America 2050 Update: November 26, 2008

In This Update:
  • New Report: An Infrastructure Vision for 21st Century America
  • Investing in America's Competitiveness: America 2050 Forum in Sacramento
  • Rebuilding and Renewing America: Infrastructure Choices in the Great Lakes Megaregion
  • Ecolopolis 3.0: A Vision for the Cascadia Megaregion
  • About America 2050

New Report: An Infrastructure Vision for 21st Century America

America 2050 has a released a new report, An Infrastructure Vision for 21st Century America, which will be used to inform our "Rebuilding and Renewing America" forums over the next year.   This report highlights the need to develop a bold and compelling vision for investing in the nation's aging water, energy, and transportation infrastructure in a way that will help America meet the key challenges of the 21st century. These challenges include America's fast-growing population, deteriorating infrastructure, the deepening recession, our competitiveness in a global economy, fairness and opportunity, and climate change and energy security.   

After discussing the history of national planning in America, the report makes the case that the federal government should provide leadership in aligning its energy, transportation and water infrastructure policies to support environmentally sustainable development, efficient and reliable transportation systems, and sustained, robust economic growth. Currently, many of the federal government's programs are ineffective or obsolete, or work at cross purposes, such as transportation policy that increases our reliance on foreign oil, or federal farm subsidies that encourage fertilizer and pesticide use that pollutes our drinking water.

Over the next year, America 2050 will build on this report to create physical plans for national systems of transportation networks, electrical transmission and water infrastructure and specific policies to encourage greater accountability, decision-making criteria for project selection and performance measures.

You can download the report on the America 2050 website here. If you'd like to order printed copies for a conference or event, please contact Melissa Mavour at  

Investing in America's Competitiveness: America 2050 Forum in Sacramento

California Senate President pro Tempore-Elect Darrell Steinberg will headline America 2050's Northern California megaregion infrastructure forum in Sacramento on December 2, 2008. Steinberg authored the groundbreaking new California law, SB-375, which provides incentives to regions to create integrated land use and transportation plans to cut carbon emissions. Other featured speakers include U.S. Representatives Doris Matsui and Earl Blumenauer; Paul Rosenstiel, Deputy Treasurer of the Office of California Treasurer; and Dian Grueneich, Commissioner of the California Public Utilities Commission.

The forum, titled, "Investing in America's Competitiveness: An Infrastructure Strategy for the Nation and the Megaregion," will bring together 100 leaders from the business, civic, government, and academic communities in the Northern California megaregion to discuss a national and megaregional agenda for infrastructure investment that could shape the economic recovery plans of the Obama Administration and the new U.S. Congress in 2009.

The forum is hosted by a collaboration of Northern California civic and government organizations including the Bay Area Council, San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), Sacramento Council of Governments, Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and the San Joaquin Council of Governments, in conjunction with Regional Plan Association.  It will contribute to an ongoing effort to create a national infrastructure plan that could shape an economic stimulus bill and economic recovery plan next year.  Leaders from the Northern California business, civic, government, and academic communities are encouraged to attend and help define this emerging federal and megaregion agenda. 
Click here for more information.
Rebuilding and Renewing America: Infrastructure Choices in the Great Lakes Megaregion

On November 17th the Regional Plan Association and the Metropolitan Planning Council of Chicago hosted the first in a series of America 2050 regional forums focusing on the nation's infrastructure titled, "Rebuilding and Renewing America: Infrastructure Choices in the Great Lakes Megaregion."  This gathering in Chicago brought together 250 leaders from the business, labor civic, government, and academic communities in the Chicago region and the surrounding Great Lakes states to discuss and refine efforts to develop a national infrastructure plan. Remarks and summaries of the event will be posted on the website soon. To view photos of the event, click here.

Ecolopolis 3.0: A Vision for the Cascadia Megaregion

The graduate students at the Toulon School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University have released their latest study of the Cascadia Megaregion, "Ecolopolis," which presents a vision for sustainable economic development in the Vancouver-Seattle-Portland megaregion. Building on two previous studies, the report includes a detailed sector-based economic analysis and recommendations for further strengthening Cascadia's economic "competencies" in areas of green building and architecture, creative services, agriculture and food production and high tech. It also makes recommendations for protecting Cascadia's renowned environmental heritage and reputation for sustainability, while improving flows and connections within the megaregion.
Read the report.

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. We are developing strategies that anticipate 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

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