Reality Check on Growth
"Reality Check on Growth" grew out of the commitment shown by the leaders at the 2001 ULI/USC Summit to the potential of regional growth visioning. The Lusk Center for Real Estate and ULI Los Angeles partnered with the Southern California Transportation and Land Use Coalition, the USC Casden Real Estate Economics Forecast, the USC GIS Research Laboratory and SCAG, to plan the ambitious "growth visioning exercise" conducted in October.
Over the next 20 to 25 years, Southern California's population is expected to increase by 6 million. Nearly 70 percent of the projected population growth will be due to natural increase of births exceeding deaths. Growth, in a very real sense, is already here. The Lusk Center and its partners convened300 of the region's political, business, development, community, and environmental leaders and experts met to undertake an audacious task: to confront the profound challenge of preparing for the influx of six million. The assembled Reality Check participants were asked to consider how a 33 percent increase in the region's population will affect our quality of life and standard of living. The participants were charged with considering the very real consequences if we fail to plan for anticipated magnitude of growth.
In groups of 8 to 10, leaders spent the morning deciding where to locate 6 million more people and four million more jobs on a huge map of Southern California. The multicolored maps measured a generous 5 feet by 8 feet, providing participants with a large enough scale base map to make explicit decisions about what parts of each county should receive housing and jobs, remain open space, or be designated for retail, manufacturing, or office use. The map's covered Southern California from the Santa Barbara County line on the west to Palm Springs on the east, from Barstow on the north to the San Diego County line on the south.
Leaders found that participating in such an intense and realistic problem-solving exercise gave the leaders a fresh way to look at Southern California's future. Working together they found shared priorities, mediated familiar conflicts of interest, and generated innovative ideas envisioning possibilities for the future. At the end of the day the "Visioning" experience convinced participants that it is urgent and essential for ALL parties and interests to listen and work with each other for the common good.
For more on this groundbreaking event, see the links below. To request a copy of the report "Lessons Learned from the Reality Check on Growth," email the Lusk Center at email@example.com.