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More on the 'Megalopolis'

Leonard Gilroy
July 11, 2005, 10:24am

A follow-up to yesterday's post on the push for a new definition of trans-metropolitan geography -- the "megalopolis" (note: I incorrectly called it 'megapolis' in the previous post). A new article in the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy's Land Lines newsletter goes into much more detail about the concept: As I suggested, along with the push for this new conceptual unit of geography is likely to come a call for megapolitan land use and transportation planning. In fact, here's the first that I've seen: It's useful to remember here that there were numerous regional planning agencies nationwide that eventually took on the MPO duties dictated by the 1991 ISTEA. So it is not unreasonable to suggest that the creation of Super MPOs could ultimately spawn the reverse -- super-regional planning agencies that attempt to coordinate land use policies across wide geographic areas. Given the extent to which current regional planning agencies promote regional anti-sprawl policies, it seems likely that the smart growth movement would make a concerted push to impose their anti-choice, regulation-heavy agenda on a large scale. As I mentioned yesterday, what we've seen so far with regional planning indicates that the likely result would be a diminishing of local land use control (and hence, representativeness), upward pressure on land and housing prices, and reduced housing affordability. Once you cede policy authority to some remote governmental body, it is far easier to impose anti-market, anti-choice policies on a public that is so far removed from the process.

Leonard Gilroy is Director of Government Reform

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