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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you were to project Chicago and Chicagoland growth over the next 20 years, how do you feel the rate of growth will compare with other cities and their metro areas. Compared to...

• Chicago is one of the big three cities and metros in the nation. Chicago has become a home for global immigrants. NY and LA seem to be even more so. Will Chicago's rate of growth keep up with NY and LA?

• Probably the metro area we have the most in common with is the Bay Area. Will metro Chicago fall behind the Bay Area in population especially with the growth in South Bay (SJ, Silicon Valley)?

• DC (as part of a combined metro area with Balt) has seen great growth due to the growth of the US government and the need for business to be close to the capital for lobbying. How will Chicagoland stack up with Balt-Wash?

• Sun Belt growth, be it Atl, Dal, Hou, Phx, LV, is tremendous. Will these metros reach Chicagoland size? Will they still be at a disadvantage by not having such a massive central city (Houston aside)?

• Will the availability of Great Lakes water be a key factor in determing Chicago's relative growth compared to other metro areas?

• Will global weather change put coastal areas at any disadvantage compared to Chicago in growth, particularly areas prone to earthquakes?

How do you think Chicago's relative growth is going to compare to other cities and metro areas?
 

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This might seem kind of crazy and farfetched, but, if the hydrogen car is invented and put into mass production, I think a ton of jobs and businesses will come here because of the large concentration of fresh water in the Great Lakes regoin. I dont know, just a thought.
 

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I think if we get the Olympics in 2016 we will for sure. the world will be focused on us for months. but even if we don't, I believe we will stay at pace with LA and NY. we are too much of a strategic location. i.e Boeing moving headquarters here, and Mital Steel, etc.
The olympics will be great, but its only for two weeks...It will have no affect on the long term growth of the city.
 

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The olympics will be great, but its only for two weeks...It will have no affect on the long term growth of the city.
I disagree, I still have happy thoughts about Sydney and will travel there someday. The olympic afterglow will last for decades. Hell we still talk about the Columbian expositon of 1893 and the Century of progress 1933.

The 2016 Olympics will literaly add another star to the City flag.
 

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I think NY will continue with modest growth. LA's robust growth won't last more than one or two more decades due to space issues. Even with increased density, there's only so much you can build up, and prices are still sky high on the west coast.

Water won't be an issue with many coastal metros. Economics will eventually force areas to go to the ocean for water, and desal will become a viable alternative.

It might sound silly, but unless Chicagoland really screws up and misses too many opportunities, growth will actually accelerate relative to coastal metros in 30 or 40 years due to the availability of land. But I don't believe Chicago will ever regain #2 or beat NY in size, at least not in our lifetimes. The leads of NY and LA are just too big.

I see sunbelt giants like DFW, Houston, and Atlanta actually catching up to Chicago in our lifetime. Centralization isn't an issue so much as is economics. Some of the largest cities in the world are decentralized, especially in Asia. Centralization is not efficient in itself compared to decentralization. What's efficient are the commuting patterns it supports. Once urban areas get beyond a certain population density, the benefits of economic efficiency associated with centralization decline.
 

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It might sound silly, but unless Chicagoland really screws up and misses too many opportunities, growth will actually accelerate relative to coastal metros in 30 or 40 years due to the availability of land. But I don't believe Chicago will ever regain #2 or beat NY in size, at least not in our lifetimes. The leads of NY and LA are just too big.

I see sunbelt giants like DFW, Houston, and Atlanta actually catching up to Chicago in our lifetime.
You made very valid points. As for metros catching up to Chicago, there are only five in the running. DC/Baltimore, Dallas, Houston and possibly Atlanta, and the Bay Area. If current growth trend stay the same (and not redrawing the metropolitan area as a result of sprawl and merging with other metros), Chicago will still be neck and neck for the #3 spot with DC/Baltimore and Dallas (all at about 12.8 million) and just slightly ahead of Atlanta (12.3 million), and Houston (11.7 million) by the year 2050. Of course these statistics are just for fun......


The Los Angeles metropolitan growth rate slowed substantially during the 1990 to 2000 census period. The 12.7 percent growth was approximately one-half the 26.4 percent rate from 1980 to 1990.

At the same time, the New York metropolitan growth rate more than doubled, from 3.5 percent in the 1980s to 8.4 percent in the 1990s. At the 1980s growth rate, metropolitan Los Angeles would have exceeded metropolitan New York in population by 2005. If the 1990s growth rate were to continue, Los Angeles would become larger in 2068.

An even greater acceleration occurred in Chicago, where the growth rate of 11.1 percent was more than seven times the 1.5 percent rate of the 1980s.

Now depending on economic trends in each city, I foresee a continuation of the trends maybe even slower growth rates in L.A and NYC metros depending on how the price of housing goes .......^^ At the same time I can picture the city of L.A. and New York City growing much faster than the city of Chicago. Our growth will undoubtedly be in the collar counties.


