America 2050 Update: September 17

In This Update:

• America 2050 Releases New Report: Where High-Speed Rail Works Best
• Register Now for Texas Megaregion Forum Sep 24-25!
• Megaregions and America's Economic Recovery
• Exciting Follow-Up to the Piedmont Atlantic Megaregion Forum

America 2050 Releases New Report: Where High Speed Rail Works Best
Defining the corridors in America that are most appropriate for high-speed rail service is critical to the long-term success of America's high-speed rail program. A new report by America 2050 offers one mechanism for assessing which potential high-speed rail corridors will have the greatest ridership demand based on population size, economic activity, transit connections, existing travel markets and urban spatial form and density.


The authors evaluate 27,000 city pairs in the nation to create an index of city pairs with the greatest demand for high-speed rail service. The paper provides a list of the top 50 city pairs, which are primarily concentrated in the Northeast, California, and the Midwest, and provides recommendations for phasing corridor development in the nation's megaregions.


Download the full report. (PDF 3.2MB)  

View an interactive map of America 2050's proposed phasing plan.

Register Now for Texas Triangle Megaregion Forum
Megaregions and MetroProsperity: Sustainable Economics for the Texas Triangle, the next in a series of America 2050 megaregion forums co-hosted with Houston Tomorrow, will be held September 24-25 at the Crystal Ballroom at the Rice Hotel in Houston, Texas. The Texas Triangle is one of the most dynamic urban regions in the US.  More than 70% of all Texans live there. Its major centers - Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, and Fort Worth - are 5 of the 20 biggest cities in the nation. The emerging megaregion is a growing, economic powerhouse.


Will the infrastructure for food, water, energy, and mobility keep pace with the high-speed growth? Will we be able to conserve green infrastructure for ourselves and for future generations? For the first time, leaders from the metro regions, big and small, that make up the Texas Triangle will come together to work toward a shared vision for the region's future. They will also seek common ground among regions in the Texas Triangle on programs and policies to meet core infrastructure challenges. For more information about the conference and to register, visit the conference website.

Megaregions and America's economic recovery
A new article appearing in the September issue of The Urbanist by Petra Todorovich addresses the role of megaregions in a national infrastructure plan and stresses the importance of regional cooperation around issues such as high speed rail, large scale water infrastructure, and reviving regional economies. The article argues that a national infrastructure strategy that emanates solely from Washington would be deeply unpopular.  However, one that is built on collaboration between states and regions, and could identify the needed investments for a more productive economy, healthy environment and inclusive society, is critical to address the country's current and future infrastructure needs. The article cites precedents, both historic and current, of megaregion scale cooperation to address shared challenges and discusses how this national infrastructure strategy could take shape at the federal level. Click here to read the full article.


Exciting Follow-Up to the Piedmont Atlantic Megaregion Forum
"Part of my passion is planning for the future. If you wait to act, then you've waited too long."  So said Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory about the importance of long-range planning. On Tuesday, August 11, 2009 McCrory, Mayor Shirley Franklin of Atlanta and other mayors in the Piedmont Atlantic Megaregion met with utility executives, planning officials and civic leaders in Charlotte, NC.  Their goal: to engage in discussions on key issues in the area, including growth management, environmental preservation, social equity, infrastructure and economic competitiveness; and how to work together toward solutions that are mutually beneficial. View pictures from the PAM Summit and read news coverage here.


The proceedings from the March 23 meeting,  The Case for a National Infrastrucutre Policy, which led to the August summit are now online. This forum brought together civic, government and business leaders from the Piedmont Atlantic Megaregion including Mayor Shirley Franklin of Atlanta and Mayor Pat McCrory of Charlotte. Read the proceeding here.