Sprawl Vs. Slower Growth: A Tough Choice

How should the D.C. area handle its explosive growth? Columnist Steven Pearlstein has some ideas.
March 21, 2006, 6am PST | David Gest
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The recent demographic figures for suburban D.C. "should dispel any fantasy that we're finally getting sprawl under control.

Like it or not, the Washington regional economy remains among the hottest in the country, with most of the growth going out rather than up, west rather than east, toward the exurbs rather than the inner city."

"Put another way, what we've seen over the past decade has been relatively cheap growth -- growth that's been built on the foundation of past investments. But going forward, the next batch of new jobs and new residents will require a much bigger investment, not just on the part of those moving in, but for those of us already here."

"Which leaves us with a difficult choice: either accept another 25 years of continued sprawl or take some steps to slow the growth in jobs and population. My vote: slower growth."

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Published on Friday, March 17, 2006 in The Washington Post
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