The Next 100 Million


Planning Magazine’s January issue includes two articles by Arthur Nelson and Robert Lang, describing what we can expect in spatial development patterns as America adds its next 100 million residents.

In “The Next 100 Million,” Nelson and Lang paint a picture that bodes well for sustainable development. While we’ll need to add an additional 70 million new housing units by 2043 (the year we’ll reach 400 million according to Woods & Poole), about 40 percent of the growth will be among elderly people, who are more likely to choose multi-family housing and group housing as they grow older. Another trend that supports denser urban forms is the diversification of household types. Single and childless households are growing; the preference of these groups and the empty-nesters are different from the previous generation of families with children that overwhelmingly chose single-family detached housing. The authors even venture, “…the current supply of single-family detached houses on lots of more than 7,000 square feet may already exceed the demand projected for the next decade.”

“The Rise of the Megapolitans” details Lang and Nelson’s research on “megapolitan areas,” which are smaller areas than the RPA-Lincoln defined “megaregions.” They identify 20 megapolitan areas across the nation, connected by overlapping commuter patterns.Read: “The Next 100 Million”
Read: "America 2040: The Rise of the Megapolitans"
(Both articles require APA Membership and password.)

Image: Leif Parsons