Smart Growth: Why We Discuss It More than We Do It

Although many places discuss smart growth policies, comparatively few actually practice such policies. This may be because successful implementation requires adopting intermediary policies that surrender long-established traditions. Applying smart growth principles generates challenges, including: redistributing benefits and costs of development, shifting authority from local to regional levels, increasing residential density, raising housing prices, failing to reduce traffic congestion, increasing the red tape of new development, restricting profits for owners of outlying land, and replacing disjointed incrementalism with regional planning. The author analyzes these obstacles in a framework together with the major goals of smart growth. The analysis suggests that the prospects for a metropolitan area adopting an entire smart growth strategy are very low. In order to make smart growth a reality, advocates must find ways to carry out these intermediary policies and gain more political support, especially at the state government level. This paper is followed with a comment by Fernando Costa discussing the prospects for the success of the smart growth movement in terms of the original paper's framework.


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  • Accession Number: 01010485
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 2 2005 1:29PM