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Old 10-07-2011, 01:03 PM
Location: DC
529 posts, read 1,023,612 times
Reputation: 293


So I'm sure that threads on this topic have been started already, but I specifically want to talk about this VERY interesting report done by the UPenn Department of City and Regional Planning. It talks about the Northeast Megalopolis, its growth trends, and its challenges.

Reinventing Megalopolis: The Northeast MegaRegion - America 2050

Click on the PDF link, "Download the report".

I think that we can discuss all we want about how the US Census wants to group Philly & NYC into a single UA, or compare Boston, DC, etc....but the bigger picture needs to be addressed: These cities are just a part of a much larger region running all the way from DC to Boston, and arguably including other cities like VA Beach, Scranton PA, Albany NY, etc. I think the mayors of those cities, governors of included states, and everyone in between needs to recognize that this is America's most valuable gem, and should aggressively take steps to integrate it into one true Metro Area.

Imagine if your NYC MTA card could take you to downtown DC? Imagine if we actually had a real mag-lev HSR line running thru the entire area? If these city governments worked together, we could really propel the region into the future. If the wealthy NJ suburbs could work together to revitalize the Bronx, -well i have a lot of ideas myself, and haven't fully read the article yet (im at work), but I want to see what everyone thinks about it, and ideas for truly integrating this region. In order for it to be more cohesive, should it become a new state? (That's just my own thought/opinion)

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Old 10-07-2011, 02:13 PM
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,182,008 times
Reputation: 7739
While I agree that a calloborative planning would help the broader region, even within individual metros this can be challenging in the micro sense (eg Philly and suburban counties in PA, NJ, and DE) and Patco and Septa cant even get together on rail cards etc.

Am interested to read the file and think colaborative planning would be very beneficial to the broader region.
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Old 10-07-2011, 04:17 PM
1,031 posts, read 2,387,473 times
Reputation: 830
NY with Philly?
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Old 10-07-2011, 04:34 PM
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
13,222 posts, read 17,972,432 times
Reputation: 14673
Yep, I'm glad I'm not the only person seeing Boston, Providence, Hartford, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington DC growing into one nearly continuous developed area in the future.
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Old 10-07-2011, 04:53 PM
Location: CT
1,215 posts, read 2,156,301 times
Reputation: 2008
Good read.

The part that struck me was when they mentioned that other countries are doing planning on a massive scale across all boundaries while America stopped that and left planning and maintenance to the municipality level. I think its part of what leads to the difference between countries where people get to saying, in China they can build a bridge in a few months where it would take us years to do the same, or even regular roadwork.

Here, every city needs to have a say, every county, state, every block, every person who can only just see whatever is being built from their yard. I'm definitely for more cohesive regional planning before we turn America's powerhouse into a paper tiger (with crappy living conditions to boot).
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Old 10-08-2011, 04:37 AM
Location: Chicago, IL SouthWest Suburbs
3,528 posts, read 5,166,576 times
Reputation: 6115
The entire framework needs to be explored but it will never happen.

For one reason or another the boundaries of states , cities and municipalities are perpetually in a stuck mode.
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Old 10-08-2011, 08:23 AM
551 posts, read 997,455 times
Reputation: 455
I think that making a Megalopolis region of the northeast would be a good idea on paper. If America were as efficient as China is, that would be good. However I think a lot of people would be VERY opposed to it. In some cases I think that is true.

What if some counties or cities in that region do not want to grow population wise? I know a big problem is that suburbs tend to have zoning that prevents population growth in an area through increasing density, while cities like NYC, Philly, Boston etc have the burden of trying to take all the population growth when it cannot take anymore. The regional planning board for the NE should be that big cities like NYC, Boston, etc should stop growing population size and stop growth, but surrounding suburbs should change their zoning to allow construction of high density mixed use areas. 99% percent of those suburban counties will fight tooth and nail to keep their zoning laws low density and keep their way of life, irregardless of a regional planning board's idea of smart growth.

The way it is now in America, no suburban county would ever want to upzone to relieve demand pressure on cities so unfortunately the big cities have to take on the burden of increasing population density. Suburbs want to stay the same.

The idea of regional planning is good but I can see a lot of problems with it because some counties will demand that they should not grow at all (to preserve their suburban feel) and thus push it into ever crowded more cities. That would lead to a broken system that doesn't do anything, similar to how it is now. On the other hand, if the regional planning board pushes growth onto neighboring suburban counties to spare big cities the problems of overdevelopment and overcrowding, it would make the people living there extremely angry that their way of life they are used to is disrupted.

It is a good idea to have regional planning but it can make a lot of people angry. Not everyone wants to have a maglev train run through their yard or in sight of their house and it will be opposed at every turn by everyone. Even if a maglev line from DC to NYC will benefit tons of people, it will continue to be blocked because it will have a detrimental effect on all the counties which the train runs through. If you bought a suburban home on a grassy patch of land overlooking beautiful mountains and farmland to raise your family, I think you'd be extremely angry too if a maglev trained plowed through your view giving you noise, even if thousands or millions of people between DC and NYC will benefit tremendously.
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Old 10-08-2011, 09:04 AM
Location: The City
22,331 posts, read 32,182,008 times
Reputation: 7739
I found the aspects of sprawl and the impacts in the NE particularly telling and interesting. Smarter growth (DC is doing the best job in the corrider) would be highly beneficial
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Old 10-08-2011, 09:25 AM
Location: Brooklyn, New York
3,750 posts, read 3,857,018 times
Reputation: 3565
Originally Posted by toredyvik View Post
Imagine if your NYC MTA card could take you to downtown DC?
I still don't understand why they didn't implement this yet. Make it like EZ pass for roads, just swipe your card and get charged whatever the current rate on the system you're using is.
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Old 10-08-2011, 10:42 AM
Location: Jacksonville, FL
11,145 posts, read 14,135,139 times
Reputation: 7075
This article is way too old to even consider reading in 2011.
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