Piedmont Atlantic

Piedmont.png The low cost of living and high quality of life in the Southeast are two reasons for this megaregion's booming population, which is anchored by Atlanta but stretches east to Raleigh, North Carolina and west to Birmingham, Alabama. The region is facing challenges associated with its growing population, such as increased traffic congestion, runaway land consumption, and inadequate infrastructure, which it hopes to address with sustainable solutions.

Principal Cities: Atlanta, Birmingham, Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte
Population 2010: 17,611,162
Percent of U.S. Population: 6%
Population: 2025: 21,687,449
Population 2050: 31,342,393
Projected Growth (2010 - 2050): 78.0% (13,731,231)
2005 GDP: $485,753,000,000
Percent of US GDP: 4%

Recent Entries

As a follow-up to last August's Piedmont Atlantic Megaregion Summit, the megaregion's mayors, led by Atlanta's Shirley Franklin and Charlotte's Pat McCrory, recently gathered in Greenville, South Carolina to formalize their new organization, now called "The Piedmont Alliance for Quality Growth - Mayors, Business, Academia."

The Alliance was formed out of the recognition that city leaders will better tackle increasing challenges related to rapid population growth and the need for infrastructure if they work as a unit, rather than independently. Mayor Franklin also expressed her understanding of the megaregion's place in the global economy, stating, "I used to think of the Atlanta metro region as my sphere. But now I know - I'm in a megaregion which will increasingly influence the ability of America to prosper."

Two examples of the challenges facing the regions of Piedmont include making public transit more reliable and widely available; and employing more ecologically responsible land use practices.

To read Neal Peirce's column about this exciting new collaboration, click here.

Mayor Pat McCrory on Megaregions

Mayor Pat McCrory of Charlotte, North Carolina provides a compelling description of why megaregions are important.

Since 2007, America 2050 has held megaregion forums in seven of America's eleven megaregions nation-wide. There forums were held as part of a "Rebuilding and Renewing America" campaign, which aimed to build support for the infrastructure investments we need to guide America toward a sustainable and prosperous future. The forums aimed to achieve three goals:
  • Build support around the country for an ambitious national infrastructure plan in the areas of  transportation, energy, and water.
  • Identify and prioritize the key infrastructure priorities in the megaregions, which can act as building blocks to a national plan.
  • Create megaregion coalitions to support these megaregion priorities and begin coordinating with each other.
Each megaregion prioritized slightly different issues and has followed up on the forum in varying degrees. To read about the megaregion forums and next steps, download the summary below. Also available is a PowerPoint presentation given by Petra Todorovich at the America 2050 national meeting, which also outlines common principles on federal policy that were emphasized in each of the megaregions.

Download the Summary of Megaregion Forums.

Download a PowerPoint about the Forums.

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for PAM-Forum-Summary-Cover.png
Just released is a synopsis of our Forum for the Piedmont Atlantic Megaregion.  Click above to view insights from our speakers as well as photos from the day-long event.

Southeastern States / Federal Partners Regional Workshop The Army Corps of Engineers - South Atlantic Division has recently taken the lead by proposing a coalition to represent and be led by eight southeastern states.  Still in the exploratory phase, the coalition is intended to encourage regional collaboration and constructive dialogue among these states.  The biggest challenge may be for representatives of states currently involved in bitter lawsuits against each other to think of their interests as not only intertwined but mutually dependent, and come to consensus on an action plan based on a regional perspective.  But the involvement of federal partners in the region and the Southern Governors' Association could provide strong motivation for PAM states and municipalities to do just that.

To read more about the Coalition, please click the link below.

PAM Reg Workshop Summary_Final_03-26-2009.pdf

Pat McCrory-6.jpg  On March 23, America 2050 partnered with the Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development, the Georgia Transportation Institute, the Atlanta Regional Commission, and the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce to host a major infrastructure forum focusing on national infrastructure policy and the Piedmont Atlantic Megaregion.

Stakeholders, experts, government, business, and civic leaders from Birmingham, Alabama to Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina came together to set priorities for a national infrastructure policy and specific investments in transportation, energy and water infrastructure in the Piedmont Atlantic Megaregion.

Speakers included: Ray Christman, President and CEO of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, John Horsley, Executive Director of AASHTO, William Millar, Executive Director of the American Public Transportation Association, Rebecca Wodder, President of American Waters, and Pat McCrory, Mayor of the City of Charlotte.

Above: Mayor Pat McCrory of Charlotte, North Carolina

Materials are available from the forum, including the Program and the Center's Megaregions Primer.pdf

Press Coverage of the Event:
"Georgia in the Rearview Mirror" in Facing South