Smart Growth Strategy: Shaping the future of the nine-county Bay Area
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What is Smart Growth?

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What is Smart Growth?

“Smart growth” means different things to different people. There is no single definition of smart growth; its meaning depends on context, perspective and timeframe. The common thread among different views of smart growth is development that revitalizes central cities and older suburbs, supports and enhances public transit, promotes walking and bicycling, and preserves open spaces and agricultural lands. Smart growth is not no growth; rather, it seeks to revitalize the already-built environment and, to the extent necessary, to foster efficient development at the edges of the region, in the process creating more livable communities.

Smart growth meets the key goals of sustainable development through community design. Focusing new housing and commercial development within already developed areas requires less public investment in new roads, utilities and amenities. Investment in the urban core can reduce crime, promote affordable housing and create vibrant central cities and small towns. By coordinating job growth with housing growth, and ensuring a good match between income levels and housing prices, smart growth aims to reverse the trend toward longer commutes, particularly to bedroom communities beyond the region’s boundaries. People who live within easy walking distance of shops, schools, parks and public transit have the option to reduce their driving and therefore pollute less than those living in car-dependent neighborhoods.

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Last Updated on 8/31/04 by MCH