The newsLINK Group - Coal and the Urban US

Editorial Library Category: Mining Topics: Coal Title: Coal and the Urban U.S. Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: The increase of urbanization will be the continuation of a trend that has been at work for a while now. As it is, most people already live in urban areas of the country. In fact, according to the World Resources Institute, only one fourth of the nation lives in what can be defined as the country. Editorial: Coal and the Urban U.S. 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ thenewslinkgroup.com │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 Dr. Frank Clemente, Professor Emeritus at Pennsylvania State University, presented some interesting facts September 24, 2013, on the website for Energy-Facts.org. According to Dr. Clemente: The U.S. population in 2050 will have grown by more than 120 million people, and the work force will have grown 25 percent. The GDP was $13 trillion in 2010. In 40 years, that number will be $27 trillion. All those people will need homes to live in and cars to drive. Contractors will build 70 million new homes for them, and dealerships will sell them 680 million cars. By the time this boom hits, ninety percent of the people in the U.S. will live in cities. The increase of urbanization will be the continuation of a trend that has been at work for a while now. As it is, most people already live in urban areas of the country. In fact, according to the World Resources Institute, only one fourth of the nation lives in what can be defined as the country. The remaining population lives in suburbs or in the middle of cities. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the most densely populated areas of the country are clustered along two interstate highways, I-95 on the east coast and I-5 on the west coast. Third largest is I-10, which connects Jacksonville, Florida, to Los Angeles, California. Again, according to the U.S. Census Bureau: The largest urbanized area in the U.S. is in the New York–Newark area, with population in three separate states (New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut). The second largest area is the west coast: the Los Angeles–Long Beach–Anaheim, California region. Number three is Chicago, with population spanning the boundaries of two states (Illinois, of course, but also Indiana). Rounding out the top ten, in order, are the following: Miami Philadelphia Dallas Houston Washington, D.C. Atlanta Boston Despite the forecast, some trends do need to change between now and then. Urban poverty is a well-known example of this. Social isolation in poor urban areas, high rates of unemployment, jobs that have moved either from the city center to the suburbs or to other countries, and an increased emphasis on an international economy have all meant that the most likely increase in jobs is for jobs that don’t pay much, don’t have much by way of benefits, and that certainly don’t help people to improve their situation. What helps people improve their situation? One can argue that two specific areas for improvement would certainly help: better access to education and more mobility. Traditional schools are often failing their students. With too much emphasis on testing and not enough on individual needs, it is hard for many students to succeed under the current system. A possible solution for this is the increase in charter schools, including interactive online schools, that are less dependent on keeping all the students in lock-step on their way to graduation, and that rely more on allowing students to move at their own speed while providing the individual attention that students need. What about giving students opportunities to socialize? Such online schools often offer service projects, social events, and other ways to interact with each other. Improved transportation systems make it possible for people to move around more easily without necessarily requiring a car. Some cities have both cars and bicycles that can be rented on a short-term basis. Light rail, often powered by electricity, is making a comeback.

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