City of the 21st Century: Not Business as Usual

At a recent meeting of the Urban Land Institute, delegates discussed what urban development will look like in the 21st Century -- and what it will need to be successful.

How do some of America's best minds in the real estate and urban development game -- leaders and friends of the Urban Land Institute -- react to projections of 100 million more people by 2043?

Notably, the development community's reaction to coming waves of population isn't just rah-rah for new moneymaking opportunities. Instead, the ULI leaders and advisers focused on goals rarely mentioned in their circles a decade ago: sustainability (with special reference to energy and climate change challenges), equity (focused on the growing income gulf between American classes and races), and international competition (how our citistate regions can compete globally).

The physical chessboard will be different. Unlike the traditional city-suburb-"exurb" pattern of the 1950-2000 period, the emerging "megapolitan" regions show commuting patterns linking, "daisy-chaining" and filling in once-empty spaces between formerly separate places as much as 100 miles apart. Employment is split among the historic downtowns and new suburban office centers. Some people endure incredibly long commutes among parts of these regions, or, in a sure-to-grow phenomenon, telecommute from amazing distances, visiting their formal offices only occasionally.

Full Story: Developing an altered land

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