In the next 30 years, the projected population for the Columbus metropolitan area is 3 million residents. That’s one million more than live in Central Ohio today.
The implications are significant, especially related to housing and transportation. Managing growth and being responsive to the changing dynamics of our community will be key; thought leaders at MORPC are already thinking strategically about how to plan for and sustain such growth.
While conversations around housing and transportation are certainly needed, the other conversations must be about the nonprofit sector’s infrastructure.
An additional one million people means many more who will:
- Seek the arts and cultural offerings of a big city. Are there enough theatres and venues to allow for an increase in performances and visits?
- Use parks, trails, rivers, and lakes. Do we have enough public lands dedicated to recreation and the exploration of nature?
- Seek affordable and high-quality childcare. Do our nonprofit early learning centers have the capacity to expand, and what is our pipeline of qualified teachers to keep those classrooms open?
- Access health systems. Will there be enough medical, mental, and behavioral health practitioners to meet the complexity of health care needs?
- Need human services. How many of our residents will need support related to homelessness and hunger, and can the already taxed infrastructure support the demand?
- Require job training. The workforce needs in 2050 will be different than today. How can the system adjust to ensure employers have the talent, and employees have the training, that will be needed?
No one has a crystal ball. We don’t truly know what 2050 will look like. But as a new decade quickly approaches, it is the perfect time to reflect.
The last two decades of this century have given us technological advances that boggle the mind. We’ve lived through the Great Recession, are experiencing dramatic changes in our climate, and are witnessing a shifting political landscape. Yet, through it all, the nonprofit sector stands firm.
The American way of life is woven with the thread of nonprofit organizations that inspire, teach, heal, feed, and serve. How we invest in them today will ensure our collective strength 30 years from now.
Happy New Year.
Article by: Kerri Laubenthal Mollard, Founder & CEO