California Sprawl

A coworker of mine, Jason Jones, created a projected change in population file for the state of California from the year 2000 to 2030.  This was a calculation based on data downloaded from the Natural Resource Ecology Lab.  In the map below, gray patches are varying degrees of current urbanized areas.  White patches are private, rural areas.  These locations will probably not change in the next 20 years.  Shades of red show increasing amounts of population growth.  Overall, lightest pink shows some urban edge infill and far suburbs.  The darkest red is mostly suburban growth, as you can see these colors basically ring around metropolitan areas.  I tossed in public/protected lands to show the ownership landscape and to highlight threatened areas in need of conservation.  An interesting thing to note: if you look at northern central Marin (just north of San Francisco) (sorry about the lack of labels for those unfamiliar with the area), there is a swath of white, rural, that is surrounded by protected areas to the west and projected population growth to the east.  My guess is that this private rural land, a prime location for development in the Bay Area, actually has a ton of conservation easements in place on it.  This diminishes the chances of population growth by 2030.


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