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THE IMPACT OF URBAN GROWTH ON LAND USE IN THE URBAN FRINGE OF ORLANDO, FLORIDA Debnath Mookherjee Western Washington State College General Nature of the Problem One of the most destinctive characteristics of the State of Florida today is its extremely rapid growth. The 1960 Census of Population reveals the fact that Florida's rate of population growth between 1950 and 1960, which amounted to 79 per cent, exceeded that of all other states. Florida's population is now 4.9 million. In 1940 it was 1.9 million; and 1950, 2.8 million. The population projection for 1970 indicates that even with a slackening gain it is entirely possible that Florda may have 7.5 million inhabitants by that year.1 Another aspect of this increase of the state's population is the high rate of gain in urban population. Table I reveals Florida's rate of gain in total and urban population since 1940 through 1960. It is particularly noticeable that while the rate of increase of the state's population in 1960 over 1950 was 79 per cent, the rate of increase in urban population for the same period was over 96 per cent. The growth of the city of Orlando and Orange County have been extremely rapid and in many ways parallels the growth rate of the state as a whole (Fig. 1). Between 1950 and 1960 the population of Orlando increased by 68 per cent and that of Orange County by 130 per cent. Broadly speaking, three important factors are responsible for this high rate of population growth in the state. These are agriculture , tourism, and industry. These factors also have resulted in a rapid population growth in Orlando and Orange County. Orange County in 1960 has about 5.3 per cent of the total state population. In 1950 it had 4.0, and in 1940 only 3.7 per cent of the population. This shows that Orange County's growth has kept pace and even exceeded the state's growth in population. What are the implications of this rapid urban population growth and the accompanying economic development? For one thing, it has had a tremendous impact on the use of land surrounding Orlando as well as other major cities. The spatial needs for urban development are readily apparent. Urban areas are generally not always fully capable of maintaining their own populations. The growth of the cities often results in part from constant in-migration of people; and, thus, the city has to draw upon rural areas surrounding its periphery. Cities also grow by expanding their boundaries. The peripheral area of the city into which city expansion moves is generally called the "urban fringe". Although in recent years considerable research has been done on many aspects of the urban or rural-urban fringe, very little has been written about the effect of urbanization on land used in an urban fringe Table I TOTAL AND URBAN POPULATION IN FLORIDA, State 1940 TO I960' Urban Territory Urban population as a Year Population Increase over pre- Population Increase over pre- percentage ceding Censusceding Censusof total population Number Number Per Cent Number Number Per Cent Per Cent 1940 1,897,414 429,203 29.2 1950 2,771,305 873,891 46.1 1960 4,951,560 2,180,255 78.7 1,045,791 286,013 37.655.1 1,566,788" 520,997 49.856.4 3,077,989" 1,511,201 96.562.2 *U. S. Bureau of the Census, Census of Population, 1960. "Number of Inhabitants, Florida." Final Report PC (D-IlA., p. 7. "In order to analyze the historical trend of urban population of the state, figures shown here are on the basis of the 1940 census urban definition. According to this definition, urban dwellers are those persons living in incorporated places with 2,500 or more inhabitants. Such definition, however, excludes a number of equally large and densely settled places because they are not incorporated places. In order to improve its enumeration or urban population, the Bureau of Census included in 1950 two new groups of people in the urban category: those living in (1) unincorporated places of 2,500 or more inhabitants...


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