Megaregions builds on the EDC-3 Initiative "Regional Models of Cooperation" which promotes efficiency and regional cooperation by identifying best transportation planning practices that can be implemented by jurisdictions who want to work across their boundaries. Megaregions are characterized as networks of urban centers and their surrounding areas, connected by existing environmental, economic, cultural, and infrastructure relationships. Transportation infrastructure provides the foundation and critical mobility between cities and metropolitan areas, including connectivity through and between Megaregions.
Planning challenges such as air pollution, freight mobility, and road safety do not stop at State and MPO boundaries where planning often does. Planning at the megaregional scale provides an approach to address new emerging challenges, allowing key stakeholders to seize advantages that arise around large metropolitan centers and their surrounding areas. Potential benefits of megaregional planning include enhancing economic development across jurisdictional boundaries, sharing best practices, promoting the collection, sharing, and use of data and information, and addressing projects or services that enhance the mobility of people and goods across a broad area.
A megaregional approach provides opportunities to identify common tracking and performance metrics to better understand regional needs and challenges, and to meet peer staff and partners from other states and agencies to advance coordination and common agendas.