Megaregions and America's Future
“Written by the leading experts on regional planning at this scale, this timely book will become a go-to source.”
— Barbara Faga, Professor of Professional Practice in Urban Design, Rutgers University
Megaregions can help the United States contend with its mega-challenges. With shared economies, natural resource systems, infrastructure, history, and culture, these linked networks of metropolitan areas and their hinterlands—such as the Southwestern Sun Corridor or Great Lakes—can strengthen climate resilience, natural resource management, economic competitiveness, and equity at the local, regional, and national levels in the United States.
This source book provides updated demographic, economic, and environmental information on U.S. megaregions for urban and regional planners, policy makers, academics, and decision makers in transportation, environmental protection, and development agencies. The book reviews the origins of the megaregion concept and the economic, ecological, demographic, and political dynamics. Readers will understand trends, processes, and innovative practices within and between megaregions and identify the most pressing challenges that demand strategic decisions and actions.
About the Authors
Robert D. Yaro is professor of practice emeritus in city and regional planning at the University of Pennsylvania.
Ming Zhang is professor of community and regional planning at the University of Texas at Austin and director of the USDOT University Transportation Center: Cooperative Mobility for Competitive Megaregions.
Frederick R. Steiner is dean and Paley Professor of the Stuart Weitzman School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania.
“Megaregions are an essential framework for understanding the economic, environmental, social, and climate change challenges we now face. This is the seminal book on a concept critical to our future—from the authors who conceived and mapped its contemporary definition, challenges, and opportunities. Agglomeration effects on economic growth, new communication technologies, emerging transportation modes, and codependent environmental forces will shape the future of our cities into megaregions. This book gives us the understanding and tools to steer them toward equity, resilience, and sustainability.”
— Peter Calthorpe, Senior Vice President, HDR
“This ambitious book makes the case for recognizing American megaregions as a driver of policy, planning, and investment. It provides a road map for breaking down jurisdictional boundaries to address urgent needs in affordable housing, ecosystem vulnerability, and transportation-system connectedness—and it is essential reading for anyone hoping to broaden their thinking about our national trajectory.”
— Sara C. Bronin, Professor, Cornell University
“In Megaregions, authors Yaro, Zhang, and Steiner productively “rediscover” the region as a category of political, ecological, and economic order particularly well suited to address contemporary challenges associated with ongoing urbanization. The volume presents a timely and provocative rereading of the region as an instrument of planning, combining equal parts empirical analysis and spatial proposition. Megaregions is painstakingly researched, exquisitely composed, and beautifully written. It offers a sober yet optimistic lens through which to project the future of the American city and its prospects in relation to the ongoing project of America.”
— Charles Waldheim, John E. Irving Professor of Landscape Architecture and Director, Harvard University Graduate School of Design
“Yaro, Zhang, and Steiner successfully present a coherent rationale for the “megaregion,” which is the next focus area for the planning profession. The authors correctly argue that it is the best scale for infrastructure investment. Advocacy for a new grass-roots institutional structure is the key to success.”
— Michael Morris, P.E. Transportation Director, MPO for Dallas-Fort Worth region