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jmanhsv

Huntsville in the future

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A special Huntsville Times section today describes what experts think Huntsville will look like in 2055. You can read the articles here. The articles start at "Alabama will likely shed 'personality politics'", but there are a few random current event articles, so watch out.

Recommended reading: *EDIT* I deleted some, I added some, and I got links

"Decatur will flourish as industrial hub"-about Decatur's future as a suburb of 85,000 people

"Expert verdict: Courthouse must go"- Moving the courthouse, new light rail, downtown development

"Growth to put squeeze on area neighborhoods"- how Huntsville, Madison, Athens and Decatur will merge into one big city of 600,000, Hundecathmad.

"Limestone expects to thrive in golden triangle"- about Limestone's imminent future as a suburban county, ignore the monorail

"Madison's growth to have limits"-Hey, good things always come to an end.

"Rocket City to be area's driving force"- Could Huntsville be a mini-Atlanta, with a population of over 1 million? My personal favorite.

"Officials predict $2B in road work"- And that's just until 2030....

"Sprawl quickly eating up farmland"- the future seems so familiar

"To get big acts again, we must think big"- We want a dome too!

"No consensus on Metro government"- everyone wants it except for Madison

"In 50 years, population will be more diverse"- Huntsville with a little Mexico and 225,000 people.

"More land, landings seen in airport future"- between 1.6 million and 4.6 million people are expected to pass through Hsv International by 2022.

And for everyone here, its the future of Alabama

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Some of those are fairly optimistic goals. Good luck getting any help from the state in regards to building a dome or even a large arena though :lol: And the thing about the airport passenger stats is a little humorous to me. Not to poke fun, but somewhere BETWEEN 1.6-4.6 million is quite a big difference. 1.6 million would be just a little better than what Huntsville is doing now... meanwhile, 4.6 would be SIGNIFICANTLY better. A range of deviation of 3 million is a bit large. Hopefully Huntsville will achieve some of those goals though.

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^Yeah, I thought 4.6M was a bit too much. But thats what the airport said would happen, if we got a low-fare carrier hub and Birmingham and Nashville's airports suddenly disappeared....

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Well... passenger statistics are hard to predict... especially that far into the future. I dont too much expect Birmingham or Nashville's air traffic to decline, but Huntsville COULD still see a large increase. Again, however, those predictions are hard to make.

From 1993 to 2000, Birmingham's air traffic increased from 2.1 million to over 3 million. Then of course there was 2001, and we've slowly rebounded from that to where this year we're expected to beat our 2000 peak of nearly 3.1 million. But my point is sometimes it might take 20-30 years to gain a million more passengers... but then again, it could happen in 5-10 years.

I do think it's interesting that Huntsville has plans to have up to 5 parallel runways :o

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I like the prospects for downtown, H'ville seems to get the need to develop the urban core. The rest of the metro will be a different story, I'm afraid.

600,000 residents? Ya'll will have to turn to traditional urban development patterns, or you'll have one heck of an unmanageble sprawling mess. North Alabama won't be anything but asphault and concrete.

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Huntsville's problem is its age. It doesnt really have much of an urban core (no offense).... it's just too young. It's been growing mostly since people in other cities began moving into the suburbs, so naturally suburban sprawling patterns are being practiced there just as elsewhere. It'll always be an uphill battle for most cities. Many other cities have at least a historic (although maybe rundown) urban core which Huntsville does not have. They'll have to make a very specific effort to create more of an urban feel there.

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Huntsville does have urban, historical and rundown areas. There's "the Projects" (the rundown areas), Northwest (60s suburban area w/ high crime rate, vacant shopping centers), Five Points (urban and trendy, getting a makeover currently), Twickenham and Old Town (historical, homes from $400,000 to $2M), Merrimack and Lowe mill villages (formerly run down, coming back, urban), and Lincoln mill village (though I drive by it frequently, I don't know, urban). Decatur has some large urban areas, but since I don't go there often, I don't know the names.

And, no historic urban core? Have you been to downtown Huntsville? It's all historical (except for the cranes)! That's why we don't have a skyscraper yet, too many historical buildings. But it's nowhere close to rundown.

600,000 residents? Ya'll will have to turn to traditional urban development patterns, or you'll have one heck of an unmanageble sprawling mess. North Alabama won't be anything but asphault and concrete.

