More than half of the built environment of the United States we will see in 2025 did not exist in 2000, giving planners an unprecedented opportunity to reshape the landscape. The Federal Housing Act's 701 planning grant program reflected the concerns and attitudes of the first half of the 20th century, and that template shaped America's suburbs, accounting for three-quarters of the nation's growth between 1950 and 2000. The realities of the 21st century are different: Our newest public health concerns relate to low-density, single-purpose development, not the dangers of density; only about a quarter of all households will have children in 2025; and public sentiment increasingly favors integrating land uses. Changes like these will drive the rebuilding of much of America's built environment. For planning to succeed in this new era, I argue that we must understand future demand across all land uses, realistically assess opportunities for redeveloping existing urbanized areas, remove constraints on land use that are inconsistent with modern planning goals, and champion the financial incentives and institutional changes that will make it possible to meet future needs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Urban Studies