Land: Not Making Any More; Don’t Need To

How much of the earth’s surface would it take to provide each and every one of the 7 Billion people in the world a Vancouver-standard 33ft by 122ft lot?

Preposterous thought, right?
We’re packed into the planet so tight as it is, there certainly isn’t enough space on the globe to do it, so we’d have to be thinking of using the moon, and Mars, right?

One of the perennial bull arguments for never-ending future price strength is the old “They’re not making any more land” litany.
Well, apart from a few rare land reclamation examples, this is indeed correct. But it has also been correct through all prior RE booms and busts.

We’re so used to seeing images of busy streets, packed highways, towering condos, that we’re certain it’s all getting extremely crowded.

So, how much space would it take to provide every person on the planet with a standard lot?
Turns out it’d take a square of 1000 miles by 1000 miles, about the size of the square on the North American map below.

[*Note: Before civil engineers, town planners, and Habitat for Humanity folks chime in, let’s make it clear that we are not advocating for a community like this in the midwest. And we do realize that much of the world’s land is uninhabitable, etc, etc… but… you get the picture. – vreaa]

[hat-tip to Harper’s Index, where a line item about how the entire world’s population could be packed into Texas at the same density as NYC (10m by 10m each), got us to do the math above.]

Related posts:

“Vancouver has a finite amount of land. The prices are only ever going to go up.” – Douglas Coupland, 2000
VREAA 10 Dec 2012

Avocados and Christmas Trees – Vancouver Land Use; ALR; Food
VREAA 11 Dec 2012

8 responses to “Land: Not Making Any More; Don’t Need To

  1. Actually, I think the red square actually shows the planned city limits of Calgary in 2050.

  2. yes but as the bulls would next argue, Vancouver is not 1000×1000 miles, it’s only about 55 square miles of pure best place on Earth! And all 7 billions people wants to come and live in Vancouver. Noted, it’s just Vancouver that’s best place on Earth. Burnaby, Richmond, Coquitlam, etc are all just really basking in Vancouver’s glow, hence the lower RE price. 🙂

  3. I went to Bellingham recently. There was absolutely no land on the 42 kilometers between Vancouver and the US border. Just unbuildable vacuum.

  4. I remember seeing a similiar exercise 5-6 years ago and it suggested that all the population of the world could fit in the size of western europe

  5. Lots of space around Timmins if you could convince people to move there. It’s not the best place on earth, their slogan is “rectum of the universe” but still lots of space… and gold.

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