Sorry to say, that 600,000 might be a bit too conservative. The tri-county area the are talking about (Madison, Limestone, Morgan) already has 485,000 residents. I think the 600,000 will be in Madison County alone. In another article a developer said that in the next 10-20 years, the metro will begin seeing a lot more condos and townhomes rather than single-family homes. He also said that those "New Urbanism" developments will become more commonplace. Thats about as urban as we'll get outside of five miles from downtown. :(

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I have been to Huntsville and several times, and IMO, Huntsville has not much of an urban core. Having historic pioneer/plantation-style homes does not equate with a historical downtown core as I'm referring to. Huntsville is an old place... I know this, but it's not been very much of a city for very long. Huntsville is an old town, but not an old city with a dense urban fabric. That's just my opinion, but I have been there several times. And it's not that Huntsville doesnt have SOME urban areas... I'm saying Huntsville doesnt have much of a historic urban CORE.

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Oh, you said not much of an urban core. I thought you said Huntsville had no urban core. My bad :D . I need to read these posts a bit more carefully.

I do wish Huntsville overall was a bit more urban. The areas I mentioned are only a small part of the city. Suburbs are nice, but a city needs some grit.

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I see Huntsville growing to maybe 500,000 metro area within the next 20-30 years. I-65 not running through Huntsville has hurt us and it hasn't at the sametime. The cities that I-65 runs through have higher crime rates and things of that nature. Huntville is a unique city no matter it's history and the fact we haven't hit the century mark on our population growth should send a huge signal to everybody. The city limits of Huntsville will stay around the 160,000 but the outlying area will make it a nice small metro of 500,000 plus easy. One more thing when people come tu Huntsville I don't think they see the whole city, they see what they came to see and that's it. Birmingham's city pop is only 242,000, it's not like Bham is Chicago.

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Some estimates say that the Huntsville metro is already over 500,000 (see sig). The tri-county (Madison, Morgan, Limestone) area is already at 475,000 and, if current growth continues, should hit 500,000 by 2013 at the latest. New counties will be added to the Huntsville MSA very soon, probably Lincoln County (TN) first, then Marshall and Jackson counties soon after. Even with today's population, all of these counties combined easily hit a half-million people.

BTW, slowmotionsoundz, do you live in Huntsville?

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Some estimates say that the Huntsville metro is already over 500,000 (see sig). The tri-county (Madison, Morgan, Limestone) area is already at 475,000 and, if current growth continues, should hit 500,000 by 2013 at the latest. New counties will be added to the Huntsville MSA very soon, probably Lincoln County (TN) first, then Marshall and Jackson counties soon after. Even with today's population, all of these counties combined easily hit a half-million people.

BTW, slowmotionsoundz, do you live in Huntsville?

Born and raised. I'm in Korea in the military. I've been in for seven years and the changes that Huntsville has made is unbelievable. I'm moving back in December. I was raised on the NorthWest side. I used to base Huntsville off of Chattanooga when I was younger, that's where I spent my summers. Huntsville is coming into it's own since the military rotations of soldiers has downsized. I couldn't see living anywhere else. Curretntly we reside in Clarksville, TN. It's nice but it's not Huntsville

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I've lived in Huntsville now for just a little more than two years and at first I thought I'd really like the place, but I think that was mainly because of the "fresh-out-of-college" experience, if anything.

I do enjoy the low crime rates, but does anyone have any insight as to what cultural implications may be derived from this projected continued growth, if anything?

The one thing I anticipate in Huntsville is having something to do...and I'm not talking about in 2030-55...I mean in the next five years.

Any thoughts on this? BTW, i'm pretty new to this sight...seems like a pretty interesting forum.

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Welcome to the forum Bishamon!

In the next 5 years, I hope to see more shops, restaurants, and clubs downtown, and with the new condo developments, it will be possible. I also would like to see more Big Spring Jam-type music festivals in Huntsville, and possibly a new VBC arena. But what I think will be the ultimate turnaround for Hsv is the Bridge Street development out in Research Park. I think that place will finally give us young people something to do on the weekends. Too bad its not downtown :(.

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I don't think that the city leaders of any of the towns in the area read the papers. These are all great ideas that the Times had, but, I just guess people didn't take much notice.

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