Smart Growth

Blog post
June 1, 2016, 5am PDT
Contrary to recent claims, the evidence really does indicate that compact, multi-modal neighborhoods tend to be most affordable overall, considering both housing and transportation costs.
Todd Litman
Blog post
May 10, 2016, 1pm PDT
Smart Growth can provide many direct benefits to residents, businesses and local governments. Our challenge is to better answer the question that many stakeholders ask, "What’s in it for me?"
Todd Litman
April 12, 2016, 7am PDT
There's a new volley in the long-running battle between cities and suburbs. In his new book "The Human City," urban scholar Joel Kotkin contends that cities and their planners have lost sight of the residents who matter most: families.
California Planning & Development Report
Blog post
February 10, 2016, 7am PST
The new International Housing Affordability Survey contains various errors and biases. The author even claims that compact housing reduces fertility. Really? Smart policies can create affordable and family-friendly housing.
Todd Litman
December 9, 2015, 2pm PST
A Boston Globe columnist comes down strongly in favor of a mixed-use project in a Boston suburb, and laments the obstacles facing smart growth in this and other, similar, communities.
The Boston Globe
Blog post
December 8, 2015, 5am PST
Smart Growth critic Wendell Cox recently endorsed White House Economic Advisor Jason Furman's criticisms of zoning codes that limit infill development, essentially endorsing Smart Growth policy reforms.
Todd Litman
Blog post
November 30, 2015, 9am PST
Smart policies can provide significant greenhouse gas emission reductions in ways that help achieve other planning objectives, including economic development, social equity, and public health. Who will implement these policies? We will!
Todd Litman
November 18, 2015, 11am PST
Bloggers, pundits, authors, and researchers, have made the case for conservatives to embrace the effects of smart growth. Yet still, a distinctly partisan divide flavors the debate about how to make room for a growing number of Americans.
The Urban Edge
November 2, 2015, 1pm PST
Of all the sub-topics in urban planning and design, the ones likely to generate the most anxiety are those where land use planning intersects with economic development. Ben Brown ruminates.
PlaceShakers
September 27, 2015, 5am PDT
Critics often assume that newer buildings are inferior to old. The same was said when the old buildings were new.
City Commentary
September 19, 2015, 7am PDT
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 13th annual Smart Growth Achievement Awards recognize communities that lead the way in compact, walkable growth.
Better Cities & Towns
September 14, 2015, 7am PDT
As companies like Uber, Lyft, and Bridj expand to small scale transit options, they are setting the stage for a new kind of small scale transit oriented development where the new station is the sidewalk.
Mobility Lab
Blog post
August 20, 2015, 2pm PDT
The Center for Opportunity Urbanism has a wonderful goal—to improve economic opportunities for working class households—but uses terrible research to reach confusing recommendations about which policies are best. Please do better!
Todd Litman
July 27, 2015, 5am PDT
A bit of a redefining moment is happening among European planners as they look for ways to address the growing complexity of their communities and the world.
CityLab
July 24, 2015, 1pm PDT
Supporters of New Urbanism may live across the political spectrum, but they all want to live in traditional neighborhoods.
Pacific Standard
Blog post
June 2, 2015, 6am PDT
Common planning practices create automobile-dependent communities where driving is convenient and other forms of travel are inefficient. It's time to recognize the value of transportation diversity.
Todd Litman
June 1, 2015, 11am PDT
To curb suburban "sprawl on steroids" and foster higher density infill in Portland, a shift in planning strategy is needed, according to Rick Potestio, the principal of Potestio Studio, an architecture and design firm based in the city.
UrbDeZine
Blog post
May 25, 2015, 1pm PDT
In Vancouver, British Columbia, dramatic reductions in automobile travel and resulting benefits demonstrate that integrated TDM and smart growth policies can help create cities that are healthy, wealthy, and wise.
Todd Litman
April 27, 2015, 8am PDT
As Chicago's population slowly dwindles, Yonah Freemark argues that the city needs to take advantage of one of its greatest assets: its transit network. Housing for residents of all incomes near transit stops may be the key.
Metropolitan Planning Council
Blog post
April 13, 2015, 9am PDT
What amount of expansion, population and vehicle densities, housing mix, and transport policies should growing cities aspire to achieve? This column summarizes my recent research that explores these, and related, issues.
Todd Litman