Smart Growth

September 3, 2011, 9am PDT
Planners, architects, and urban designers talk the talk and walk the walk, but often in a cone of silence, unheard - or at least not understood -- by those outside the profession, says Scott Doyon.
PlaceShakers
Blog post
July 25, 2011, 9am PDT
Automobile travel imposes significant health risks. Traffic fatality rates, obesity and related illnesses such as diabetes, and total air pollution emissions tend to increase with per capita annual vehicle mileage.
Todd Litman
July 25, 2011, 6am PDT
Amid the dissolution of Borders bookstores in urban centers, Chuck Wolfe urges policymakers and the private market to assure "no let loss" in the spirit of natural resource protection to assure third places remain available in American cities.
Sustainable Cities Collective
July 23, 2011, 5am PDT
Jon Geeting of Nazareth Patch says that something fishy is happening in the township of Lower Macungie as megaproject is approved on 600 acres of farmland.
Patch
Blog post
July 18, 2011, 6am PDT
As discussed in my previous column, An Inaccurate Attack On Smart Growth, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) sponsored a research program intended to raise doubts about smart growth’s ability to reduce vehicle travel [...]
Todd Litman
June 25, 2011, 5am PDT
Scott Doyon, a parent and an urbanist, argues that the suburban model isn't doing kids any favors. But, he says, designing urban areas that are kid-friendly is still a challenge.
PlaceShakers
June 23, 2011, 12pm PDT
Abigail Gardner of Smart Growth America takes aim at a recent article based primarily on Wendell Cox's correlation of smart growth policies to the housing market bubble and collapse.
D.C. Streetsblog
June 20, 2011, 9am PDT
Smart Growth opponent Wendell Cox clamors that land use regulations imposed by Smart Growth exacerbate the ongoing housing woes.
The Wall Street Journal
June 14, 2011, 11am PDT
Travertine City would house 35,000 residents on the shores of the Salton Sea, California's largest - and most unpleasant - body of water. Developers claim that it will be a model of sustainability. "
California Planning & Development Report
Blog post
June 9, 2011, 6am PDT

Note: This column was originally titled, "A Stupid Attack on Smart Growth," intended as a pun on 'smart' and 'stupid.' However, that sounds harsh so I retitled it. - T.L.

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has a well-financed campaign to discourage communities from considering smart growth as a possible way to conserve energy and reduce pollution emissions. They contend that compact development has little effect on travel activity and so provides minimal benefits. The NAHB states that, “The existing body of research demonstrates no clear link between residential land use and GHG emissions.” But their research actually found the opposite: it indicates that smart growth policies can have significant impacts on travel activity and emissions.

Todd Litman
June 3, 2011, 5am PDT
Once a bastion of sprawl, the San Diego region is now embracing one of the most significant regional planning efforts in the nation's history. It is the first region in California to draft a Sustainable Communities Strategy, as mandated by SB 375.
California Planning & Development Report
May 31, 2011, 1pm PDT
A new report from the Victoria Transport Policy Institute says that new evidence shows that smart growth policies can have a significant effect on vehicle miles traveled and thus reduce emissions.
New Urban Network
May 9, 2011, 8am PDT
The 4-year-old Informed Growth Act required large retail stores in Maine to go through an extra hoop to analyze their potential adverse impact on the community. The Maine House repealed the act last week.
The Morning Sentinel
Blog post
May 4, 2011, 1pm PDT
By all logic, the comic strip character Dagwood should be fat, sick and impoverished due to his gluttonous eating, sedentary habits, and automobile-dependent lifestyle. Blondie should worry about his high blood pressure and clogged arteries [...]
Todd Litman
Blog post
March 28, 2011, 3am PDT
Since 2004, the Next Generation of New Urbanists (NextGen) has welcomed new ideas and new faces into the Congress for the New Urbanism.
Mike Lydon
March 3, 2011, 1pm PST
Joel Kotkin recently argued that America is becoming more suburban. Tim Evans says that it's easy to draw that conclusion "when you define 'suburb' so loosely that it includes just about everything."
Garden State Smart Growth
Blog post
March 2, 2011, 8am PST

Most trends are fleeting, some of them mercifully so. Some last no longer than a Lady Gaga wardrobe change. But urbanism is still, by and large, a leisurely exercise, so it's no wonder that planners still embrace fashions on a nearly generational basis. It often takes that long just to see if something works. Or not. 

So, while Gaga would inspire us to attach telephones to our heads and light our bustiers on fire, planners who ascribe to the principles of smart growth are still rhetorically swaddling cities in the urban equivalent of flannel. For better or worse, this age may finally be coming to a close. Don't cry, Monster.

Josh Stephens
February 22, 2011, 9am PST
Cities in India and China, as well as in Dubai, are building smarter cities which spurs more investment and development.
Computing.co.uk
February 19, 2011, 9am PST
Maryland's Governor O'Malley, heading into his 2nd and last term, wants to leave behind a legacy of environmental improvement, including new smart growth policies to limit building in rural areas.
Washington Post
Feature
February 10, 2011, 9am PST
Athens, Greece has all the elements of good urbanism - density, diversity, destinations, distance (to transit) and design. So is Athens a poster child for good urbanism? Fanis Grammenos takes an in-depth look.
Fanis Grammenos