New Tool for Tallying the Costs of Sprawl

The State of New Hampshire has created an interactive online tool for its municipalities to examine the impacts of different land use scenarios, in the hopes of promoting smart growth. Geneva Faulkner describes how it works.

Created by RKG Associates, Placeways, and Urban Interactive Studio, under the auspices of the New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning (NHOEP), the New Hampshire Cost of Sprawl Impact Model was developed to assist the state's planners, elected officials, and interested community members in understanding the fiscal impacts of land use decisions. 

Users are able to analyze different types and scales of development for specific parcels in one of the state's 239 municipalities. Based on those selections, the tool produces information on expected "population and housing impact, municipal fiscal cost, the percentages of land developed, and the infrastructure needed for that particular scenario," writes Faulkner. 

"Instead of having to perform calculations to determine floor area ratios, the additional miles of road that would need to be built, population growth and infrastructure, as well as other time-consuming models, the Cost of Sprawl tool performs complex calculations instantaneously, therefore allowing planners to spend less time analyzing one particular scenario and more time understanding the impacts of a variety of scenarios."

Full Story: Online Tool Helps New Hampshire Municipalities Examine the Cost of Sprawl

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