What is "Smart Growth"?
“Smart Growth” has been referred to recently in public meetings and even included in our Guiding Principles. “Smart Growth” has many definitions and is a term used widely throughout the planning “realm”. The American Planning Association (APA) adopted a Policy Guide on Smart Growth that contains valuable information on Smart Growth. Below is a excerpt from the APA Policy Guide:
“Definition of Smart Growth
Smart Growth is not a single tool, but a set of cohesive urban and regional planning principles that can be blended together and melded with unique local and regional conditions to achieve a better development pattern. Smart Growth is an approach to achieving communities that are socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable. Smart Growth provides choices — in housing, in transportation, in jobs, and in amenities (including cultural, social services, recreational, educational, among others) — using comprehensive planning to guide, design, develop, manage, revitalize, and build inclusive communities and regions to:
have a unique sense of community and place;
preserve and enhance valuable natural and cultural resources;
equitably distribute the costs and benefits of land development, considering both participants and the short- and long-term time scale;
create and/or enhance economic value;
expand the range of transportation, employment, and housing choices in a fiscally responsible manner;
balance long-range, regional considerations of sustainability with short-term incremental geographically isolated actions;
promote public health and healthy communities;
apply up-to-date local and regional performance measures of successful urban and regional growth;
encourage compact, transit-accessible (where available), pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use development patterns and land reuse; and,
increase collaboration and partnerships to advance place-based and regional goals and objectives, while respecting local land-use preferences and priorities."
The APA webpage, link provided throughout this post, includes additional information including benefits of “Smart Growth” and is a recommended resource for additional information on “Smart Growth”.