Modeling the Explosive Growth of the Southern Megalopolis

A new study, "The Southern Megalopolis: Using the Past to Predict the Future of Urban Sprawl in the Southeast U.S." predicts urban sprawl and warns of its possible consequences over the next 50 years.
Hunter Desportes / flickr

Laura Bliss shares details of a new study that predicts expansive growth of urban areas in the South: "Basing their model on past growth patterns and locations of existing road networks, researchers at North Carolina State University projected the region’s [urban footprint] to grow 101 percent to 192 percent."

As for the policy and land use implications of the region's growth, Bliss adds this call to action: "The South's explosive population growth over the past 60 years can only be expected to continue....And more likely than not, so will its typical development pattern of sprawling, automobile-dependent suburbs. Planners and city leaders should start acting now to managing infrastructure and natural resources in the area."

Full Story: By 2060, the American South Could Be Three Times as Urbanized


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