Land Consumption

The amount of land needed to accommodate new population growth varies widely among the scenarios. New land consumption includes all land that will be newly urbanized, including residential and employment areas, roadways, open space, agricultural, and public lands. Scenarios that accommodate new growth with greater shares of Urban and Compact development- which include more infill, redevelopment, and focused use of previously undeveloped land – consume less land overall. By contrast, scenarios that place a greater share of new growth in the Standard development pattern consume more land.

The Past Trends scenario, which sees significant additional Standard growth at the outer edges of the region consumes about 500 square miles of previously undeveloped land, or 225 miles more than the Focused Growth scenario (the equivalent land area of the City of Columbus today) The Planned Future scenario consumes 270 square miles; Focused Growth consumes 45 square miles; and Maximum Infill consumes 15 square miles. There were approximately 1,000 square miles of urbanized or developed land in the region as of 2010.

Community Insight

“The insight2050 report and the data that it contains does an excellent job of showing the multidimensional impacts of our development decisions and illustrating how different growth choices affect how much green space and agricultural land we can preserve for our future generations. This is a must-read for policy-makers and for anyone who is interested in being a well-informed informed citizen.”—Tracy Hatmaker, Township Administrator at Prairie Township, Franklin County, Ohio

Cumulative New Land Consumption to 2050