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Thread: Where will they go? [US Population Projections]

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    Where will they go? [US Population Projections]

    Recently I read, as I'm sure many of you did, that the population of the U.S. is expected to increase nearly 50% by the year 2050. Where do you all think these 100,000,000+ citizens will live? Will sprawl just continue? Will inner-ring suburbs be razed in favor of higher-density housing? Or worse, will smaller cities currently untouched by sprawl be the next victims? I'm no planner, so I'm curious what the Cyburbians think..

  2. #2
    Quote Originally posted by valhallan
    Will sprawl just continue? Will inner-ring suburbs be razed in favor of higher-density housing? Or worse, will smaller cities currently untouched by sprawl be the next victims?
    Yes Yes and Yes

  3. #3
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Yup....

    Quote Originally posted by valhallan
    Recently I read, as I'm sure many of you did, that the population of the U.S. is expected to increase nearly 50% by the year 2050. Where do you all think these 100,000,000+ citizens will live? Will sprawl just continue? Will inner-ring suburbs be razed in favor of higher-density housing? Or worse, will smaller cities currently untouched by sprawl be the next victims? I'm no planner, so I'm curious what the Cyburbians think..
    All of the above and then some....Density will become more important and viable when transportation concerns are addressed....The big question is what the entire world will do or be like when we hit 12 billion souls on the planet, all looking to eat, sleep, work and drive large SUV's :-0 Needless to say, its going to get very interesting around here when I'm in my 80's.....(who's kidding who, if I make it past 60 It'll be a miracle ....)

    If we protect Iowa and Kansas for agricultural production, we'll be ok well into the billions of people....Think about a place like Bangledesh, which has 129 million people now in an area the size of Iowa (highest elevation nearly 300 feet??) In 2050 it may have 230+ million people.....I can't even imagine that kind of density From 2,100 persons/square mile to nearly 4,200 per square mile.....just imagine 4,200 people per square mile in Iowa.....

    Starting to sound like Sci-Fi isn't it.....
    Skilled Adoxographer
    I have two emotions....Silence and Rage

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    Alright you doom and gloomers, do you forsee any other options? Could there be some kind of legislation or economic crisis that would buck the SUV trend and possibly even halt sprawl? Will we have to change our immigration policies?

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    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    I'm going back to your original question.

    I disagree that population growth = sprawl. If that was true, you'd have no sprawl occurring in places like upstate NY, Michigan, etc.

    Based on what I've read, most of the population growth that is expected to occur in the next century will be in so-called minority groups - especially the Hispanic population, which has higher birth rates. And although Hispanic families can be found all over the U.S., they are still concentrated in California, Texas, New York, and I think one or two other states (Florida maybe? Illinois?)...

    I just don't see other areas being affected quite so much, at least not the way we're going now. 4,200 people per square mile in Iowa? no way. Won't happen.

    (sorry Iowans?)

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    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by The One
    I can't even imagine that kind of density From 2,100 persons/square mile to nearly 4,200 per square mile.....just imagine 4,200 people per square mile in Iowa.....
    The community I work for has a density of 5,376 per square mile. It is a suburb of Salt Lake City. We have the highest population density in Utah. Of course, that kind of density scattered over an entire state would be quite a bit different.

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    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by valhallan
    Alright you doom and gloomers, do you forsee any other options? Could there be some kind of legislation or economic crisis that would buck the SUV trend and possibly even halt sprawl? Will we have to change our immigration policies?
    The trends involving 'sprawl', soove use, urban population density, IMHO, are mostly dependant on the cost of transportation and especially fuels. For example, should the USA experince motor fuel prices (in today's money) in the range that are now being paid in, for example, the UK, look for the popularity of things like sooves, big-lot 'houses in the country', etc, to change big time.

    Also look for many interesting zoning battles as those 45 years pass and those 100M people look for places to live.

    Mike

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    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    The answer is simple. We'll just annex more land. Hear that, Canada? :-C
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

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    Suspended Bad Email Address teshadoh's avatar
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    Sprawl will continue - it might not mean more exurban sprawl around Atlanta. But it should mean sprawl around Macon or Columbus, GA. Small to medium sized cities that are a half day away from large metro areas may boom in the coming century.

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    I actually think the biggest growth areas for our booming population will be existing inner-ring and outer-ring suburbs. Get ready for the suburban retrofit.

    A lot of suburbs are "built-out" at 2000-2500 persons per square mile. I think density will be added (but it will never be called that or framed that way) and more suburbs will have 5000-7000 persons per square mile.