As for other major US metro areas, the Bay Area should recover and begin to grow at a more moderate rate (depending on housing costs), DC/Baltimore will continue to grow at a robust rate, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Vegas, and Phoenix will continue to explode for at least the next 30 years,
 

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I think with the KRM line the merging of the Milwaukee and Chicago urbanized areas will finally take place. We will then become akin to a DC/Baltimore, but on a much larger scale. Linear growth patterns along the corridor will then accelerate, while the radial growth patterns outward from Chicago will slow down a bit. Towns like Kenosha, Pleasant Prairie, and Racine will become the Napervilles and Plainfields of tomorrow. I think this would also have the effect of strengthening the Milwaukee area's economy, creating investment in central Milwaukee on an unprecedented scale.

I have a different question. Do y'all see the city population of Chicago exceeding LA within the next 50 years?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I think with the KRM line the merging of the Milwaukee and Chicago urbanized areas will finally take place. We will then become akin to a DC/Baltimore, but on a much larger scale. Linear growth patterns along the corridor will then accelerate, while the radial growth patterns outward from Chicago will slow down a bit. Towns like Kenosha, Pleasant Prairie, and Racine will become the Napervilles and Plainfields of tomorrow. I think this would also have the effect of strengthening the Milwaukee area's economy, creating investment in central Milwaukee on an unprecedented scale.

I have a different question. Do y'all see the city population of Chicago exceeding LA within the next 50 years?
interesting how coastline/shoreline corridors can concentrate the growth that can connect & merge two cities. Among major cities in the US, the only comparable such stretch outside of Chgo/Milw would be LA/SD. Now that one is still has a much higher concentration than ours, but it does give us a glimpse of what will be happening along Lk Michigan's southwestern shore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
ardecila;13888339I have a different question. Do y'all see the city population of Chicago exceeding LA within the next 50 years?[/QUOTE said:
interesting question, ardecila. particularly interesting if we try to answer it honestly and not ignore the problems that are out there that we all face.

we have a tendency on this board, pumped up with the joys of urbanization, to disregard some of the downsides, the very serious downsides, of the larger picture of what we are doing to our environment.

therefore, if you believe global warming (climate change) is for real and will only accelerate (sadly I do), we will all suffer. But some places moe than others.

Rising sea levels will be devasastating to LA....as they will be to SF, NY, Miami and all the New Orleans's we're creating. LA's environment is far more fragile than Chicago's. Continued growth can effect air quality as witnessed by the smog covering in the LA basin. For all that LA has done to improve rapid transit and public transportation (and it has done a lot), it still faces the problems of a spread out metro area that cannot be connected by public transportation the way a more traditonally laid out metro area can. Intensive LA growth can cause gridlock. Along with global warming, I don't see the US making serious strides in solving the immigration issue. And that issue will play out in LA bigger than any major US city. Add to that the thorny issue of water usage in a semi-desert enrivornment and you've got real problems with growth unless science can miraculously find a cost effective way to desalinize ocean water.

This is not a knock against the city of Los Angeles or its metropolitan area. LA is a place that has a lot going for it. It is a potent economic and (dare I say) cultural giant and its allure is undeniable. But its environmental issues are undeniable, too, and exceed those of Chicago to a very great extent.

the rush to a super-charged, steroid induced urban future is a man-made concept. Mother Nature may have something all together different in mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Building on my last post (which got me thinking)...does Chicago have any preceived advantages for future growth based on its ability to foster stable, logical and traditonal growth?

Chicago's greatness was nailed down in an earlier era prior to the rise of sunbelt cities. It grew at a time when centralization and massive public transporation were necessary. As the era of automobile supremacy turns into an unsustained nightmere, that earlier era may be coming back. Chicago has expereinced its incredible growth and evelopment in recent years within the context of its older self. It has augmented, tweaked, and improved its past...not thrown the baby out with the bath oil like some of the newer growth cities.

Doesn't the very orderliness of what we have here compared to other cities and metro areas bode well for our future?
 

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Well, one advantage we have is fresh water. Whenever global warming seriously begins to happen (what the experts predict maybe not as worst-case, but a moderate form of it) I think that the sunbelt cities, particularly the Southern California, Arizona, Southern Nevada area of the US is going to lose its current appeal (although why anyone would move to Arizona is beyond me, WAAAY too hot!) because of the global-warming enhanced heat, lack of drinking water, and sprawl, which may make it hard to live there, if indeed it becomes an oven (this means lots of driving in very hot weather; if you're out in the middle of nowhere and your engine overheats, that could spell trouble).

In short, in the future I see people moving away from the southwest and the coasts to more inland places, particularly around the Great Lakes, not just Chicago, although as the biggest city in the Great Lakes region I imagine it will have a considerable draw. Weather-wise, as the southern regions get hotter and more unbearable to live in all year long, our winters get milder and milder, which is the main reason people move to the southwest and Florida anyway. In terms of metro growth, I see global warming as only benefiting Chicagoland, as well as the Great Lakes region (minus global warming's negative aspects elsewhere in the world.)
 

