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great plains in midst of historic recovery, report says

Steve Campbell
Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Fueled by a booming energy industry, heightened demand for farm commodities, a growing manufacturing sector and healthy in-migration, the region appears ready to "take its role at the center stage of American aspiration, innovation and progress," demographer Joel Kotkin wrote in "The Rise of the Great Plains: Regional Opportunity in the 21st Century."

"It's an amazing transformation," Kotkin, a distinguished presidential fellow in urban futures at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., said of the region, which stretches across most of the western two-thirds of Texas into the Dakotas.

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"Greenurbia is the suburbs of the future. The suburbs of the 1950s were bedroom communities for people who commuted into the city. Today, there’s much more employment in the suburbs, and the big change is the number of people working full-time or part-time at home. Having people commute from one computer screen to another doesn’t make sense."

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Praise for The Next Hundred Million

Kotkin has a striking ability to envision how global forces will shape daily family life, and his conclusions can be thought-provoking as well as counterintuitive. It's amazing there isn't more public discussion about the enormous changes ahead, and reassuring to have this talented thinker on the case. — Jennifer Ludden, NPR national desk correspondent

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