is Smart Growth?
Smart growth encourages compact, walkable development located where services
and infrastructure are available.
Smart growth is an alternative to the car-dependent sprawl development common
in our country since World War II. Sprawl requires people to drive to work,
shopping, and schools. It eats up productive farm land, ranches, and forests
and destroys scenic beauty and wildlife habitat.
Features of smart growth:
- Uses less energy
- Promotes public health
- Costs taxpayers less
- Promotes a sense of place and community
- Facilitates a wider variety of transportation and housing options
- Protects key community resources such as air and water quality
- Preserves farms, ranches, scenic vistas, wildlife habitat, and historic
The publication This Is Smart Growth says:
Growth is smart when it gives us great communities, with more choices
and personal freedom, good return on public investment, greater opportunity
across the community, a thriving natural environment, and a legacy we can be
proud to leave our children and grandchildren.
the Smart Growth Network)
Based on the experience of communities around the nation that have used smart
growth approaches to create and maintain great neighborhoods, the Smart Growth
Network developed a set of ten basic principles:
- Mix land uses
- Take advantage of compact building design
- Create a range of housing opportunities and choices
- Create walkable neighborhoods
- Foster distinctive, attractive communities with a strong sense of place
- Preserve open space, farmland, natural beauty, and critical environmental
- Strengthen and direct development towards existing communities
- Provide a variety of transportation choices
- Make development decisions predictable, fair, and cost effective
- Encourage community and stakeholder collaboration in development decisions
- This Is Smart Growth (publication)
- Smart growth illustrated. US
EPA website with links to case studies.
- Smart growth vs. sprawl. NRDC
webpage with contrasting photos and explanations.
- Smart growth awards. US
EPA website with information on annual award winners.
Foothill Conservancy has been promoting smart growth in Amador and Calaveras
counties since 1989 even though no one called it that at the time. Join
Updated May 5, 2007