PLOS ONE July 2014: The Southern Megalopolis: Using the Past to Predict the Future of Urban Sprawl in the Southeast U.S

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Projected urban land cover in 2060

Projections of the future have, for good reasons, tended to focus on global warming. However, global warming scenarios will be superimposed on or even act synergistically with urbanization scenarios. In the Southeast US, the effects of global warming are expected to be modest compared with many regions, however our results suggest that the effects of urbanization, given business-as-usual will not be. Given that urbanization has many consequences for how both humans and other species live, optimizing such growth could become a key national and regional priority, where optimization includes providing for biodiversity as well as economic development and cultural desires. However, history suggests humans, in contrast to ants and slime molds (e.g. [33]), rarely optimize growth, particularly when multiple objectives such as profit, equity, and ecological integrity come into conflict. Given this reality, and the not unlikely possibility that the recent urbanization path will continue, our model suggests the template around which natural resource managers, urban planners and everyone else whose job relates to the distribution of wild places or humans, will need to respond.



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Further Reading
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Knoxville 1871

Emily Badge at WaPo Wonkblog - What the rapidly urbanizing Southeast could look like come 2060

Dave Levitan at Conservation - Just how far will urban sprawl spread?

F. Kaid Benfield at HuffPost - Let's Not Pronounce Sprawl Dead Just Yet

Chattanooga - Harr Outlines $40 Million Plan For Chattanooga Light Rail System

Alan Farago at CounterPunch - The Housing Crash, Suburban Sprawl and the Crisis of the American Middle Class

Jack Neely at Metro Pulse - Knoxville 23rd Sprawliest City in the USA?

Brian Stone Ga Tech Journal Environmental Management 2008 - Urban Sprawl and Air Quality in Large US Cities

Andy Axel's picture

With this real estate bubble

With this real estate bubble that's going right now, Nashville is doing what they can to outshine Atlanta.

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