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Mountain Megas: America’s Newest Metropolitan Places and a Federal Partnership to Help Them Prosper

Robert E. Lang, Mark Muro, and Andrea Sarzynski

Rapid change is enveloping the American West.

States in the southern Intermountain West—Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah—are experiencing some of the fastest population growth and economic and demographic transition anywhere in the country.

In fact, thanks to such maturation, the southern Intermountain West is well on its way to earning itself the title of the New American Heartland as its economy, people, and politics become more central to the nation. Politically, the Intermountain West could be home to several swing states in the 2008 election and in time play the storied “kingmaking” role the Midwest does now.

Prepared as part of the Brookings Institution’s Blueprint for American Prosperity initiative, “Mountain Megas: America’s Newest Metropolitan Places and a Federal Partnership to Help Them Prosper” describes and assesses the new supersized reality of the Intermountain West and proposes a more helpful role for the federal government in empowering regional leaders’ efforts to build a uniquely Western brand of prosperity that is at once more sustainable, productive, and inclusive than past eras of boom and bust.

Table Of Contents: 
Executive Summary »
I.      Introduction »
II.     Megapolitan Development in the Intermountain West » 
III.    Trends in America’s Fastest Growing, Most Urban Region »
IV.    Emerging Challenges and Opportunities »
V.     Forging a New Federal-Mega Agenda for the Intermountain West »
VI.    Conclusion » 
Endnotes » 
Selected References »

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