This report summarizes key themes from a peer exchange on Megaregions Planning for Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and Partners, in Phoenix, Arizona on May 9-10, 2012. The purpose of the exchange was to share innovative approaches by MPOs and their partners to planning for megaregions—their motivations, results, and insights for national peers. The event was sponsored by the Transportation Planning Capacity Building (TPCB) Program, which aims to advance the state of the practice in multimodal transportation planning nationwide. The TPCB Program is jointly funded by the FHWA and FTA.
The Volpe Center worked with the Maricopa Association of Governments, the FHWA Office of Planning, FHWA Arizona Division Office, FTA Office of Planning, and FTA Region IX Office to identify peer MPOs, speakers, and participants with knowledge and interest in megaregions transportation planning. The goals of the peer exchange were to:
- Provide senior and executive staff from MPOs involved in transportation planning at a megaregion scale an opportunity to interact with one another and learn from one another's work.
- Provide a forum for presenting “best practices” in planning by peer MPOs for MAG staff and partners from the Arizona DOT, other MPOs and regional planning agencies, regional transit agencies, and local areas.
- Share how each MPO approaches megaregion-scale projects, including their motivations; practices for collaboration among MPOs, partners, and stakeholders; examples of successful projects; and challenges and opportunities for continuing and future efforts.
- Identify research, technical assistance, or policy guidance needed to advance the practice of megaregion-scale transportation planning.