The Real Deal Miami

Urban sprawl could lead to development of 1.1M acres by 2070

Prioritizing projects in cities, improving public transportation could help protect land, report says

September 15, 2016 05:00PM

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By 2070, urban sprawl could account for the development of 1.1 million acres of untouched land in South Florida, according to a new report. 

Florida’s population is expected to hit close to 34 million people by 2070, and could take over 5 million acres of the state’s green space, farms and forests, according to a research report cited by the Miami Herald.

And out of all the state’s major regions, South Florida stands to lose less because of a lot of land is covered by timber or marshes, and the many areas like the Everglades National Park and the Big Cypress Preserve are already protected from development.

Meanwhile, half of Central Florida is at risk of development, University of Florida researchers, the state Department of Agriculture and 1000 Friends of Florida found.

Smart urban planning could also reduce what does get developed over the next 50 years, the researchers said.

The group told the Herald that connecting green corridors, prioritizing projects already in cities, improving public and bike transportation and providing incentives to landowners could protect some land for development. [Miami Herald] – Katherine Kallergis