Can Megaregion Approach Help Solve Megaproblems?

The Northern California megaregion is one of the largest and fastest-growing in the United States, but the rapid speed and scale at which it is taking shape is creating megaproblems that highlight the urgent need for greater collaboration, investment and planning in the areas of housing, transportation, education and economic development, and goods movement, according to a new report the Bay Area Council Economic Institute released Thursday (June 30).

Read The Northern California Megaregion: Innovative, Connected, Growing>>

Encompassing the Bay Area, Sacramento and northern San Joaquin valleys and Monterey Bay Area, the NorCal megaregion is home to a complex network of job centers, neighborhoods and transportation corridors in 21 counties and 164 cities. The many rail, road, labor, goods movement, and innovation connections that currently exist between these once-independent regions provide evidence of a growing integration among them.

At the report launch event, University of the Pacific Provost Maria Pallavicinip provided opening remarks to an audience that included state legislative staff, city managers, and economic development professionals from across the megaregion. UOP provided data and research that helped inform the report. A presentation of report findings was followed by a discussion between Sacramento Area Council of Governments CEO Mike McKeever; Greater Sacramento Area Economic Council President and CEO Barry Broome; UC Davis Associate Vice Chancellor Dr. Dushyant Pathak; and City of Tracy Councilmember Nancy Young. The panelists explored the issues of transportation, housing, and job creation, and agreed that coordinated advocacy from megaregional leaders would provide a first step in securing more funding from state and federal governments.

By examining the economic and demographic changes occurring within the NorCal megaregion, the report offers an alternative vision for rethinking existing political, demographic and economic boundaries in a way that can suggest new solutions for some of our most intractable problems. To learn more about the Northern California Megaregion report, please contact Senior Research Associate Jeff Bellisario at

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