Smart Growth Policies and Practices
Smart growth is about keeping jobs, stores, residences, and other amenities as close as possible. Traditional development separates towns into commercial and housing-only zones. Smart growth keeps these functions close to each other, making it easier to walk, bike or take the public transport to work. This keeps money in the local economy, while also contributing to a thriving town center. Smart growth isn’t for everyone. However, smart growth principles have been adopted by many cities, including San Francisco or Portland.
Smart growth planning
Smart Growth is an urban development process that channels new development toward existing neighborhoods and communities. It also protects open space and avoids the construction of new suburbs. Smart growth also makes it easier to provide new homes and businesses with the services they need. Here are some guidelines and practices for smart growth. Smart Growth cities are primarily suburban in nature, though they can also be urban if necessary. Smart growth neighborhoods will often have a mix of residential, commercial, and business uses.
Smart growth encourages a mix in housing options and building types. It includes transit-oriented development as well as denser residential areas. It also emphasizes the development of existing communities, which will allow for improved walkability as well as increased transit service. Smart growth cities also encourage increased diversity of land use and encourage greater participation from citizens. These principles have been described by the US Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA). These principles will guide cities’ planning efforts and help them achieve their goals.
Benefits of smart growth
Smart growth cities focus on reducing land consumption and infrastructure costs. Not only do residents save money on transportation costs, but they also form closer relationships with neighbors. With better transportation options, these communities can attract talented workers and make businesses more efficient. Moreover, they can attract more diverse populations, including those without cars. This can help businesses succeed and grow. Smart growth cities encourage mixed income communities to ensure that they attract a wide range of workers.
One of the biggest environmental benefits of smart growth communities, is its reduction in air pollution. Smart growth cities have a lower rate of air pollution, which means that they generate less greenhouse gas emissions and are less likely not to drive as much. Additionally, smart growth communities require less land to build homes, which reduces runoff. Smart growth communities preserve green spaces which reduce pollution and mitigate the effects of climate changes. Smart growth projects are more efficient in terms of energy use and traffic reduction.
Modification of local zoning laws as a tool for achieving smart growth
Modifying local zoning laws can be one of the most effective tools in the pursuit of smart growth. Many American cities already have zoning ordinances that prohibit development in environmentally sensitive areas or in outlying areas. You can also offer additional density incentives for brownfield or grayfield land, along with other amenities. There are also minimum parking requirements in many cities today.
Local governments are now taking matters into themselves by adopting laws to promote affordable housing and protect residents. While some cities are adopting zoning policies to encourage new construction, others are implementing laws to protect residents. For example, in the greater Boston area, 15 mayors have endorsed a housing construction strategy that outlines ways to improve local zoning laws. Arlington, Massachusetts, is proposing density bonuses to encourage affordable housing and increase the density of downtown neighborhoods.
Case studies of towns implementing smart growth principles
These policies were examined in the context of case studies that showed how smart growth principles had impacted local planning. Smart growth principles can be used to support a range of strategies, including energy efficiency, renewable energy and reducing carbon emissions. They also help preserve local heritage and enhance community character. These principles can be implemented by municipalities through the opening of communications and the integration of values into planning and decision-making. Smart growth can help cities and towns address challenges in sustainability and reduce costs.
Smart growth principles encourage community-oriented, transit-oriented and economically viable development. It emphasizes planning layout and efficient land use, which minimizes wasteful sprawl. These principles encourage policies that integrate land use and transportation, and discourage dispersed development at urban fringes. In addition, smart growth strategies promote economic development while promoting community-based health. Municipalities can use smart growth resources to develop their visions, including checklists and technical assistance.