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    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Count on De Noc, Northern Michigan....and all of its' charming suburbs, to account for about 2,000,000 of that growth. (See De Noc thread in FAC.)
    _____

    Seriously.....the average temperature has been increasing, ever so slightly, in northern climes, such as the Upper Peninsula. Improvements in heating technology (such as all the improvements in furnaces in the last ten years) will help drive down the cost of living in colder areas. (Now the chore is to convince all the folks that you CAN enjoy life in a 4-season environment. Not everybody needs to move to desert land and ask for Great Lakes water.)

    Transportation.....especially our views on funding of mass transit AND our "I wanna drive my own car to work" views will be keys over the next half-century. And stop thinking about transit as going from suburb to downtown.....think about it as going from suburb to suburb.

    Teshadoh seems right on track with the comments about small-to-medium sized cities becoming larger. The cities in that class that grow will be those that have somewhat addressed infrastructure issues, transit, etc.

    And something that has been happening for the last eight (8) years or so will have a huge impact on the future of many cities: Manufacturing in the United States continues to decline, as a percentage of GNP. The reasons are many. Ask union folks in NW Ohio (just a couple of closing announcements this week) and they will say it is because all manufacturers want to move their work to China, to nearly eliminate labor costs. Ask manufacturers why they moved and they will recite a litany of reasons.....some very solid.....such as those aforementioned labor costs, regulations that cost-cost-cost (and protect the environment and worker's safety), and the ease of doing business with non-responsive governments. Many cities will, and many are already there, be bastions of service jobs.....calling me at night and bugging me to buy DirectTV or whatever. Many US cities will continue their decline.

    Census Bear
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    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    There's so many things that this thread covers that we've alrady covered.

    1) Water crisis. Not just in the American SW but in all other areas of the world.

    2) Food crisis. not because of inability to produce but because of unequal worldwide distribution.

    3) Oil crisis: Rapidly industrializing China and India will easily pass the US in consumption by 2050.

    In USA, I see a substantial shift of population to the coasts and midwest and a decline in the SW and dry plains and mountain regions. I see a noticable change in transportation methods for commuters and less so for cargo.

    Sprawl will continue, but at a pace slower than the last 20 years and low-density suburbs will begin to densify...but only to 3,000-4,000 per square mile because of nimby effects.

    As bear states, the economic changes and shifts are going to leave the US with a major living wage employment problem.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

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    Quote Originally posted by boiker
    There's so many things that this thread covers that we've alrady covered.
    Sorry.

    This board seemed dead and I (a.k.a. non-planner) thought this was a useful current issue to discuss given the forceful reporting of rabid world population growth by most major news outlets lately.

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    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by valhallan
    Sorry.

    This board seemed dead and I (a.k.a. non-planner) thought this was a useful current issue to discuss given the forceful reporting of rabid world population growth by most major news outlets lately.
    no not a bad thing.. this thread can collect those ideas and put'em together. I didn't mean it in a condescending way.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

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    Cyburbian H's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by valhallan
    Recently I read, as I'm sure many of you did, that the population of the U.S. is expected to increase nearly 50% by the year 2050. Where do you all think these 100,000,000+ citizens will live?
    See that pretty patch of grass over there? Yup. there.

    We expect many of them to live here in FLA., becuase there are not enough people here yet, right ZG

    Will sprawl just continue?
    Yup.

    Will inner-ring suburbs be razed in favor of higher-density housing? Or worse, will smaller cities currently untouched by sprawl be the next victims?
    Again, yes.

    America is going to have to look at density issues and we need to change our paradigm. It can work, but not the way we currently operate.

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    Quote Originally posted by valhallan
    Where do you all think these 100,000,000+ citizens will live? Will sprawl just continue?
    I have a professor who's a big proponent of the 'zero growth' movement. One statistic he throws out on the first day of class is that during the 90s, Washington State added roughly 3 million people: If we repeat this in the next decade, it's the equivalent of locating 3 cities of 100,000 people each year for the next ten years. I'm sure other states face even more daunting numbers but I resonate with valhallan; where are these people going to go? Certainly the natural places we all covet in our regions will be affected.

    If not for some extreme movement that changes the belief that growth is inevitable and always a "good thing", I don't see anything stopping the advance of sprawl.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by boiker
    There's so many things that this thread covers that we've alrady covered.

    1) Water crisis. Not just in the American SW but in all other areas of the world.

