One reason PS21 included “smart growth” in its name was because the term was being so loosely used that it had started to mean “growth I think is smart.”
“Smart Growth,” with capital letters, is a set of policies and approaches to development arose over the past five or six decades as a response to the negative social and environmental effects of sprawl and automobile dependency.
Parris Glendening, the former governor of Maryland, is generally credited with being the first to use the term, in 1996.
The Smart Growth Manual (2010) says, smart growth is “the opposite of automobile-based suburban development.” The book then takes 240 pages to summarize and illustrate dozens of smart growth policies.
Meanwhile, the EPA suggests there are ten principles to Smart Growth.
- 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 towards existing communities
- Provide a variety of transportation choices
- Make development decisions predictable, fair and cost-effective
- Encourage community and stakeholder collaboration in development decisions.
What aspects of Smart Growth apply to Portsmouth? To Portsmouth downtown? How you define “smart growth.”