Redefining "Smart Growth" for the 21st Century

Kaid Benfield of the NRDC thinks it is time to add more specifics to the definition of smart growth. He prescribes a set of six new focus areas, including equity and health, that he argues should be emphasized in the 21st-century smart growth agenda.

In a recent post to his blog, Benfield writes:

"It has been a dozen years or so, fifteen at the most, since a broad but committed group of advocates and organizations coalesced around a shared set of beliefs that, borrowing from then-Maryland-governor Parris Glendening's landmark legislation, we called 'smart growth.' The phrase suited the movement because it emphasized that we were not opposed to population and economic growth, but we felt it was important to accommodate it in a smarter way: one that reduces the environmental, economic and social costs of unchecked suburban sprawl and brings investment and opportunity back to communities that had been left behind in the building boom on the fringe of our cities and metro areas."

"I'm still for that and, if you're reading this, chances are that you are, too. But what about the particulars? Have we learned anything in the last decade and a half, and are we sufficiently applying what we have learned? I would say yes, and no, respectively. I'll get to that in a minute but, first, let's look at where we've been."

Full Story: It's time to update the definition of "smart growth"

Comments

Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $209
Book cover of Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.
$18.95
Book cover of Where Things Are from Near to Far

Where Things Are From Near to Far

This engaging children's book about planning illustrates that "every building has its place."
$19.95