Most urban planning professionals agree that urban problems like sustainable transit, land use, jobs/housing balance need to be addressed at the regional level. That is, that local governments and cities are, by themselves, inadequately equipped for planning around problems that are regional in stake, addressed at a metropolitan level. For example, if only part of a region has access to public transit, how can a region reduce its overal passenger miles traveled, and reduce emissions?
How will the San Francisco Bay Area address the need for regional planning in the future? Would it be better if the region had a more formal government? Are the MTC and ABAG well-equipped to handle the metropolitan problems of the 21st century? How will we reduce sprawl across the region, ensure concentrated growth in central infill locations, achieve more transit and bike use, ensure access to affordable housing?
Marin county's decision to opt out of BART is one example of the lack of coordinated planning in American regions, and the "enclave urbanism" that is created when wealthier areas can self-segregate themselves from the greater urban region. How do we tackle regional problems while also ensuring local neighborhoods and citizens have a voice?