"Starting in the 1950s, suburbs were built within a few miles of downtown areas. Today, the ten-fastest-growing counties in the United States are located anywhere from 25 to 35 miles from the downtown urban core. And given the numerous barriers to infill developmentfrom fractured landownership to complex governing bodies that must be dealt withthere will continue to be rapid outward growth.
A significant portion of all new development will occur on the fringe; alternatives such as infill development, while important and feasible, will not absorb enough growth to lessen the pressure on outlying suburban areas. The historical pattern of development in these areas, generally conforming to large lots and separated uses, does not need to be continued in the future. A smart growth alternative is a realistic and achievable goal.
...Implementing smart growth must be viewed as a long-term investment. Without an understanding of how land development occurs, people often have difficulty comprehending the benefits of smart growth, thereby creating political tension and inefficiency."
[Editor's note: The full text of this article is available only to ULI members.]
Thanks to Chris Steins