Background and Overview Links
About Smart Growth
Definition and explanation of smart growth including references.
About Smart Growth
EPA description of Smart Growth.
Discovering Common Ground
Summarizes steps that state and local governmental agencies can implement to decelerate sprawl and d...
The Historical Roots of Sprawl
Excerpted from "Sustainable Cities: Concepts and Strategies for Eco-City Development" and outlining ...
NOTE: [PDF] links require the Acrobat Reader from Adobe.
P2 and Sustainable Community Development: Overview and Background
and Community Growth
Pollution prevention (P2) and sustainable development have much
common ground, including limited resources. Because their goals
are inextricably linked, a combined momentum can achieve more
- reducing or eliminating pollution before it happens
- sustainable communities
In addition to building a broader base of support for action,
this teamwork would result in both the development of more creative
solutions and a greater opportunity for educating the public.
Combined efforts could achieve the dual ends of these two groups
through a single means and result in communities where people
want to live and work, with more green space, fewer traffic jams
and sustainable use of available resources.
Land can be developed in ways that:
erosion and nutrient pollution
mobile source air emisisons
the cleanup and reuse of previously used land
cleaner and healthier communities
|Current development patterns and practices inadvertantly contribute
to both a decline in the quality of life and an increase in pollution.
The causes, trends and impacts of land conversion are all closely interrelated.
Causes, such as governmental policies, explain trends which result in
environmental, societal and economic impacts. Planning for livable communities
can prevent growth problems including:
- Urban sprawl or inefficient use of land leading to loss of agricultural
lands and green space
- Additional car commuting and increased traffic
- More road building with resulting impacts on waterways
- Short-term building practices which maximize speed of assembly without
addressing long-term impacts to owners, communities and the environment
Residents say they want "livable communities."
They want to avoid taking the same development route that other regions
now regret, but urban land use in EPA Region 8 increased 33% between
1982 and 1992 (Source:
Urban Land Institute). Continuation of this unsustainable
growth trend will significantly decrease the quality of life in these
communities. While stemming this tide is a daunting task, it can be
achieved through a series of small-scale decisions made by informed
individuals in state and local government. By getting citizen input
on growth management, elected officials will have constituency support
when making difficult or controversial decisions.
and Sustainable Community Development
focuses on source reduction and elimination of the discharge of
hazardous wastes, but also includes practices that protect natural
resources through conservation and efficiency. Adoption of this
precautionary principle by planners, developers and residents
results in a more holistic approach to planning and economic development,
with an appreciation of the fragility of ecosystems, the scarcity
of resources, and the limits of the environment to absorb our
Management is NOT no growth;
rather it is development that creates more livable communities by
growing them efficiently within existing developed areas. It embraces
ideals of affordable housing, farm protection, equal access to resources
and historical preservation while promoting clean air and water,
and freedom from hazardous wastes. It revitalizes central cities
and older communities, supports and enhances public transit, and
preserves open spaces and agricultural lands.
If houses are in proximity to employment, parks and shopping, there
will be less driving and a lower demand for road building and
extending infrastructure to remote areas.
or eliminate toxics
the health of workers
vehicle miles travelled
energy, water and other resources more efficiently
existing situation where pollution sources are located mainly
in areas of low income
blighted urban areas
- Keep taxes
- Make housing
affordable and mixed-income
access to nature
local business development
hours spent in traffic
identity and stability
Benefits of Smart Growth
According to EPA Smart Growth at http://www.epa.gov/livability/about_sg.htm,
a more balanced pattern of growth will not only include prevention pollution,
but benefit the environment. Smart Growth can:
- improve air quality by reducing automobile emissions
- protect water quality by creating fewer paved surfaces, with related
- redevelop brownfields into useful/productive spaces
- preserve open spaces by redirecting growth to existing communitites