The Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program released a report this month titled "Mountain Megas: America's Newest Metropolitan Places and a Federal Partnership to Help Them Prosper". The report was introduced in conjunction with a luncheon in Denver on July 22nd that brought leaders from the Intermountain West to discuss economic, social, and environmental challenges in five emerging metropolitan areas: Wasatch Front, Utah; Las Vegas, Nevada; Sun Corridor, Arizona; Northern New Mexico, New Mexico, and the Front Range, Colorado.
As part of its Blueprint for American Prosperity initiative, the Brookings report calls for the federal government to provide leadership and support as these urbanized and rapdily changing areas emerge and expand. In addition, the report comes in anticipation of the upcoming Democratic Convention in Denver. Local leaders and officials are hopeful the presidential candidates and elections will make these emerging trends and challenges a national priority. As one of the fastest growing regions in the country, the study suggests that these swing states represent a "new new West" that is urban, and require new and reformed federal-state-local partnerships. Moreover, the research recommends that these collaborations should be issue focused, namely: transportation, infrastructure, innovation, immigration, and climate change.
The event was attended by Jon Huntsman, Gov. of Utah; Bill Ritter, Jr., Gov. of Colorado, and John Hickenlooper, Mayor, City of Denver. For a copy of the executive summary of the report, please click here.
Photo: "Mountain Megas: America's Newest Metropolitan Places and a Federal Partnership to Help Them Prosper", July, 2008.