As admirable ongoing efforts are underway to address most of these issues independently, a surge of larger-scale efforts seek to tackle more regional ones such as transportation, environmental issues and climate resilience. Many multi-jurisdictional alliances have resulted in significant progress and have become nation- ally recognized efforts. But we still face a generally disconnected region. Many initiatives are duplicated, contradictory, uncoordinated, competing against each other, or simply made harder by the impossibility of sharing resources and strengths, or even by a lack of understanding a common goal.
As megaregions emerge at the national scale, their goal is to become stronger, more efficient, and as a result, out compete others. Up-and-coming global megaregions join the already established ones in the contest for prosperity. In an era of limited financial resources, tremendous technological advances, rapidly changing trends and not fully known extents of future climate impacts, it becomes evident that many of the challenges and opportunities that the Southeast Florida Region faces will require a unified vision and collective action to accomplish.
With population anticipated to increase from 6.2 million to 9.3 million over the next 50 years, the region is faced with a choice:
- Confront the future as an “Accidental Region.” One that experiences its future by default without coordination or an understanding of how each local decision impacts the whole; or
- Join forces and create strategic alliances to embrace the future as a “Competitive Region.” One where its constituents can choose to discuss the future together, investing time and energy to explore the consequences of different decisions before committing to them.