Reshaping Metropolitan America | Trend Data

Reshaping Metropolitan America
Development Trends and Opportunities to 2030
Arthur C. Nelson 


Nearly half the buildings that will be standing in 2030 do not exist today. That means we have a tremendous opportunity to reinvent our urban areas, making them more sustainable and livable for future generations. But for this vision to become reality, the planning community needs reliable data about emerging trends and smart projections about how they will play out. Arthur C. Nelson delivers that resource in Reshaping Metropolitan America.

This unprecedented reference provides statistics about changes in population, jobs, housing, nonresidential space, and other key factors that are shaping the built environment, but its value goes beyond facts and figures. Nelson expertly analyzes contemporary development trends and identifies shifts that will affect metropolitan areas in the coming years. He shows how redevelopment can meet new and emerging market demands by creating more compact, walkable, and enjoyable communities. Most importantly, Nelson outlines a policy agenda for reshaping America that meets the new market demand for sustainable places.

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Reshaping Metropolitan America
 168 pages | 6 x 9
 Published January 2013
Paperback $35.00
ISBN: 9781610910330
All Ebook Formats $34.99
ISBN: 9781610912228
Hardcover $70.00
ISBN: 9781610910194
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Trend Data

Reshaping Metropolitan America: Development Trends and Opportunities to 2030, includes an extensive Excel database of the US population, age and dependency ratios, household size and population, household type, householder age, housing tenure, housing units, space-occupying jobs and non-residential space, and the Reshape America Index. These numbers are included at the level of the nation, census regions and divisions, states including DC, combined statistical areas, metropolitan statistical areas, and micropolitcan statistical areas—a total of 1,132 geographic units. The database includes more than 200 numbers for each geographic unit, which are coded based on census protocols.


Baseline conditions are reported for 2010 and projected to 2030. Many projections are reproduced with permission from Woods & Poole Economics’ Complete Economic and Demographic Data 2012. Other demographic projections are based on census relationships in 2000 and/or 2010 applied to 2030. Housing development projections are based on census baseline data for 2000 and 2010 with estimates of net new housing units needed combined with housing units replaced derived from the American Housing Survey. Nonresidential development projections are estimated using the Department of Energy’s Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey for 2003 and its Manufacturing Energy Consumption Survey for 2006 data for space consumption per worker and derived estimates of building lifespan by function. Projections are explained in the accompanying book, Reshaping Metropolitan America. As this is an electronic database, refinements may occur from time to time.


Disclaimer: The data in this spreadsheet that has been adapted from Woods & Poole Economics, Inc. (copyright 2011) is subject to its End User License Agreement including warranties, limitations and disclaimers (the End User License Agreement is provided at None of the data are authorized for use in legal or financial transactions. No warranties and/or representations of any kind are made regarding information or data provided. In no event, shall the author, publisher, Woods & Poole Economics, Inc., or their/its agents or any other person or entity be liable in any way to the users of this data. No party warrants or guarantees the data for any particular purpose.


Download an Excel file of the data by clicking here (note, the file is more than 4MB)


 “Nelson paints a vivid picture of an America physically transformed in the next twenty years. Denser in form, more diverse in demographics, richer in transport and living options, the changing shape of our cities and metros will have profound implications for our economy, our environment and our health.” 

Bruce Katz, VP and Director, Metropolitan Policy Program, the Brookings Institution


 “Chris Nelson invented the big picture understanding of how we are building metropolitan America. In Reshaping Metropolitan America, he has once again shown why urbanists throughout the country turn to him to see the future of the built environment.” 

Christopher B. Leinberger, Professor, GWU Business School, author of The Option of Urbanism


 “What if all new development from 2010-2030 infilled or retrofitted suburban corridors and centers? The extensive research and compelling demographic and statistical evidence compiled here projects the myriad benefits of just such a bold—and needed—scenario. This is a must-read for planners and policymakers.” 

 —Ellen Dunham-Jones, Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology, co-author of Retrofitting Suburbia


 “Finally we have a comprehensive view of how the American Dream is changing and why. We are a market driven culture and this important book lays out the new market forces; demographics, costs, environmental impacts, and quality of life. The good news is that they all lean in the same direction—Smart Growth will dominate the next generation of development.” 

 Peter Calthorpe, Principal, Calthorpe Associates, author of Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change