America's metropolitan regions are expanding at a rapid pace. As these regions grow, they connect and overlap with their neighboring regions until the boundaries between regions are no longer clear. Already, one may find it challenging to draw a boundary between the New York and Philadelphia metropolitan regions, or between the San Diego and Los Angeles metropolitan regions. This new scale of geography is known as the megaregion.
The coordination of planning for megaregions challenges established planning practices by disregarding boundaries of governance. Not only do megaregions encompass multiple cities and counties, but many also encompass several states, all of which must work collectively to manage a competitive megaregion. The Tier 1 United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) University Transportation Center (UTC) for Cooperative Mobility for Competitive Megaregions (CM2) aims to foster cooperative, research-driven coordination of transportation planning in these megaregions.
CM2's consortium partners (The University of Texas at Austin, Louisiana State University, Texas Southern University, and the University of Pennsylvania) will build legal and analytical frameworks for megaregion transportation planning following research priorities defined by the FAST Act of 2015. Following a competitive application process, in December of 2016 the USDOT granted funding to CM2 for five years.