Smart Growth

Smart growth is an approach to development that encourages a mix of building types and uses, diverse housing and transportation options, development within existing neighborhoods, and community engagement. It is a way to build cities, towns, and neighborhoods that are economically prosperous, socially equitable, and environmentally sustainable.

Smart Growth America

Smart Growth America works with elected officials, real estate developers, chambers of commerce, transportation and urban planning professionals, governors, and leaders in Washington to improve everyday life for people across the country through better development.

EPA's Smart Growth Program 

EPA's Smart Growth Program helps communities improve their development practices and get the type of development they want. We work with local, state, and national experts to discover and encourage development strategies that protect human health and the environment, create economic opportunities, and provide attractive and affordable neighborhoods for people of all income levels. The Smart Growth Program is housed in EPA’s Office of Sustainable Communities, which also coordinates EPA’s green building work.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has recognized these cities for implementing smart growth principles:

  • Arlington, Virginia.

  • Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota.

  • Davidson, North Carolina.

  • Denver, Colorado.

American Planning Associaton

The American Planning Association1 supports the development of mixed use, mixed income livable communities where people choose to live, work, and play because they are attractive and economical options rather than forced decisions. The American Planning Association identifies Smart Growth as that which supports choice and opportunity by promoting efficient and sustainable land development, incorporates redevelopment patterns that optimize prior infrastructure investments, and consumes less land that is otherwise available for agriculture, open space, natural systems, and rural lifestyles. Supporting the right of Americans to choose where and how they live, work, and play enables economic freedom for all Americans. 

Economic Health Means Business: The Fort Collins Story    (WEBINAR)

Fort Collins is at the forefront of a paradigm shift in economic development. In fact, this city of 160,000 residents in North Central Colorado intentionally uses the term “economic health” instead of “economic development” to better reflect its objective of long-term community vitality.

Listen to Deputy City Manager Jeff Mihelich and Economic Health Director Josh Birks as they outline Fort Collins’ approach to optimizing the city’s economic, environmental and social well-being.

Managing Without Growth: Slower by Design, Not Disaster (YouTube Video)

Peter Victor challenges the priority that rich countries continue to give to economic growth as an over-arching objective of economic policy. The challenge is based on a critical analysis of the literature on environmental and resource limits to growth, on the disconnect between higher incomes and happiness, and on the failure of economic growth to meet other key economic, social and environmental policy objectives.

© 2017 by Alliance for Livable Communities.

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