I came across this animated slideshow last week and felt it was worthy to share here. I have an old USGS book that uses earlier Landsat satellite imagery showing roughly the same thing, but this version is newer and shows more growth. What I thought was the most interesting, beyond the fact that human growth looks like cancer, is seeing Lake Mead shrink considerably over the years. When you watch the video above, look closely at the lake on the far right side to see what I’m talking about. This begs the question, as Las Vegas grows and Lake Mead shrinks, will or should the city stop growing when the water runs out? Since its a man-made reservoir, I doubt it will go dry up anytime soon, but I guess the larger issue to me is how sustainable can living in the desert really be? There is quite a bit of space in the Las Vegas area that has yet to built on, but should it be? Should there be a limit to the growth of the city so that the city become less dominated by low-density housing? If people want cookie cutter houses I can’t say much about their tastes, but I will say that there is a carrying capacity of all environments and I’m curious about when and if Las Vegas will reach that level.
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