 8, 2008
"Crumbling Infrastructure needs bold vision, action." The Tampa Tribune. July 6, 2008.
"Got the Fourth of July Travel Blues?" by Robert Krueger, The Ground Floor.  July 3, 2008
"The cracks are showing." The Economist. June 26, 2008.
"Laborers launch massive pro-infrastructure campaign." Mark Gruenberg, WorkdayMinnesota. June 1, 2008. 
"Rebuilding America's Infrastructure through public-private partnerships." America's Infrastructure through public-private partnerships." Kenneth Orski, Innovation NewsBriefs, Vol. 19, No. 12.  May 28, 2008. (DOC 53K)

"A Transportation Crossroads." Judith Rodin, The Washington Post. May 9, 2008.

"House speaker sees infrastructure bank as option." Joan Gralla, Reuters. April 18, 2008.
"Blumenauer, Pelosi address infrastructure crisis." Trading April 18, 2008.
NPR Series: "America's Crumbling Infrastructure" with interviews by Armando Carbonell, Chairman of the Department of Planning and Urban Form at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Judith Rodin, President of The Rockefeller Foundation and Robert Fishman, Professor and planning historian at University of Michigan.
Megaregions and Transportation Symposium
Atlanta: On June 20, Dr. Catherine Ross and the Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development at Georgia Tech convened a group of regional and national transportation experts and practitioners to discuss the opportunities to reform national transportation policies and funding mechanisms using a megaregion framework.  The symposium, funded by the U.S. DOT featured presentations by Emil Frankel, Michael Meyer, Chang-Chun Feng of Peking University in China and Petra Todorovich. The event also focused on how to plan and finance megaregion-scale transportation projects and what methodologies and criteria should be utilized to define this emerging scale.  One interesting idea proposed by Michael Meyer was to develop megaregion infrastructure banks to finance megaregion-scale projects via a competitive process.   For more information, please view the documents below.
Megaregions and Transportation background paper (PDF 400K)

"Same old urban policies won't work in megaregions." Atlanta Journal Constitution, July 6, 2008.

About America 2050
America 2050 is a national initiative to develop an infrastructure plan for the United States that will position America for equitable, sustainable and prosperous economic growth. With partners across the country, we are developing strategies that anticipate the challenges of rapid population gain, 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 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

America 2050 Update
Edited by Petra Todorovich
Director, America 2050
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