Joel Kotkin in his book, “The Next 100 Million Americans in 2050”, states that “America will inevitability become a more complex, crowed and competitive place, highly dependent, as it has throughout history on its peoples innovative and entrepreneurial spirit and emerge by mid-century as the most affluent, culturally rich and successful nation in human history”.

He opines that 80%, or more, of the total US population growth has taken place in suburbia, a trend that will likely accelerate in the future.

If true, planners will be faced with a new suburban land use planning framework, one that focuses on:

providing multiple housing choices at higher densities,

  1. walk-to-work/shopping opportunities,
  2. use of energy efficient vehicle transportation, and
  3. accelerated use of communication technology.

He concludes that in the coming decade communities will need to reinvent their economic and social viability.

Here are some thoughts on the trends, now forming, that will shape this new suburbia:

Suburbia population will grow, however not equally everywhere.

  1. Race and ethnic diversity will increase.
  2. Multigenerational households will become common sharing dwelling units.
  3. Today’s minority will become tomorrow’s majority.
  4. Globally, desire for US immigration will increase.
  5. Civic and social suburban “town center lifestyles” will be critical to communitywide social connectivity.
  6. Suburbs will continue to in increase geographic size and population density.
  7. Jobs will follow people but more people will follow jobs.
  8. Communication advances will expedite “declustering” of jobs into suburbia and rural locations.
  9. Organizational patterns of governance will change as citizen demands change.

Under this scenario, in 2050 social and economic acculturation will have occurred deemphasizing ethnic enclaves in favor of a homogenized multi-ethnic mankind.

Under this scenario, there will be more bilingual suburbia residents but English will remain the dominate language for social and business communication.

Concentrations of racial and economic minorities will diversify from concentration in urban settings creation and exposing suburban geography to racial and economic diversity.

Immigrant entrepreneurism will continue to exceed native interests and serve as economic development opportunities for community job growth.

 End Note.

For planners and economic developers employing these trends today will foster wholesale changes to some redevelopment strategy.

Clearly, social and economic changes for the basis of successful land use and economic development planning resulting in true government supported community sustainability.

 Action today means successful communities here people will want to live today and in the future.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: