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Florida : The Future of the South.

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Recently, Florida has been projected to become the 3rd most populated state in America in 20 years. Most of these people are projected to move into the Tampa Bay/Orlando area, but wont be limited to just these areas, as many portions of North and West Florida will also explode. As more and more people move to Florida, the character of the state will change dramatically. I see in the future Florida becoming a sort of "California of the South".

Florida already commands a major US City, Miami. There are quite a number of up-and coming cities in the state, namely Tampa, Jacksonville and Orlando.

Tampa is well known as a major technoligical, shipping and entertainment hub of the gulf coast, and is growing at a rapid pace. Downtown is booming, to the point where Donald Trump has chosen Tampa to become his personal hub to the south, and the location of his newest highrise condo, Trump Tower Tampa (which I believe will become the tallest building in Tampa). Tampa has previously hosted the Superbowl a few times, and is believed to be the front runner in the next showdown for the big game (not sure on exactly which year, whichever one has not been locked up and picked yet). Tampa is home to USF, a univerity which has recently been added to the Princeton review's best colleges in America, is the number 1 (by number of researchers) research college in America, and is currently the 14th biggest university in America (2nd in the state). Culturally, the city is on fire, with many great night clubs/bars in historic Ybor City, great night life in Channelside, awesome concerts at the Ford Ampitheter, first class gambling at the Seminole hard rock casino, Busch Gardens, and a slew of proffesional sports teams in town. World class beaches are right down the road.

Some cons to Tampa however are the traffic (but really, what big city doenst have problems here), lack of adequate mass transit, a fairly high crime rate, and a lack of great beaches fairly close (pinellas county can be a tough drive sometimes)

Orlando is a city that might be known best for its world class theme parks, but it is currently trying to shed its image to something more. The actual city is pretty small, but when the entire metro and bordering areas that consider themselves as Orlando are taken into effect, the area is gigantic. The Greater Orlando tv market is in the top 20 in America. Orlando has a great reputation for its cleanliness and apperence, and has plans to build up downtown with a large ammount of upscale condos, which will help an already vibrant downtown scene become even more lively. Orlando is currently trying its best to shed the image of a "tourist town" and into more of a technological powerhouse, as is shown by the recent aquisition of Electronic Art's home office, the videogame mega-producer. Orlando is also home of the busiest airport in the state of florida, and also contains UCF, which just like USF has been added to the princeton review's best colleges in america for this year, and is no longer considered a second tier university.

Some cons for Orlando would definatly be traffic, and a dependence on the volitile (but still profitiable) tourist industry. The k-12 schools in the area are also not up to par with the rest of the country.

Jacksonville is also growing at a lightning pace, and is keeping up with the rest of florida a very balanced, well planed city. Home to the Jaguars and the most recent superbowl, the city is fighting hard to get up with the big boys. The city uses the St. Johns river very well, and has some very nicely designed skyscrapers. Ill admit I dont know anywhere near as much about JAX as the other two, because ive spent much less time in 904 then the other two. I will say though that Jax has always impressed me and should continue everything that it is doing.

As you can see, I love my Florida. Ive talked about a few up and coming cities in the state, Id love to hear some of your opinions on these cities and the state in general.

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Beautiful post.  I don't have much time to say more but post more often like that.

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Hey thanks, it was my first real post as well! Love these forums, ive lurked for a while but Ive always been fascinated with the ins and outs of cities, its great to find a place like this site to say whats on my mind about them.

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Welcome to the Forum

I think Florida will face 3 really big problems if these predictions are true.

  • Fresh water supply that won't cause damage to the environment.

  • Energy

  • Sprawl and lack of mass transit

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Welcome to the Forum

I think Florida will face 3 really big problems if these predictions are true.

  • Fresh water supply that won't cause damage to the environment.

  • Energy

  • Sprawl and lack of mass transit

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Energy shouldn't become a problem and the with Desalination Plants, neither will fresh water, considering we're surrounding by lots of water on three sides. However, if the state continues at it current rates, like the rest of the country, sprawl is going to take this place down and ultimately destroy its quality of life. I also agree we can't pave ourselves out of our transporation problems. Its either mass transit or bust.

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Welcome to the Forum

I think Florida will face 3 really big problems if these predictions are true.

  • Fresh water supply that won't cause damage to the environment.

  • Energy

  • Sprawl and lack of mass transit

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Interesting that you mention energy. I believe the current energy bill in Washington DC, if passed, will enable offshore drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico (Florida's coast, basically). So far exploration has been banned and no one knows for sure how much oil is off Florida's coasts - but if the western Gulf (Louisiana, Texas, Mexico) is any indication, there may be lots.

Of course, Gulf drilling has the potential to transform the Gulf coast area, and possibly the future of the state. An interesting issue to be sure.

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This may sound stupid but you also have to consider Global warming and a sea level rise. Flordia could very well be under water someday (I dont know enough about it though to say whether or not this may happen in our lifetime).

But Flordia does seem to be a booming place, the whole south is. Miami is quickly becoming a premier city (if it isn't allready) with a skyscraper boom that can rival any city in the world. Tampa and Orlando are fine cities growing at great paces. The future of flordia does look bright.

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with Desalination Plants, neither will fresh water, considering we're surrounding by lots of water on three sides. 

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that's a pretty expensive way to get water. uses quite a bit of energy too. however the technology is getting better, thus making it a bit cheaper to use now. it still has a ways to go before it makes itself comparable to fresh water. but hey, if you need water, you'll do what you have to do.

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Its expensive, but it solves the fresh water problem, without taking it from other places. Plus, they've already started building them in some parts of the state.

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Its expensive, but it solves the fresh water problem, without taking it from other places.  Plus, they've already started building them in some parts of the state.

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Well not entirely. Once that water is no longer "fresh" you have to do something with it. That is the other expensive part of the equation. Fla has limited options in dealing with sewage for so many people.

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That's what Miami-Dade County does with its sewage. It's thoroughly treated and then discharged into the Atlantic via an "outfall" several miles from shore. They also use deep injection wells that pump treated wastewater underground.

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Recently, Florida has been projected to become the 3rd most populated state in America in 20 years. Most of these people are projected to move into the Tampa Bay/Orlando area, but wont be limited to just these areas, as many portions of North and West Florida will also explode. As more and more people move to Florida, the character of the state will change dramatically. I see in the future Florida becoming a sort of "California of the South".

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I have always loved Florida. It has been my favorite state to visit and have a vacation, but I also have noticed the excellent quality of life there. It has been my dream to eventually settle down in Jacksonville and raise a family there. Besides the obvious reasons for loving Jax, one reason I want to live there is that it seems much less touristy than other cities in Florida such as Miami and Orlando. It seems more like a working city.

However, I am a little disturbed with Florida becoming the "California of the South". I've lived in California, and it was OK, but I wouldn't want to live there permanently because the people there were not friendly, the traffic was horrendous, and the state is very politically screwed up, IMHO. I do not want Florida to follow the ways of California, but I've already seen how Miami is becoming a "Southeast L.A.", and Tampa has the potential to be a "Southeast San Diego". I especially don't want the people in Florida to be as unfriendly as alot of Californians that I've met.

Jax still has what I would consider uniquely Floridian characteristics, as well as most of Northern Florida. I am merely saying that in this area, Florida still seems like a Southern state...South Florida including Orlando seems more international in flavor and culture.

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I think that Florida could have erosion issues, but will definately not 'sink' in our lifetime. I think thats one in the same with an earthquake breaking LA off into the ocean. As far as water I think it will be figured out some way and some how, there are so many cities with water troubles on the horizon, I am sure something will be figured out, after all look what they brought LA to be.

As far as drilling, would that affect the beaches at all? I dont really know much about how clean that is, but I guess if they found a ton of oil out there, oil is wealth and Tampa could turn into a Houston of sorts.