    2) Food crisis. not because of inability to produce but because of unequal worldwide distribution.

    3) Oil crisis: Rapidly industrializing China and India will easily pass the US in consumption by 2050.
    exactly. The predictions are for another 100 million but then again the predictions were that we'd have 10 billion people on the planet by 2010. We've yet to break the 7 billion mark.

    My prediction is that the US population will continue to grow as it is for the next 10-15 years and sprawl will continue to chew up the best of the nation's farmland just outside of our cities. As the cost of energy and private transport as well as trucking gets too expensive the suburbs will empty out. Much of sprawlburbia will be reclaimed as farmland . . . older cities with well rounded transportation infrastructure will experience intense population pressure but fare relatively well.

    but with everything, when the demand curve crosses the supply curve the price skyrockets and so it is with land, food, and water. Let's not even throw the uncertainty of global warming in the mix (which the Bush Admin tacitly admitted was actually real today) The population will level off because it has to . . . or we can look forward to invading Canada "because they're selling uranium to Niger" or some other really lame pretext.

    But i really think by 2050 if we haven't fought a devastating war with China we'll be fighting the Europeans.
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

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    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    No way....

    Zero growth has zero chance due to human nature and economic needs....sorry.

    Take a look at the numbers on this site:
    http://www.demographia.com/db-uauscan.htm

    I can imagine 4,000+ per square mile, because I live with it every day, but not over an area of 50,000 square miles.... :-C That's like having 25+ Los Angeles' lumped together....think of the smog..... or you could just think of 20 Mexico Cities as a third world example..... :-C
    Skilled Adoxographer
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    Quote Originally posted by jresta
    But i really think by 2050 if we haven't fought a devastating war with China we'll be fighting the Europeans.
    What would spark such wars?

    I can't remember who or in which thread, but someone on here (may have been you jresta) said they believe the U.S. may be headed toward the European model of dense cities for living and commerce and large rural expanses for manufacturing and farming. I believe that would be ideal, but is it possible with so much population growth?

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    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    What you should ask is....

    Quote Originally posted by valhallan
    What would spark such wars?

    I can't remember who or in which thread, but someone on here (may have been you jresta) said they believe the U.S. may be headed toward the European model of dense cities for living and commerce and large rural expanses for manufacturing and farming. I believe that would be ideal, but is it possible with so much population growth?
    What you should ask, is it possible with so much "freedom."
    Skilled Adoxographer
    I have two emotions....Silence and Rage

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    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Random thoughts, not a direct answer to the question

    A lot of folks have predicted a population crash: that we are exceeding (or will soon) the earth's ability to support the size of human population and this will cause a significant percentage of the population to die off in a fairly short period of time. I think if we want to avoid that, some things will have to change. But I also think that things ARE changing. Until 100 years or so ago, half of all kids died by age 5. Now we have sayings like 'No parent should have to bury their child." The huge increase in population is due mostly to the lag-time between dropping mortality rates and dropping birth rates: birth rates do not drop until people feel more secure about their kids living.

    One way to increase the survival rate of kids and simultaneously lower the birth rate is to promote education and rights for women. Cultures where men control a woman's reproductive rights have higher birth rates than cultures where women have some say in their own fate. Women who are better educated take better care of their kids because they know how to do so and their kids have a higher survival rate and higher quality of life. Educated women also are generally loathe to spend their entire lives rearing kids and, therefore, want fewer kids because they like actually having a life (a career, a social life, hobbies, etc). Having kids is part of having a full life but having a dozen kids kind of precludes having a life of one's own (generally speaking).

  22. #22
    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by valhallan
    What would spark such wars?
    China won't give up it's new found wealth without a fight. The near doubling in the cost of steel rebar and concrete should be one clue, rising oil futures would be another. I'm pointing at ever shrinking resources and an economy (in the case of China) growing at 10% per year.

    As the EU moves further into eastern Europe we'll see the same thing happen there. As more and more of the world's capital takes shelter in European markets and as the € replaces the $ as the currency of choice (both already happening) i don't think Europeans will stand for American hegemony in their backyard - the "proche-orient" or "near east" as it's called over there (that's only if we manage to stick it out). The US is struggling to keep NATO relevant in a post-cold war world but France and Germany have different ideas. Both are pushing hard for the EU "rapid-reaction" force which is just the beginning of a much larger Euro army . . . something that Germany's been aspiring to for the last 200 years. The European right (with the exception of the English who dominate UK politics) is often just as anti-american as the european socialists albeit for different reasons.
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

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