Smart Growth Policies
Over recent decades as concerns mounted about the economic, social, and environmental impacts of sprawl, many states and localities began to put policies in place to shape settlement patterns. By the 1990s, these efforts—generally intended to encourage more compact development, greater transit use, and enhanced environmental protection—came to be known as “smart growth” programs. Despite their widespread adoption, there has been no systematic assessment of their effectiveness or consequences.
The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy collaborated with 18 leading land use researchers and planners to measure and compare outcomes in four states with statewide smart growth programs (Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, and Oregon) and four states without such programs (Colorado, Indiana, Texas, and Virginia). The investigation reveals great heterogeneity. No state did well on all smart growth principles or on all measures, although individual states typically succeeded in their top priority policy area. The experts in public policy and planning compared the five main smart growth objectives using 52 indicators from U.S. Census Bureau data.
The conclusions and recommendations in this volume are also summarized in a Policy Focus Report, Evaluating Smart Growth.
About the Authors
Gregory K. Ingram was president and CEO of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy from 2005 to 2014.
Armando Carbonell is vice president of programs at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
Yu-Hung Hong was a fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
Anthony Flint is senior fellow in the Office of the President at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
“This comprehensive volume is the first major evaluation of smart growth policies in the United States.”
— Appeared in Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science
“... makes a solid contribution through its comprehensive assessment of polices and the development of common measures of success, using nationally available data.”
— Appeared in Journal of Regional Science