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40 Million people to live on the edge

It is estimated that more than 31 million acres will be lost to housing unless we change our patterns of growth and designs of subdivisions.

"Sure, big cities have their charms, but for families the suburbs are here to stay" Read the article from Money Magazine "Where We'll Live Tomorrow" (PDF)

LandChoices is working to make certain that as natural lands are developed into suburbs, the majority of the land is preserved using conservation subdivision design.

Ed McMahon, a Fellow at the Urban Land Institute and one of our nation's top experts on land use, points out that for the foreseeable future, the majority of new development will continue to take place in greenfield (rural, natural areas) locations.

According to "Greenfield Development Without Sprawl: The Role of Planned Communities" from the Urban Land Institute, "Many see infill-adding households within revitalized city neighborhoods or inner-ring suburbs-as the responsible, resource-conscious way to meet the need. But infill strategies, even if universally accepted, cannot happen fast enough or in great enough numbers to make much of a difference by 2025.

Even if every prospective homebuyer and renter in America decided tomorrow to return to the city, the supertanker of population and suburban development would steam on for years before making much of a course of correction. Despite the much-touted "return to the cities" of retirees, empty nesters, and young professionals, which is transforming older neighborhoods and business centers in many cities, experts believe this trend will capture only a relatively small proportion of future development.

Between 2003 and 2025, the United States is expected to grow by almost 58 million people-a Census Bureau forecast that roughly continues the average 2.75 million to 3 million-plus a year increase since 1980. Even the most optimistic assumptions foresee accommodating at most 18 million or so of these new people through infill. That leaves at least 40 million to still be accommodated in some sort of new greenfield community."

Edge development

Most of the development in the United States, 90 percent or something like that, is new development on the edge. If we ignore that and just concentrate on infill, the edge city will never repair itself...It would be a mistake for people who care about cities and urban design to assume that any greenfield development is bad—because it's going to happen, and if it doesn't improve it will overwhelm whatever infill we are doing in the cities."

Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist, interview in Metropolis, October 2003

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