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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.
December 7, 2010, 1pm PST | Emily Laetz
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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."

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Published on Monday, December 6, 2010 in Natural Resources Defense Council
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