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Best practices for rural smart growth.
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  • Abstract:
    Smart growth is a development strategy that encompasses economic, environmental and social objectives to manage the growth of a community. The basic principles of smart growth are to: • Mix land uses. • Take advantage of compact building design. • Create a range of housing opportunities and choices. • Create walkable neighborhoods. • Foster distinctive, attractive communities with a strong sense of place. • Preserve open space, farmland, natural beauty and critical environmental areas. • Strengthen and direct development toward existing communities. • Provide a variety of transportation choices. • Make development decisions predictable, fair and cost-effective. • Encourage stakeholder and community collaboration in development decisions. Smart growth as a strategy has been well developed and used in metropolitan areas across the country, however, there may be gaps in the understanding of how smart growth can be used in rural regions. In general, rural smart growth is simply the attempt to apply the basic principles of smart growth to rural, less-developed areas. Rural smart growth strategies tend to focus on regional collaboration, the preservation of open spaces and environmental protection. This Preliminary Investigation seeks to capture a range of available resources and strategies applicable to the development and implementation of smart growth strategies in rural California.
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