| Feb 12, 2010
There’s been a lot of talk about regionalism and megaregions lately. A recent book titled Megaregions: Planning for Global Competitiveness was released in 2009 as an early 21st century glimpse into how the U.S. and the world will operate in an economy increasingly comprised of megaregions.
A megaregion is, in its simplest definition, composed of two or more cities that not only grow upward, becoming more dense, but also grow outward and into one another (see “What is a Megaregion?” as published by Richard Florida on bNet).
In this new work, edited by Catherine L. Ross of Georgia Tech, focus is placed on emerging large regions across the U.S. that contain multiple urbanized areas. Specifically, megaregions operate from a premise that a thriving city is linked to a thriving region. Although Nashville is not currently included in any of the ten named megaregions, it is large enough to achieve economies of scale and resources across more than just a central city in developing regional infrastructure.
Richard Florida writes the forward for this book, highlighting the role that talent, innovation and creativity uniquely play in developing a thriving megaregion. Similarly the complexity of large regions translates to new designs for mobility, infrastructure, long-range planning – all topics considered by the authors in Ross’ new book.
Most of all, by definition and by perception, megaregions are one way of seeing emerging patterns in localized and global interaction centered around urban centers. Creative, mobile, dynamically-changing components of megaregions seem apt in describing much of the Nashville area’s current experience. Just as these chapters consider unique aspects and opportunities of large regions around the nation and world, by analogy readers can gain new insights into seeing a region such as Nashville and Middle Tennessee in new and different ways.