The news from the American Planning Association’s National Planning Conference in Las Vegas, as reported by Haya El-Nasser in USA Today, includes the provocative suggestion that the population of the United States could hit 1 billion by 2100. While many planners don't see that happening, of greater concern is the expected increase from 300 million to 400 million people by 2050. And because future settlement patterns will be informed by soaring energy costs and the need to reduce emissions that worsen global warming, much of the talk here has centered on some basics -- namely, a more coherent plan for the nation's infrastructure. Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Democrat of Oregon, started off the proceedings by detailing plans in Congress for a fresh approach for transportation infrastructure, whch is up for reauthorization in 2009. In his remarks, Blumenauer cited the Lincoln Institute and its partnership with the Regional Plan Association, which is co-sponsoring a major event May 9 in Washington with members of Congress, business, labor, and other leaders to explore a national planning framework for infrastructure. A suggested organizing principle is to focus on the nation's "megaregions," such as the Boston to Washington corridor in the Northeast, in making infrastructure investments as efficiently as possible. Megaregions are spelled out at the Web site for America 2050; more details to come.