Metropolis-first Arrangement

America is already headed toward a metropolis-first arrangement. The states aren’t about to go away, but economically and socially, the country is drifting toward looser regional formations, anchored by the great cities and urban archipelagos that already lead global economic circuits. Federal policy should refocus on helping these nascent archipelagos prosper, and helping others emerge, collectively forming a lattice of productive metro-regions efficiently connected through better highways, railways and fiber-optic cables: a United City-States of America. Similar shifts can be found around the world; despite millenniums of cultivated cultural and linguistic provinces, China is transcending its traditional internal boundaries to become an empire of 26 megacity clusters with populations of up to 100 million each, centered around hubs such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing-Chengdu.

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