10 Principles for Smart Growth in Existing Communities

Frustrated by what's passing as "smart growth" and "transit oriented development," Bill Adams postulates ten refinements (or less subtly stated clarifications) of the principles of smart growth and new urbanism.

"These days, a lot of projects are crashing through the gates of community plans and dashing existing neighborhood character under the banners of smart growth or transit oriented development. Typically, such projects are simply high density or near transit corridors, or sometimes they include gratuitous green space and walking paths.  However, they fail in many of the finer points of smart growth, new urbanism, or transit oriented development."

Therefore, San Diego land use attorney Bill Adams offers 10 clarifications and extrapolations of existing smart growth and new urbanism principles, as follows: 

  1. Purge the term NIMBY from your language and your thinking. It stultifies any further understanding of community concerns, or how to reach a compromise. 
  2. Respect community planning. 
  3. Integrate with the surrounding community. 
  4. In transit oriented developments (TODs), transit orientation should exceed auto orientation. 
  5. Respect neighborhood character & identity. 
  6. Increase density incrementally. 
  7. Conform to existing “smart” retail corridors and centers. 
  8. Look for opportunities to narrow (verb) streets and vanquish parking lots. 
  9. Prioritize non-auto transportation by creating unique or exclusive pedestrian and bicycle amenities. 
  10. Design for human nature rather than efficiencies and logic.
Full Story: 10 Rules for Smarter Smart Growth


Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95
building block set

Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
Women's t-shirt with map of Los Angeles

City T-Shirts for the ladies!

Women's Supersoft CityFabric© Fashion Fit Tees. Now available in six different cities.