America 2050: Towards a twenty-first-century national infrastructure investment plan for the United States
This chapter describes America 2050, a program initiated by the Regional Plan Association (RPA) in 2005 to create a national growth strategy and infrastructure plan for the United States. America 2050 is now a joint venture between RPA and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. A major goal of this program is to promote the development of bottom-up infrastructure and growth strategies for America’s metropolitan regions and an emerging network of ten “megaregions.” Since its establishment in 1922, RPA has prepared three com - prehensive long-range regional plans for the New York metropolitan region. With 23 million people and a $1.2 trillion economy, this region is America’s largest metropolitan area and its first “mega-city.” RPA is an independent, nongovernmental organization, and although it has no official status in planning for the growth and development of the New York region, over the nearly ninety years since it was established, most of its key policy and investment recom mendations have been implemented. In 1996, RPA completed its Third Regional Plan, and since then, many, if not most, of its key infrastructure and city-building recommendations have been adopted and implemented. The New York region continues to face a number of challenges, including economic restructuring, congestion, a shortage of affordable housing, and the need to conserve its natural areas and public water supplies in the face of expected climate change. RPA remains focused on addressing these challenges.