Starting in the 1990s, there was a movement referred to as
movement was designed to manage growth without derailing economic development or
sacrificing affordable housing.
The difference between smart growth and previous
approaches to growth management is the argument that smart growth strategies will
actually promote economic development.
It will preserve the quality of life while
lowering regulatory barriers to housing and other economically productive development
inside designated growth areas.
Smart growth is a term used to describe efforts to shape growth in a way that lessons
suburban growth characterized by very low densities and leapfrog
Smart growth advocates argue that
growth is inevitable but sprawl is
Components of Sprawl
Jeff Speck, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Andres Duany, 2000,
Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl & the
Decline of the American Dream
North Point Press.
Speck, Plater-Zybeck, and Duany identified what they regard as the five basic
components or characteristics of a community experiencing sprawl:
, also called
These places consist only of
They are sometimes called
developers, which is misleading, since those terms denote places which are not
exclusively residential and which provide an experiential richness not available in a
Subdivisions can be identified as such by their contrived names, which
tend toward the romantic -Pheasant Mill Crossing- and often pay tribute to the natural or
historic resource they have displaced.
, also called
are places exclusively for shopping.
They come in every size, from the Quick Mart on
the corner to the Mall of America, but they are all places to which one is unlikely to walk.
The conventional shopping center can be easily distinguished from its traditional main-
street counterpart by its lack of housing or offices, its single-story height, and its parking
lot between the building and the roadway.
Office parks and business parks
These are places only for work.
Derived from the
modernist architectural vision of the building standing free in the park, the contemporary
office park is usually made of boxes in parking lots.
Still imagined as a pastoral
workplace isolated in nature, it has kept its idealistic name and also its quality of
This discussion of Smart Growth is based on Karen A. Danielsen, R.E. Lang, & Wm. Fulton. 1999.
“Retracting Suburbia: Smart Growth and the Future of Housing“, Housing Policy Debate
, Fannie Mae
Foundation, Washington, DC, 10(3):513—540.