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Well, one advantage we have is fresh water. In terms of metro growth, I see global warming as only benefiting Chicagoland, as well as the Great Lakes region (minus global warming's negative aspects elsewhere in the world.)
As blasphemous as this may sound to some here I feel the same way. That is if man made GW is real and the sun is not the major driver of climate change we are currently experiencing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
As blasphemous as this may sound to some here I feel the same way. That is if man made GW is real and the sun is not the major driver of climate change we are currently experiencing.
such a shame that GWB doesn't believe in GW...or that stem cells aren't a life.
 

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Yep, the issue of fresh water is major factor in Chicago's future. Having spent most of my life in the desert southwest I can tell you that water = power. That will be a huge problem for the future growth of LA, Phoenix, SD, Tucson, LV. I wouldn't bank on desalinzation. Technologically it's feasible, but it comes with a huge cost! Uh.... and then there are some environmental issues as well.

Secondly, it sure doesn't hurt having academic institutions like the University of Chicago, Northwestern, IIT, and De Paul, to name a few; and regionally there more great schools. Some cities like Cleveland have had trouble keeping businesses around because of a lack of an educated work force. I'm thinking specifically of biotech.

Chicago has become a very attractive city for artists. It's much cheaper than New York and LA. The scene is much less fad-oriented and self conscious. There's an abundance of warehouses. Don't understimate the power of the city's creative culture as a draw for new people. I have many well-educated friends of moved to Seattle in the 90s, and stayed, for what the city itself had to offer as opposed to the opportunities for employment. If the city is an attractive place for young people that will help to stop some of the brain-drain that has plagued so much of the rest of the rust belt.

But getting back to the sunbelt, the quality of life that many sunbelt cities had to offer during the last 50 years has largely evaporated. The cheap land and housing, the clean air, the traffic, the good schools, the lack of crime, the easier pace of life. Gone!

So, yes I think the Chicago will do well in the future. I wouldn't get hung up on comparing it to NY and LA (or anywhere else). That fact that it isn't either of those places is actually a good thing.
 

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Yep, the issue of fresh water is major factor in Chicago's future. Having spent most of my life in the desert southwest I can tell you that water = power. That will be a huge problem for the future growth of LA, Phoenix, SD, Tucson, LV. I wouldn't bank on desalinzation. Technologically it's feasible, but it comes with a huge cost! Uh.... and then there are some environmental issues as well.
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Agreed

http://en.epochtimes.com/news/7-6-23/56695.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
But getting back to the sunbelt, the quality of life that many sunbelt cities had to offer during the last 50 years has largely evaporated. The cheap land and housing, the clean air, th.
DCT, I am a firm believer in the concept that we tend to kill the goose that laid the golden egg. That goose would be the sun belt. All that warm winter weather, those coastal beaches, the mountains out west (particularly California), and all the other goodies was going to inevitably destroy the very qualities that attracked people to these places in the first place.

These growth areas of the west and south also had the distinct disadvantage to see their period of major ride coincide with the so called automotive culture that created endless sprawl that midwestern and eastern cities happily do not match.

People might not realize it today, but LA was considered paradise in the 20's, 30's, and 40's. And while LA has matured and has far more to offer today than what it did back then, it is missing those wonderful quality-of-life selling points that drew people to it in the first place.

The golden goose may be on life support.
 

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Yep, the issue of fresh water is major factor in Chicago's future. Having spent most of my life in the desert southwest I can tell you that water = power. That will be a huge problem for the future growth of LA, Phoenix, SD, Tucson, LV. I wouldn't bank on desalinzation. Technologically it's feasible, but it comes with a huge cost! Uh.... and then there are some environmental issues as well.

Secondly, it sure doesn't hurt having academic institutions like the University of Chicago, Northwestern, IIT, and De Paul, to name a few;

Chicago has become a very attractive city for artists. It's much cheaper than New York and LA.

So, yes I think the Chicago will do well in the future. .
A Very good second post. I will highlight some of what I think are Chicago's best long term assets.

bnk
 

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People might not realize it today, but LA was considered paradise in the 20's, 30's, and 40's.
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LA was also from my perspective a paradise from the late 50's to mid to late 70's.

See Beach Boy's and Threes company.

Those also were great times before sprall and gridlock...

bnk
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
LA was also from my perspective a paradise from the late 50's to mid to late 70's.

See Beach Boy's and Threes company.

Those also were great times before sprall and gridlock...

bnk
definitely the core years of the california dream.

(three's company, huh? wacky LA lifestyle. still..... i would think that laverne and shieley thought Milwaukee was the true paradise in that era, not LA and that a bottle of beer celebrated the American dream)
 
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