Smart growth is a concept and term used to identify a set of policies governing transportation and land-use planning policy for urban areas that both benefit communities and preserve the natural environment. Smart growth advocates land-use patterns that are compact, transit-oriented, walkable, bicycle-friendly, and that include mixed-use development with a range of housing choices. This philosophy keeps density concentrated in the center of a town or city, combating suburban sprawl.
Proponents of smart growth advocate comprehensive planning to guide, design, develop, revitalize and build communities that:
- have a unique sense of community and place
- preserve and enhance natural and cultural resources
- equitably distribute the costs and benefits of development
- expand the range of transportation, employment and housing choices
- value long-range, regional considerations of sustainability over a short-term focus
- promote public health and healthy communities
"City living by its definition is crowded. It is tolerant of other people. It is dependent on a sophisticated population that makes a hundred compromises daily so that they can benefit from the collective energy that a city generates."