Wednesday, April 21, 2004

"The Great Dispersal"

David Brooks may have given the current suburbanization-exurbanization the label that sticks. Many of us have been documenting suburbanization-exurbanization for some years. It is the continuation, indeed acceleration, of longstanding and entirely plausible economic, demographic and social trends.

Ken Orski notes, "Nor is the exurban dispersal likely to lose strength anytime soon. The biggest factor influencing future population movements is the projected addition of some 64 million people by 2020. It is hard to conceive that this population bulge could be accommodated in existing built-up areas where neighborhood opposition to increased density through infill developments is already fierce. Future historians are likely to view the 'smart growth' movement as yet another example of a planning ideology that has foundered for lack of a realistic understanding of the power of demographic pressure, market forces and consumer preferences."

When ideologies are confronted with stark facts (in this case a ton of them), the ideologues work overtime to protect their human capital. Watch for "smart growth" to be taught and advocated for many more years.