I agree that Jacksonville is a friendlier city than the other Florida ones, and I think that is because the growth is steady and it is pretty working class like you said. I think as cities get larger people dont really get rude so to speak, but more in a hurry or flustered by traffic.

Like someone said, everywhere is plagued by sprawl, it is presumed that in the future it will be too expensive to manage so we will have to see, but when you look at an area like LA or San Diego, you really see how much sprawl can be possible and still work (somewhat). Plus just because there isnt alot of rail now, doesnt mean the state will stay stagnant and just keep building out on two lane roads ... look how far (or regressive, depending on your stance) we have come since 1940, working out kinks and problems ... humans are innovating machines, everything works out in the end when you have so many brains working on a problem. Thats my take anyways.

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I think that Florida could have erosion issues, but will definately not 'sink' in our lifetime. I think thats one in the same with an earthquake breaking LA off into the ocean. As far as water I think it will be figured out some way and some how, there are so many cities with water troubles on the horizon, I am sure something will be figured out, after all look what they brought LA to be.

As far as drilling, would that affect the beaches at all? I dont really know much about how clean that is, but I guess if they found a ton of oil out there, oil is wealth and Tampa could turn into a Houston of sorts.

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If oceans rise as some predict, Florida would probably be hurt worse than most states. Besides the affect on Florida's coastal communities, there is the possibility of rising seawater breaching the Biscayne aquifer, which would then render Florida's biggest water source unusable. Scary stuff!

Offshore drilling would certainly lead to the hallmarks of the petrochemical industry - pipelines, processing plants, and possibly even refineries (Florida current has none). There would be a significant buildup in certain areas for processing the crude. There may be some boost to the business side but I wouldn't expect any major oil HQs appearing in Florida. Any extraction would probably be bankrolled by the majors based in Houston.

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Erosion is always something that has bothered the state. I certainly don't think that water levels are rising at the rate that anti-capitalist evnironmentalists would have you think. I lived in Neptune Beach growing up and I can say that there is more beach today than there was in '77. The ACOE has done a good job with renourishment.

The water supply is safe. The Floridn aquifer, though taxed in some locations, is certainly large enough to handle the growth. Salt water intrusion into the aquifer is something to keep and eye on though. Desal and RO plants are becoming more cost effective and I don't think that H20 will be a problem.

As a life long native resident (32 years and counting) all I can say is if you are worried about growth ruining Florida, get in you car and drive outside of the city that you live in. In Miami drive west across Alligator Alley, in Tampa drive north towards the Big Bend, in Orlando drive in any direction, in J'ville drive west or north. You will find the True Florida in the glades, swamps, rivers and lakes that abound. Those areas make this state special. Sprawl be damned, these spots will be there for generations to come. Enjoy them and respect them.

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If oceans rise as some predict, Florida would probably be hurt worse than most states.  Besides the affect on Florida's coastal communities, there is the possibility of rising seawater breaching the Biscayne aquifer, which would then render Florida's biggest water source unusable.  Scary stuff!

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I always heard that the state's biggest water source was the aquifer, under the Green Swamp, in Central Florida.

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I always heard that the state's biggest water source was the aquifer, under the Green Swamp, in Central Florida.

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You are correct. The Floridian Aquifer is the biggest in the state and underlies the "Nature Coast" area. The Biscayne Aquifer underlies south Florida and is at higher risk of seawater invasion.

Here is a map of Florida's aquifers:

t_FLORIDA_AQUIFERS_MAP1.jpg

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^ Sorry for diverting this topic into a political issue - but the above emphasizes the need for stricter following of the Clean Water Act, which Jeb Bush has undermined. By allowing more construction over sensitve areas as well as loosening allowed levels of drinkable water - the state is at risk in losing it's primary water source.

It really won't require that much for salt water to contaminate the underground water source. But I hope not - I love Florida, even though my most common visit is Leesburg, FL unforunately..

