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M. Brown

Washington DC to add 100,000 ppl

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Is Washington really going to succed in gaining 100,000 people by the next census? I hope so.

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Gain 100,000? I hope so, but IMO, that's not a realistic goal. Adding 100,000 people in 10 years is possible, but not likely for a city that saw many years of decline. However, in looking at population estimates, it seems that the population has stabalized around 570,000, and it will probably have a rise by 2010.

1980 638,432

1990 606,900

2000 571,641

2001 573,822

2002 570,898

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I seriously doubt it. Unless they do something drastically different, maybe 20,000-30,000 more people is a realistic goal for the next 6 years.

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Actually bad schools are part of what keeps people out of a lot of cities. There are many people who would love to live in a more urban area, but don't because the schools are much better in the suburbs. The bad schools are what keeps many people from moving to cities like Flint and Detroit. In fact, the bad schools are the main reason people still leave cities today.

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Urban planners, government officials, and others responsible for a city's growth really underestimate how much the state of the local school system will effect what happens to the development in that city. One of the reasons that I think Charlotte is growing faster than its surrounding counties is simply because its schools are very good in comparison. We have a single county wide school system and where you live does not directly affect what access you have to a particular school.

The bottom line is, if the schools system sucks, then the area is going to have a difficult time in attracting new residents. It is families with children that spur the most growth and they are not going to located in areas with bad schools.

That is Definately true Marc

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New Orleans is known for having very low property taxes on residences--the homestead exemption is something like $100,000. But virtually everyone with a middle-class income and up sends their kids to private schools at costs ranging from $3000 upwards of $10,000 per year. Seven years ago, we paid $2000 for kindergarten, and that was cheap.

The public schools are woefully underfunded--no books, frequently--yet most people don't put two and two together and realize that their private school tuition functions as a tax.

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Boston pays over $12k per year per student yet is considered to have generally bad schools. Many of the suburbs of Boston, like Newton, pay less per student than Boston, but have among the best pulic schools in the nation. This problem isn't all about money, and what few answers are known are very difficult to implement.

I doubt DC will grow much if at all. It is already very dense, and families are generally still looking for the single family house dream. New singles, young couples and empty nesters may come, but they will not grow the population significantly if at all.

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My school district gets $6700 per student, and we are the in the top 1% of schools in the state. Yet inner city school receive twice that amount of money, and still fail to educate students with much success.

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Regional planning advocates say it's time to get real

Greg A. Lohr

Contributing writer - From the March 12, 2004 print edition

In a sense, the local chapter of the Urban Land Institute wants to gather a few hundred Washington-area leaders next January to play a board game all day.

After all, those who show up will be given little chips, or markers, to place in various spots on maps of the area. They'll discuss moves with others at their table, and the debates could get heated.

But this is not "Monopoly" or "Trivial Pursuit" or even "Who Wants To Be a Bureaucrat?"

The local ULI chapter (www.washington.uli.org) is bringing together movers, shakers, politicians, developers, community leaders and other advocates for some serious brainstorming on ways to deal with the 1 million or more new residents expected to live in and around D.C. by 2020, adding to the approximately 4.5 million already here.

"People want to live here, and people want to stay here," says Robert Harris, vice chairman of ULI Washington and a partner in the Bethesda office of law firm Holland & Knight (www.hklaw.com). "How do we accommodate that while at the same time protecting our environment, not overwhelming ourselves in traffic and not overwhelming ourselves with fiscal obligations to build new infrastructure?"

January's event is titled, appropriately, "Reality Check."

ULI hasn't developed the formal invitation list yet but already has the support of key players such as the Coalition for Smarter Growth and Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG).

The meeting could cost $300,000, according to ULI officials, who plan to look for sponsors and grants in the coming months. The exact time and location of the event haven't been determined.

Participants in the D.C. meeting, modeled after events in Los Angeles and Utah, will be given regional maps based on COG population and employment projections.

They'll also be handed markers akin to game pieces representing general units of growth among people and jobs. Using those tokens, the players can decide where growth should be encouraged, guided or clustered.

It's likely a pro-growth advocate could be seated alongside an ardent environmentalist and an expert on public transportation could butt heads with a highway buff.

"This puts a whole lot of people at the table, literally," says David Robertson, executive director of COG (www.mwcog.org). "And the tables are mixed and matched by interests. There's a fair amount of balancing."

