America 2050 Update: May 15, 2009

In This Update:

  • America 2050 Weighs in on High-Speed Rail 
  • T4 America Releases Blueprint for Federal Transportation Program
  • Rebuilding & Renewing America Forum: June 19 in Los Angeles
  • Century of the City Books Available from the Rockefeller Foundation
  • Building the Next Economy: Audio Files and Pictures now available
  • About America 2050

America 2050 Weighs in on High-Speed Rail

Last month President Obama announced his Administration's plans for the most significant investment in intercity and high-speed rail in a generation. With an $8 billion down payment in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and an additional $5 billion in his proposed budget, Obama has signaled the start of a new era of commitment to intercity passenger rail after decades of disinvestment and lack of federal support.

But as the President noted, these investments are just the beginning of building a smart transportation system equal to the needs of the 21st century.  America 2050 has recommended a more ambitious and interconnected intercity passenger network, based on our analysis of travel demand between 250 city pairs nationwide. Read America 2050's Policy Brief on why we need a Trans-America Passenger Network, and the places where high-speed rail will work best. Also, view America 2050's director Petra Todorovich interviewed on Fox Business News about high-speed rail in America.


T4 America Releases Blueprint for Federal Transportation Program

It has been more than fifty years since the signing of the National Interstate and Defense Highway Act, which created a network of highways that tied the nation together. Today, America faces a new set of challenges and is in need of a new vision for our transportation system. Transportation for America, a broad coalition representing a range of local and national interests focused on modernizing the nation's transportation system, released its platform for federal policy reform, which includes a detailed plan for maintaining and expanding the nation's transportation system.
In this "Blueprint", the coalition offers four main recommendations for the upcoming transportation authorization bill:

  • Develop a New National Transportation Vision with Objectives and Accountability for Meeting Performance Targets.
  • Restructure Federal Transportation Programs and Funding to Support the New National Transportation Vision and Objectives.
  • Reform Transportation Agencies and the Decision-making Process.
  • Revise Transportation Finance So We Can Pay for Needed Investments.

This document serves as T4 America's proposal for the policies and financing structures necessary to achieve real transformational change in America's transportation system.



Rebuilding & Renewing America Forum: June 19 in Los Angeles

Friday, June 19 is the date of the next "Rebuilding and Renewing America" forum, focused on infrastructure strategies for the Southwest Megaregion, encompassing Southern California, the Las Vegas metropolitan area and Baja California.

The forum will take place at the Davidson Conference Center on the campus of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles on Friday, June 19 from 8:00am to 3:30pm. Register online here. There is a fee of $25.00 to attend.

The forum will aim to build support for a national infrastructure plan needed for America to respond to the big challenges of rapid population growth, our dependence on foreign oil, climate change, global competitiveness, and deteriorating infrastructure, and identify the major transportation, energy and water infrastructure priorities in the Southwest Megaregion that are issues of national significance.

Likewise, we hope to find common ground among metropolitan areas in the Southwest Megaregion on programs and policies that would help regions and subregions meet their core infrastructure challenges

The forum marks the first major convening of the west coast office of America 2050, housed at the USC Bedrosian Center. The forum aims to establish a network of business, civic, government and academic organizations through the America 2050 west coast office who will continue to work on building the Southwest Megaregion and pushing its collective agenda.  


Century of the City Books Available from the Rockefeller Foundation

Veracruz, 261 miles due east of Mexico City, is Mexico's most populous metropolitan region on the Gulf Coast.   It is also where the first confirmed case of the swine flu epidemic occurred.  As the death toll increased and we faced a potential pandemic, the Mexican health system struggled to monitor and contain the spread of the virus, and treat the ill.


Urban challenges such as these are the subject of the timely volume Century of the City - No Time to Lose, recently published by the Rockefeller Foundation, the result of its Global Urban Summit held in July 2007.  The Summit provided a platform for the examination of key infrastructure and planning issues as they relate to the growth of urban regions around the world--including in the United States and the Global South.  Topics covered in Century of the City include Urban Health; Financing Water, Transportation, and Shelter; Climate Change; America 2050; U.S. Transportation Challenges; and U.S. Metros: Building Blocks of America's Prosperity. 

You may order up to 2 free copies of the book from the Rockefeller Foundation here.



Building the Next Economy: Audio Files and Pictures now available

Regional Plan Association has released program materials and audio files of the 19th Annual Regional Assembly, "America 2050: Building the Next Economy," held on Friday, April 17th at the Waldorf Astoria. Visitors can now recap the day's events including keynote speeches by Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell, Moody's Chief Economist Mark Zandi and the presentation of the RPA Lifetime Leadership Award to Richard Ravitch by New York Governor David Paterson. Additionally, audio files for each of the workshop panels is available.  Click here.


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