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600451-00108-1 Report Abstract

The Gulf Coast Megaregion: In Search of a New Scale to Understand Freight Transportation and Economic Development

Bethany Stich, Kyle Griffith and Peter Webb, October 2015

Jane Jacobs famously wrote, “The economic foundation of cities is trade.” Increased global connectivity and expanding domestic markets around major city hubs have led to a spatial reorganization of regional economies towards a higher level of scale referred to as the megaregion. These trade networks rely on a complex mix of freight and telecommunications infrastructure, low trade barriers, as well as international business and social networks. Policymakers have a responsibility to recognize the vital relationship between economies and freight, and it is imperative that national policies reflect the domestic and global environments in which megaregions must now compete. The United States (US) lacks a national freight strategy and most metropolitan areas fail to implement comprehensive trade strategies, indicating disconnect between policy and practice. In this research, we determine the status of freight planning strategies at the megaregion scale of an economically integrated section of the United States Gulf Coast.

Keywords: Freight Planning, Megaregion, Trade, Economic Development

ENTIRE REPORT (Adobe Acrobat File – 2.1 MB)