420 Million: America

Smart Growth can cut congestion, pollution, in emerging ‘supercities’
October 20, 2004, 2pm PDT | Abhijeet Chavan | @legalaidtech
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Just like rising energy demand, global warming, and racial distrust, America’s population boom is escaping serious attention from both presidential candidates. This is happening —or rather, not happening — even though the United States is growing more rapidly than it ever has before. By 2050, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 420 million people will live here, 140 million more than in 2000. Is the country prepared for adding 50 percent more people in 50 years? Hardly. Just look at how America responded to the 33 million more people that joined us here in the 1990s: We paved millions of acres of open land, suffered from record levels of traffic congestion, overwhelmed sewage plans and polluted countless rivers and lakes with storm water runoff. We also widened the economic and social gulf between the outer suburban “haves” and just about everybody else.

Thanks to Keith Schneider

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Published on Wednesday, October 20, 2004 in Michigan Land Use Institute
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