Sprawl in Atlanta, GA. Flickr/thisisbossi

Here comes Charlanta the Gargantua.

Southern city planners and conservationists, look alive: New predictions map the future spread of urban sprawl in Dixie, and it is immense. Basing their model on past growth patterns and locations of existing road networks, researchers at North Carolina State University projected the region’s expansion decades into the future. According to their forecast, the Southern urban footprint is expected to grow 101 percent to 192 percent.

Take a look at urban land cover in the South as of 2009:

Here's what that'll look like by 2060:

The South's explosive population growth over the past 60 years can only be expected to continue, the researchers report. And more likely than not, so will its typical development pattern of sprawling, automobile-dependent suburbs. Planners and city leaders should start acting now to managing infrastructure and natural resources in the area.

As our own Richard Florida indicated in March, the mega-region dubbed Char-lanta already has an economy larger than South Korea's, with more than a trillion dollars in output. We wonder which country's GNP it'll outsize by 2060, when it looks like this crazy fretwork:

'Char-lanta" includes Birmingham, Raleigh, and several other metros in addition to Charlotte and Atlanta.

(Top image courtesy of Flickr user thisisbossi.)

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Illustration of a house with separate activities taking place in different rooms.
    POV

    The Case for Rooms

    It’s time to end the tyranny of open-concept interior design.

  2. Life

    Having a Library or Cafe Down the Block Could Change Your Life

    Living close to public amenities—from parks to grocery stores—increases trust, decreases loneliness, and restores faith in local government.

  3. Car with Uber spray painted on it.
    Transportation

    The Dangerous Standoff Between Uber and Buenos Aires

    While Uber and Argentine officials argue over whether the company is an app or a transportation company, drivers suffer fines, violence, and instability.

  4. Perspective

    Boston is an I. M. Pei City

    Boston was where I. M. Pei produced work that would come to define the city and cement his own reputation as one of the world’s most evocative architects.

  5. Four scooters that say "Available on Uber."
    Perspective

    The California Legislature Is Getting Played by Micromobility Companies

    If the California legislature passes AB 1112, cities can’t require companies like Bird, Lime, and Jump to limit numbers, meet equity goals, or fully share data.