North Carolina’s population is expected to grow from 8.5 million residents in 2004 to 12 million residents by 2030. This growth will strain the state’s built infrastructure and natural resources. Over the next quarter of a century, these new residents will need places to live, work and play. While the private sector will drive much of the state’s new development, North Carolina and its local governments will be called upon to make infrastructure investments in roads, water and sewer lines, schools and housing. Where we build and how we build will have significant impact on North Carolina’s environment, which is home to some of the nation’s most beautiful mountains and beaches. Visitors come to North Carolina by the thousands every year to enjoy the state’s natural amenities and they spend an estimated $14 billion per year during their stay. The state must be intentional about how it grows and ensure that the very environment that draws people here is not spoiled.