Saving Special Places • Building Better Communities
Brevard 2070: Planning today for a better tomorrow
Photo by Haley Busch
Using moderate population growth projections, Brevard will need to accommodate more than three-quarters of a million residents by 2070. On October 28, 2020, 1000 Friends of Florida joined with our partners from the Brevard Indian River Lagoon Coalition and others for a discussion on growth projections for the county and explored policy recommendations for sustainable development.
During this virtual experience, 1000 Friends’ President, Paul Owens, interpreted the 2016 Florida 2070 and Water 2070 results and discussed the implications of these growth and development projections for Brevard County. Our Policy and Planning Director, Jane West, brought community members together to identify quality of life elements within the county worth protecting and improving and outlined several actionable policy recommendations for sustainable growth and environmental protection.
We also heard from Dr. Anthony Catanese, President Emeritus of Florida Institute of Technology, on the history of New Urbanism in Florida. 1000 Friends of Florida supports infill development and redevelopment within urban areas already served by water, sewer, transportation, schools, police and fire and other public services. Well-planned infill and redevelopment following the principles of New Urbanism can expand the supply of affordable workforce housing and create more transportation alternatives to cars, such as walking, biking and transit.
In the week before the October 28, 2020, workshop all registered were polled via email. The results in these bar graphs are from 120 responses received.
Brevard County 2070 Findings
As revealed in the Florida 2070 and Water 2070 report forecast, Brevard County is expected to grow from 543,000 in 2010 to about 801,000 by 2070 – a 47% increase in population from 2010. With most of the current and projected development concentrated along the Indian River Lagoon, development impacts can have profound implications for the health of the IRL in Brevard County.
Brevard County’s development is concentrated along the coast with protected conservation land and other undeveloped lands concentrated on the western side of the county. The 2070 Trend map shows development to increase by more than 54,000 acres of county property, with the Alternative map expanding development by 28,000 acres due to more compact development trends and an additional 100,000 acres of lands protected by the county.
According to the projections, development-related water demand will increase by 78% due to a combination of more residents and sprawling development patterns that are associated with greater landscape irrigation. The 2070 Alternative can lead to modest savings if Brevard County follows more compact development patterns over the next 50 years and residents cut their water use by 20%.