Series: First Suburbs
On the Record

Caution: Challenges Ahead, A Review of New Urban Demographics and Impacts on Transportation

Robert Puentes

In state after state, and in metropolitan area after metropolitan area, critical conversations are emerging about how to best respond to the rapid demographic change currently underway and how to accommodate the growth and development forecasted for this nation over the next several decades. The question for the nation is not whether we grow; but how we grow, where we grow and what we grow. These makeovers are playing out in many different ways and are presenting the nation with a complex and, at times, conflicting set of transportation challenges. Without a doubt, transportation trends are inextricably tied to demographic trends—although these play out differently within and between cities, suburbs, and metropolitan areas.

The purpose of this presentation to the Eno Transportation Foundation by Robert Puentes is to advance a deeper quantitative understanding of trends that are impacting urban America in order to facilitate the next round of national debate on surface transportation. It examines several major trends, and the interrelationships of those trends based on an empirical foundation from which national discussions about the future of the federal transportation program should move forward.

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