Addressing Megaregions in Long-Range Plans


  • What megaregions are and why the concept matters for local and regional long-range planning
  • Guidelines for megaregional planning developed by the American Planning Association and Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Examples of local and regional planning agencies that are incorporating the megaregional concept into their planning efforts


Many local and regional planning agencies know about the concept of megaregions—networks of metropolitan areas that share economic, environmental, and cultural features, as well as infrastructure and geographic connections—but few have acknowledged the concept's importance in their long-range plans. This is true despite the fact that many of the issues and challenges planners address—including those related to transportation, the economy, and environmental quality—both affect and are affected by megaregional-scale forces and trends. This course defines the concept of megaregions and explains why local and regional planning agencies must start to think megaregionally to plan more livable communities. It also examines how planning agencies can use guidelines developed by a joint APA and Georgia Tech project to incorporate data, analysis, or policy recommendations related to megaregional systems into their long-range plans.