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1000 Friends of Florida Case Study

Florida 2060

1000 Population ForecastFlorida is in the midst of rapid change.  The engine of change is population growth--largely attributable to a combination of continued domestic and international immigration.  The physical manifestation of our population growth is land use change, and the more rapidly population increases, the more rapidly land use changes occur.  Between now and 2060 the State’s population is projected to more than double and consequently, without shifts in our policies, the additional land devoted to urban use will also more than double.

To explore the physical reality of this trend 1000 Friends of Florida contracted with researchers at the University of Florida’s GeoPlan Center to demonstrate what land use in the State might look like in 2060.  This is a companion study to A Time for Leadership:  Growth Management and Florida 2060 prepared for 1000 Friends of Florida by researchers at Georgia Tech’s Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development.  GeoPlan’s project was undertaken using relatively straightforward geographic information systems (GIS) suitability analysis constructed on a foundation of clearly articulated assumptions.  The three key assumptions were:

  1. The Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR) moderate population projection from 2005 to 2030 was used as the basis for determining a trend line extending to 2060. 
  2. It was assumed the existing gross urban density of developed lands in each county will remain the same as in 2005.  Gross urban density was calculated by taking 2005 population and dividing it by 2005 existing urban lands resulting in an expression of people per urban acre for each county.  The 2005 gross urban densities ranged from a high in Dade County of 15.45 people per acre to a low in Gilchrist County of .45 people per acre.  The total acres required to accommodate each county’s additional population was determined based on the calculated 2005 gross urban density; and
  3. The lands to which the new population was distributed were determined to be the most suitable using a set of eight criteria of which proximity to existing urban areas, road density and absence of wetlands were most heavily weighted.
  4. It was also assumed that no new conservation lands will be set aside. While it is highly unlikely this will be a reality, a prediction of lands sensitive enough for protection have been identified by the Florida Forever Board of Trustees. Our goal was to determine how much of that land would be developed if it were not set aside for protection.

Results: 2005 and 2060 Comparison