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I have always loved Florida. It has been my favorite state to visit and have a vacation, but I also have noticed the excellent quality of life there. It has been my dream to eventually settle down in Jacksonville and raise a family there. Besides the obvious reasons for loving Jax, one reason I want to live there is that it seems much less touristy than other cities in Florida such as Miami and Orlando. It seems more like a working city.

However, I am a little disturbed with Florida becoming the "California of the South". I've lived in California, and it was OK, but I wouldn't want to live there permanently because the people there were not friendly, the traffic was horrendous, and the state is very politically screwed up, IMHO. I do not want Florida to follow the ways of California, but I've already seen how Miami is becoming a "Southeast L.A.", and Tampa has the potential to be a "Southeast San Diego". I especially don't want the people in Florida to be as unfriendly as alot of Californians that I've met.

Jax still has what I would consider uniquely Floridian characteristics, as well as most of Northern Florida. I am merely saying that in this area, Florida still seems like a Southern state...South Florida including Orlando seems more international in flavor and culture.

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Hey, Florda's okay and everything, but I don't think even speculating at it "Becoming the next California" is appropriate. California is absolutely beautiful with mountains, hundrends of miles of pristine uninhabited coast (Between LA and the Bay area, and north of the bay area). Plus California has as close to a perfect climate as you can get, not to mention the largest economy of any other state.

Florida has an awful climate (muggy heat, rain, more rain and hurricanes) and flat topography. Really all it has is cities and beaches- which is great if that's all you want from a place.

This is certainly not meant to bash Florida - I really do think Florida is fine, but it will never mesure up to California's beauty or economic power.

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^I'm sure most of the millions of people in Florida completely disagree with you. California has insane housing costs, is earthquake prone and its economic situation is ideal. Anyway, as they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure.

Teshadoh, lucky for use, this is old Jeb's last term in office. Hopefully, will elect someone who actually listens to majority of the State's residents.

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Florida looks to pass New York and become the 3rd most populous state by 2015, Texas passed them in 1994 as Sun Belt migration continues.

Tampa (well, really more like its suburbs such as Pasco and Manatee Cos) and Orlando are growing impressively, true, but one of the fastest-growing areas of the country (2nd to Las Vegas) is Southwest Florida. Fort Myers, Sarasota, Naples, and Bradenton are among the nation's hottest 10 real estate markets. Cape Coral has gone from 20k people to 140k in 25 yrs. Palm Beach and Broward Cos are experiencing substantial net growth but further north the Treasure Coast (Martin, St Lucie, Ft Pierce), the Space Coast, and Daytona/Ormond Beach are booming as well. Essentially all of Florida is doing well, particularly the central to southern coastal areas. The real explosion, though, will be in the communities of 20k to 100k on the coasts but not in major metros as retirees and newcomers seek better prices and try to avoid the overpopulation in the major cities.

As for the Californiazation aspect, some took the comparison too literally. He clearly wasn't talking about the emergence of mountains. Problems are arising already - terrible traffic, loss of local character as Northerners from all over from the new majority, and most importantly housing prices beyond what most can afford. The median home price is almost half a million in CA now (let alone in San Fran or San Diego) and while only Naples is at this level, the last 5 yrs have seen properties double and triple in value in pretty much all of Florida from Orlando South. The problem of affordable housing is causing a (thus far) limited outflux of young professionals in CA to places like Vegas, Arizona, and Colorado and the same scenario is approaching Florida, where this problem is relatively new. Five years ago FL housing was below the national average, now it is on par with much of the Northeast and shows no signs of braking.

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Timalucas: Of course FL will never have the variety of natural features that California has, but CA has some MAJOR drawbacks which include (1) bizarre local politics which deter economic growth, (2) extremely high housing costs caused by policies which prevent homebuilders from satisfying housing demand, (3) the just plain weird behaviour of many of its people, and (4) the Mexicanization of the state. I prefer FL as a place to live. I like the heat and the South, but I am from here, so I am biased.

Lake: I think Jeb has done a pretty good job. What do you not like that he has done?

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I'd prefer that the referendum system be done away with myself. I think the electorate needs to be reined in.

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