Category Archives: mission

What Is Smart Growth?

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.

For additional takes on Smart Growth, see: Smart Growth America, NOAA’s Coastal and Waterfront Smart Growth or “Smart Growth”  according to Wikipedia.

What aspects of Smart Growth apply to Portsmouth? To Portsmouth downtown? How you define “smart growth.”




PS21 provides education and encourages discussion and policy development around urban planning issues in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. We aim to help create a vibrant, sustainable, livable, and walkable community that compatible with the commonly accepted principles of Smart Development and the historic nature of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. PS21 stands for “Portsmouth Smart Development in the 21st century.”

Smart Growth Principles

According to the EPA, there are 10 principles of Smart Growth.