Study predicts that by 2050 California's population will grow by 75%. Experts weigh in on what this means to planning for the state's growth.
"California will near the 60-million mark in 2050, the study found, raising questions about how the state will look and function and where all the people and their cars will go. Dueling visions pit the iconic California building block of ranch house, big yard and two-car garage against more dense, high-rise development...Some critics forecast disaster if gridlock and environmental impacts are not averted. Others see a possible economic boon...Other demographers argue that the huge population increase the state predicts will occur only if officials complete major improvements to roads and other public infrastructure. Without that investment, they say, some Californians would flee the state."
"No matter how much local governments build in the way of public works and how many new jobs are attracted to the region - minimizing the need for long commutes - [John Husing, an economist who studies the Inland Empire] figures that growth will still overwhelm the area's roads..."
"USC Professor Genevieve Giuliano, an expert on land use and transportation, [says] massive growth, if it occurs..will require huge investment in the state's highways, schools, and energy and sewer systems...If those things aren't built, Giuliano questioned whether the projected population increases will occur...f major problems like traffic congestion and housing costs aren't addressed, Giuliano warned, the middle class is going to exit California, leaving behind very high-income and very low-income residents."