Southern California

Sothern_California.png With some of the largest ports in the nation, the economy of Southern California is closely tied to the logistics and goods movement industry. This region is taking aggressive action to build infrastructure that enhances its role as a global gateway while providing opportunities for its fast growing native-born and immigrant populations.

Principal Cities: Los Angeles, San Diego, Anaheim, Long Beach, Las Vegas
Population 2010:
Percent of U.S. Population:
Population 2025: 29,010,560
Population 2050: 39,381,675
Projected Growth (2010 - 2050): 61.7% (15,020,033)
2005 GDP: $1,036,000,000,000
Percent of US GDP:

Recent Entries

In the most recent edition of the San Francisco Urban Planning and Research Association's publication, The Urbanist, two articles strengthen the already solid case for high-speed rail in California. The articles were written initially for an America 2050 research seminar sponsored by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and Regional Plan Association this spring. Not only can the state afford to fund the project, argues SPUR Regional Planning Director Egon Terplan in "Getting High-Speed Rail On Track," but two of the state's most influential industries - the Hollywood media and entertainment industry and Silicon Valley technology sector - would be knit more tightly than ever before by a high-speed rail system that would realize "the economic potential of enhanced access and exchange across the state," a benefit discussed detailed in Executive Director Gabriel Metcalf's "Hollywood Vs. Silicon Valley."

sac-valley-station.pngA new report by SPUR, the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association, focuses on high-speed rail's ability to encourage more compact land use in California around the 25 proposed stations. The authors emphasize that in order for high-speed rail to reach its maximum potential, the state and the 25 municipalities must support forward-thinking land-use planning and development programs that allow all of the benefits of HSR to be fully realized. The key is to catalyze private investment in areas surrounding the stations.

Download the full report.

In Sacramento, planning is well underway at Valley Station (above picture), an intermodal hub with connections to Amtrak, intercity buses, light rail, and eventually high-speed rail. The 240-acre station area is expected to become one of the largest transit-oriented developments in the country, featuring 12,000 housing units, office space for 19,000 jobs, a Railroad Museum and a thriving retail district, the report says.

"The alternative to high-speed rail isn't just the absence of a train," writes Egon Terplan, the Director of Regional Planning at SPUR. "It is more highways and new runways; congested roads and crowded skies. The cost of this piecemeal approach would likely be more than the high-speed rail system itself."
Picture 18.pngAmerica 2050 will join the U.S. High Speed Rail Association at its conference June 17-18 at Hilton Universal City, in Los Angeles, California.

Click here for more information on speakers and the agenda and here to register.  

Urban Growth Seminar at University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Featured speakers:
Mark Pisano, Professor of Urban Planning, SPPD and Petra Todorovich, Director, America 2050. Professor Tridib Banerjee will be the discussant.
Please contact for more information.

This is a part of the Urban Growth Seminar series sponsored by the School for Policy, Planning and Development.
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.

View photos from the America 2050 Forum in Los Angeles, California, held on June 19, 2009. Speakers included Polly Trottenberg, Kathleen Brown, CA Senator Alan Lowenthal, NV Assemblyman Tick Segerblom, John Fielder, Neal Schmale, Sunne Wright McPeak, Councilwoman Leslie Daigle, Paul Rosenstiel and many others.

losangelescoverfinal-01.pngLA Forum Logos Final-01.png
LA Forum Agenda.pdf

Online Registration is Now Closed
You are welcome to register on-site!

Driving and Parking Directions.doc

Join the Southwest megaregion's business, civic, government, and academic leaders on June 19 as they address the pressing issues of how to govern and finance the major infrastructure systems of the Southwest Megaregion (encompassing Southern California, the Las Vegas metropolitan area and Baja California), as part of a strategy to rebuild the region's economy for robust, equitable and sustainable growth.

Keynote Speakers
John R. Fielder, President, Southern California Edison
Polly Trottenberg, Executive Director, Building America's Future

Featured Speakers
Tom Sayles, Vice President of Government & Community Relations, USC
Alan Lowenthal, Senator, California State Senate
Petra Todorovich, Director, America 2050
Councilman Steve Wolfson, City of Las Vegas, NV
Assemblyman Richard Sagermoon, Nevada State Assembly
Mark Pisano, Co-Chair and West Coast Director, America 2050
Bob Yaro, President, Regional Plan Association & Co-Chair, America 2050
John Kirlin, Executive Director, Delta Vision Foundation
Timothy F. Brick, Chairman, Board of Directors, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Mike Peevey, President, California Public Utilities Commission
Neal Schmale, COO, Sempra Energy
Don Paul, Director, USC Energy Institute
Michael Keston, Chairman & CEO, KFG Investment Company
Richard Little, Director, USC Keston Institute for Public Finance and Infrastructure Policy
Kathleen Brown, Head of Public Finance-Western Region, Goldman Sachs & Co.
Brian Corley, Executive Director - Transportation/Infrastructure Advisory Group, JP Morgan LA Office
Paul Rosenstiel, Partner, De La Rosa & Co. & former CA Deputy Treasurer
Marguerite Young, Director-Public Pension Fund Relations, Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
Doug Failing, Director - District 7, California DOT
Bev Perry, Assistant Director, USC Bedrosian Center on Governance and the Public Enterprise
Sunne Wright McPeak, President & CEO, CA Emerging Technologies Fund

The forum will include roundtable participant discussions to identify key questions:

  • What are the key areas of infrastructure on which the Southwest Megaregion must work together?    
  • How do we move the SW Megaregion forward in these areas?
  • Should there be the institutional capacity to take this forward?
  • What should be the federal role in advancing this agenda?

Download the Paper (1 MB)

By Chris Benner, University of California, Davis and Manuel Pastor, University of Southern California.

Since the civil rights movement of the 1960s, a growing regional equity movement has recognized the consequences of urban sprawl and regional causes of poverty and successfully built political power at the scale of metropolitan region. Now, with increasing attention to social and economic factors at the megaregion scale, this paper asks whether equity proponents must shift their attention outward and upward.