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Getting to Smart Growth: 100 Policies for Implementation


Smart growth is community development that creates strong neighborhoods with a range of housing, commercial, and transportation options, supports economic development and jobs, and provides families with a clean, livable environment. The Smart Growth Network produced this report to examine key smart growth principles and provide practice tips and recommendations to encourage communities to incorporate smart growth practices in their planning efforts.

Key Points

Smart growth fosters economic and residential development to create healthy, accessible, and walkable communities. The smart growth principles examined in the report include mixed land use, compact building design, walkable communities, and a variety of transportation options, among other things. In order to successfully implement smart growth principles and techniques, local governments, planners, builders, zoning officials, developers, and transit agencies, among others, must collaborate and work together to alter traditional planning efforts. This report highlights the economic, community, and environmental benefits smart growth offers to a community as a whole.

Other report highlights include:

  1. Live Near Your Work Program: This pilot program initiated by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development provides incentives to employees of Maryland businesses to buy homes near their workplace.
  2. Legacy Office Park: This traditional office park in Plano, Texas comprised of single-use buildings is being restructured into a walkable, mixed-use town center that incorporates retail shops, restaurants and apartments.
  3. Envision Utah: A public-private planning organization in the Salt Lake City, Utah assessed the future growth of the area and determined that compact development is necessary for the city in order to meet the future capacity needs of the growing population while preserving farmland and natural areas in the region.

How to Use

Planners, local officials, developers, and community leaders can use this report as a guide to understand the importance of smart growth and how to incorporate smart growth practices into their planning and community development efforts. This report is an excellent resource that provides helpful examples, recommendations, and practice tips to encourage and assist communities to consider smart growth practices that will make them more walkable and livable for all community members regardless of age.

View full report: Getting to Smart Growth: 100 Policies for Implementation (PDF – 1.6 MB)

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