The following Letter to the Editor was published in Newsday on August 24th, 2021. You can read the original version here.

The population trends captured by the latest U.S. Census represent the limitations of our built environment within Nassau and Suffolk counties [“Eye on population growth,” News, Aug. 15].

Planners have long called for increasing the diversity of Long Island’s housing in both price and type, as well as for ever-stronger interconnectivity and environmental safeguards for water protection and open space that are necessary to ensure sustainable growth. The relatively tepid rates of population growth highlights why both are necessary.

The key to ensuring the region’s continued vibrancy is not allowing wholesale real estate development but targeting all future growth to key areas near transit hubs that have the infrastructure systems to sustain manageable economic expansion.

As Long Island’s built communities further age, policymakers and the public must work together to adapt our suburbia to the needs of the 21st century.

But we need a regionally cohesive and responsible road map that doesn’t just blindly recommend more growth but provides a unified plan that applies it within the environmental limitations of our suburb.

— Richard Murdocco, Commack

The writer is an adjunct professor of planning in Stony Brook University’s public policy master’s program.