FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MODELS FOR MEGA-REGIONS ABOUND IN EUROPE
New Lincoln Institute book details cohesion across boundaries
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Amid growing interest in the concept of planning for “mega-regions” such as the Boston-Washington corridor, a new book published by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy examines how regional planning and infrastructure investment in Europe transcend borders and unify areas with common economic goals.
Territorial Cohesion and the European Model of Society, edited by Andreas Faludi (2007 / 240 pages / Paper / $25.00 ISBN 978-1-55844-166-8), is based on papers first presented at a conference organized by the Lincoln Institute in Vienna in 2005. Contributors trace the history and current implementation of European spatial planning efforts, from France to Austria and beyond.
In Europe, the goal of spatial equity tends to favor development in place instead of encouraging migration to locations of greater opportunity. This approach contrasts with an American social model with its emphasis on the free and efficient mobility of labor. The European model is a strategy based more on need than potential, as one contributor has noted.
“Territorial cohesion is about investing in infrastructure across a large, coherent region,” said Armando Carbonell, chair of the Department of Planning and Urban Form at the Lincoln Institute, who has coordinated efforts to bring together American and European planners on the topic since 2000. “The payoff lies with unlocking the economic potential of under-performing places.”
There are obvious differences between the United States and the European Union, which at 25 countries in roughly half the U.S. land area had a population density of 300 people per square mile, compared to 85 people per square mile in the U.S. Still, more urbanized parts of the United States are beginning to approach European densities. Taken together as one “mega-region,” 14 Northeast states have approximately 52 million people in 188,380 square miles, which is 275 people per square mile.
Physical planning around infrastructure in such corridors, especially high-speed rail, could be informed by European precedents, Carbonell said. The Lincoln Institute is convening another gathering of American and European planners in May in Luxembourg to further explore regional planning strategies.
In recent years, there has been growing interest in planning around “mega-regions” – about 10 large areas such as the Northeast corridor or the Pacific Northwest -- that could benefit from regional policies on transportation, environmental protection, and workforce development. More strategies and models can be found at http://www.america2050.org/, an initiative started by the Lincoln Institute in partnership with the Regional Plan Association.
About the Editor: Andreas Faludi is a faculty associate at the Lincoln Institute and professor at OTB Research Institute for Housing, Urban and Mobility Studies, Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands. He has written extensively on planning theory and on Dutch and European planning, including European Spatial Planning (Lincoln Institute, 2002)
About the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy: The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, a think tank in Cambridge, Mass., sponsors research, training, conferences and demonstration projects on land use, urban planning and tax policy as it relates to land. The Web site is www.lincolninst.edu. The 2007 catalog of all Lincoln Institute publications is at http://www.lincolninst.edu/pubs/PubDetail.aspx?pubid=1216.