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Core networks of the future will have a translucent and eventually transparent optical structure. Ultra-high-speed end-to-end connectivity with high quality of service and high reliability will be realized through the exploitation of optimized protocols and lightpath routing algorithms. These algorithms will complement a flexible control and management plane integrated in the proposed solution. Physical layer impairments and optical performance are monitored and incorporated in impairment-aware lightpath routing algorithms. These algorithms will be integrated into a novel dynamic network planning tool that will consider dynamic traffic characteristics, a reconfigurable optical layer, and varying physical impairment and component characteristics. The network planning tool along with extended control planes will make it possible to realize the vision of optical transparency. This article presents a novel framework that addresses dynamic cross-layer network planning and optimization while considering the development of a future transport network infrastructure.