After participants at each table put their pieces on the map in a way that works for them -- spread out, grouped or in some representation of smart growth -- the results are fed into a computer for analysis.

Strategies or plans that emerge could serve, in an informal way, as an update to the "On Wedges and Corridors" regional plan adopted in 1964 by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

That plan organized development into corridors emanating from D.C., with wedges of green space between each corridor.

"These days, you can find the corridors of development," Robertson says. "It's just the wedges of open space that have been compromised a bit."

The groups organizing Reality Check don't expect to solve all of Greater Washington's growth woes in one day, but they think it can be a source of ideas for local governments and lay the groundwork for more formal strategies developed in the months, even years, following the event.

"We're not advocating a master plan or a regional government that would have some overlay on what the localities do," Robertson says, but adds that "if you provide information to local governments about regional implications, that's almost always factored into their decisions."

Reality Check is just one example of the neutral facilitator role increasingly being played locally by the Urban Land Institute.

A ULI offshoot Harris came up with a few years ago, the Smart Growth Alliance, recognizes planned developments that feature smart-growth practices in land use, transportation and environmental polices.

Besides the ULI chapter, other alliance members are the Coalition for Smarter Growth, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Greater Washington Board of Trade and Metropolitan Washington Builders' Council.

ULI also wants to bring the "Urban Plan" program for high schoolers to the D.C. area.

"Everybody in the class has a role, whether they're a developer, a politician or a homeless advocate," says Len Forkas, chairman of ULI Washington and a partner at Reston-based developer Milestone Communities. "It really helps communicate to high school kids the various balancing issues you have to deal with when developing or redeveloping property."

Greg A. Lohr is an Arlington-based freelance writer.

From Washington Business Journal

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That's a very optimistic goal, yet a very unrealistic one. DC will not be adding 100,000 anytime in the forseeable future.

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The US census projects DC as having lost people since 2000. The city will not gain pop this decade. My guess is it will be in the 500,000 to 550,000 range by 2010. Its metro will gain 10 to 20%.

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That is a very ambitious goal for DC. I don't think its possible unless Congress re-annexes the former VA section of DC.

Arlington County: 189,453

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Maybe after the 2010 census is when they'll start regaining. Many blacks are migrating out I guess to the suburbs which is a good thing. This is the main reason the population is decreasing

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I think it is very realistic.  Charlotte/Mecklenburg county has added over 75,000 since the 2000 census, the entire metro even more, and it is considerably smaller than DC Metro area.

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Charlotte/Mecklenburg county is reaping from the general trend of insane growth rates that exist in many of the sunbelt cities though. DC won't likely see such growth.

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DC is one of the few major cities where the African-Amer share of the pop. is declining. NO, Balt, and Detroit are now more black, and St. Louis and Cleveland will likely surpass DC within 5-10 yrs. With so much of the black pop. heading to PG County, it is impossible to grow without attracting more Latinos, and most of them are going to Northern VA. Prince William County's Hispanic pop doubled from 2000 to 2004, and now represents 16% of the total there.

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So are we talking DC or the DC area? Sounds like the people who are saying there will be 100,000 new residents are talking metro and the ones saying no way are talking the city only. However, 100,000 in the metro area in tens years seems like a very low number to me? As for the city, I highly doubt there will be 100,000 new residents added in that time. I definitely think the city is a hot place right now and young prefessionals are lining up to move in, but I emphaze it is mostly young professionals (single or 0 kids) or retirees to an extent who are replacing larger families that move to the suburbs. Because of this I would "guess" 100,000 is pretty unlikely. But the city will probably be much cleaner, safer, and less affordable 10 years from now.

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So are we talking DC or the DC area? .

it's just the district, Mayor Williams announced this initiative a few years ago, the metro area adds about 100,000 each year, mostly in NoVa

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Thanks for clearing that up. Guess it was obvious but just double checking. In this case I'll stay with my answer of doubtfull given the type of people the city of DC is attracting (young, professional, no kids) verses those that are leaving.

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A lot of people are saying that the recent rebound in inner city populations that US cities enjoyed is not going to last. It seems to be fizzling in most of them. I've seen estimates that San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, and a few others that recently enjoyed growth, are now in decline again. Washington appeared to have halted the decline in the 90's, but now seems to be declining again. I also think I saw somewhere that DC officials challenged census numbers. Did they?

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USA Today had a story on Tuesday about the declining population of D.C., so i dunno about suddenly reversing that trend and adding 100,000 people. <_<

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