Demographic Futures as a Guide to Planning

APA Florida, San Felasco Section


Friday, October 10, 2014
3 p.m. - 4 p.m. EDT

Gainesville, FL,

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This presentation will overview the demographic contribution to planning, contrasting it to physical design, economic and political approaches. Topics to be addressed center on the dramatic shift under way from an older demographic regime that prevailed in the last half of the 20th century to a new regime that is now unfolding. One key theme is the change in age structure created by an aging baby boomer generation and lower fertility in recent decades. A second theme is the role of immigration, which has rapidly expanded but now is uncertain. A third theme is the growing diversity of the population, centered most strongly among young adults and children. A fourth theme is the growing disconnect between generations and the political discord that divides the nation. Three major implications of these changes will be discussed. First is the need to recognize how our assumptions about planning goals are rooted in past changes and do not fit well with future changes. Second is the need to build new realization that the different population segments are indeed connected and benefit from one another. Third is the opportunity and obligation to highlight interconnections as a vital part of the planning process, thus leading to a more successful future for all.