While growth of our society over the next decade is inevitable, it is important that we focus some attention on where our growing population will work and reside. In a recent Atlantic Cities article, Jed Kolko lays out where the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts job increases will occur throughout the country. While the article only lists the growing metropolitan areas, one important factor to note is the fact that those suburbs surrounding cities will also have to innovate, or renovate, to keep up with increasing population and resource use.
A major reason why suburbs must be decisive when planning for the next decades growth is the fact that major cities aren’t a viable option for some incoming workers. The reality is that city living is expensive, and while some may be closer to the office, many workers, especially those relocating with families, prefer to be out of the fast-paced city and living in quiet suburbia.
Automobiles will always be an easy choice for those commuting to and from cities, and car manufacturers would be wise to push eco friendly cars in these areas in order to reduce emissions overall. Highways, a major pathway in and out of cities, can also be enhanced by using separate high-occupancy vehicle lanes (HOVs), as found in many major cities, which can be used by both carpoolers (another great way to save money on gas) and those with registered eco friendly vehicles.
Public transportation is also a viable, and sometimes cheaper, alternative to cars. Revamping old public transportation systems, or creating new routes in areas where population is increasing dramatically, is a necessary step in building a greener environment both in and out of the city limits. Not only does this help reduce emissions, but as I spoke about in my previous blog post, having access to public transportation makes city dwellers happier and prouder about where they reside. Creating an efficient, environmentally friendly link between growing cities and the suburbs around them will be an important trend to watch out for in the near future.
Earthgarage – Greener Car. Fatter Wallet.