Insights · May 8th, 2015
This week marked the 35th anniversary of the Puget Sound Business Journal. For the occasion, one of their writers, Patti Payne, interviewed me about the next 35 years. We discussed both general future developments like robots, drones and driverless cars, and the future of Seattle and the surrounding region including population growth.
The led the story with my suggestion that the region’s population could double again. I probably pushed the boundaries of thinking a bit on that – 2050 is a way off but a doubling in 35 years requires a 2% annual growth rate. While Seattle actually exceeded that in the last year – leading the nation among cities in growth – it is less likely that such a rate would hold steady for 35 years. But my thinking is influenced by the attraction of certain cities and regions to the creative class, and Seattle is clearly in that category. Meanwhile other significant cities and regions take deliberate steps to alienate the creative class, and that could easily push growth in the direction of Seattle and other winning regions.
Elsewhere in the 35 year future I suggested that by 2050 we will view cars like we view horses today. People in general will no longer own them. We’ll see them, watch them in races, own a few as hobbies, but autonomous vehicles and shared ownership or the single use rental will have replaced general car ownership. Fewer cars means less need for new roads, and few parking lots as the autonomous cars roam freely and continuously expect when needing to be recharged (except for those using inductive charging). This could contribute to a pretty significant re-thinking of city transportation systems.
Check out the full article here.