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This circle diagram displays the main issues associated with megaregional Planning. The diagram has a center circle (blue) with the words “Infrastructure/Congestion”. There are four outer circles with the Top one being in brownish in color and has the word “Freight”. The circle on the right side is tan color and has the word “Environment / Air Quality”. The bottom circle is light green and has the words “Economic Vitality”. The circle on the left side says “Safety” and is in green color.

Megaregions are a group of geographic locations and/or areas that are combined because of similar characteristics and mutual interest.Since our roadway system crosses many jurisdictional boundaries, transportation is inherently Megaregional. Things like air pollution, freight movements, and road safety don't stop at political boundaries but planning often does. Therefore, planning at the Megaregional scale provides an approach to address new emerging challenges, and take advantages of the opportunities that arise around large metropolitan centers and their surrounding areas, connected by existing environmental, economic, cultural, and infrastructure relationships.

The Map of the Megaregions is from a Ga. Tech 2009 report called Implications of Megaregions. The Northeast Megaregion is shown in Blue and includes the areas of Boston, New York, and surrounding areas. The Mid Atlantic Megaregion is shown in Brown and stretches from Baltimore to Washington DC and on to Richmond Va. and surrounding areas.  The Piedmont Megaregion is shown in Green and stretches from North Carolina down through Atlanta Georgia and then onto Birmingham Alabama.  The Florida Megaregion is shown in Brown and starts in Northern Florida stretching to the tip of Florida. The Texas triangle is shown in Yellow and includes the metro areas of Dallas, Houston and San Antonio and surrounding areas. The Central plains Megaregion is shown in Pink and includes the area around Oklahoma City and surrounding areas. The Mid West Megaregion is shown in Purple and include the areas of Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and surrounding areas of influence. The Arizona Megaregion is shown in Brown and includes the majority of Southern and Western Arizona. The California megaregion is in Blue and encompasses the entire State of California. The Cascadia Megaregion is shown in Light Green and includes the urbanized areas of Seattle and Portland and surrounding areas of influence. Example map

Megaregions present a new perspective that captures the economic, political and spatial level at which planning can be conducted in order to respond to the challenges of agglomerations of economic activity and population. It also recognizes the new context in which large-scale regions exist-one of global economic and environmental issues taking place on a larger scale.

Megaregions offer flexible frameworks to harmonize transportation with quality of life, economic opportunity, and environmental sustainability. Megaregions are the infrastructure and economic footprint in the global economy. Megaregions provide a sustainable future through multi-scalar, cross-boundary solutions. Megaregions allow us to think globally, coordinate regionally and act locally. (Ross, 2009)

Updated: 2/25/2016
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