Over the next 45 years rapid urban sprawl will dramatically affect the American Southeast, possibly altering the very essence of what the South represents both socially and environmentally. The South, for many years now, has served as a refuge from the blunt, fast-paced Northeast, offering all the charms of the city at a much more leisurely pace. Instead of a house next to an abandoned factory in Rhode Island, the South offered a house under the canopy of some of the most diverse forests in the world. Unfortunately, the South is about to become a victim of its own success.
The massive urban sprawl predicted for the Southeast could eviscerate that leisurely lifestyle, that southern hospitality, and that beautiful forestry that has come to define the region. The entire area stretching from Atlanta to Raleigh will likely become one huge paved suburb, unrecognizable from any other generic suburb within the next 40 to 50 years. The South is well on its way to recreated the entire Northeast megalopolis that stretches from DC to Boston, except with even more inefficient land use patterns. This will likely create pollution, traffic, and stress much worse than what people were escaping when they first came to the South.
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