Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: May 04, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412973816 | Print ISBN: 9781412996822 | Online ISBN: 9781412973816| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Susan H. Weaver
Smart Growth is an approach to urban planning that emphasizes compact development patterns, with the aim of building more socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable communities. Smart Growth advocacy gained strength in the mid-1990s as evidence emerged tying undesirable environmental and social adverse effects to the suburban pattern of development that had predominated the post–World War II period. Development based on Smart Growth principles is relatively compact and engineered to limit environmental impacts. It typically features a mix of residential and commercial uses along streets laid out to encourage and accommodate pedestrian activity. Increased neighborhood walkability and provisions for cycling and transit are intended to reduce the necessity for private automobiles imposed by typical postwar suburban configurations. Because Smart Growth development exerts fewer detrimental environmental impacts than conventional suburban development accommodating similar populations, it has been endorsed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which has established a program to promote its ...