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A Broader Smart Growth Agenda

Kaid Benfield, a leader in the smart growth movement, makes a great case today at his NRDC blog that “it is time for advocates and practitioners to embrace a broader, more holistic vision of what smart, sustainable development should be in the 21st century” and that this “will mean retaining, but also being more ambitious than, the largely ‘infill, compact development, and transit’ agenda for smart growth. He calls for wholly addressing growth also through:

  • Green building (there is simply no excuse for not doing it at this point);
  • Urban green infrastructure, including neighborhood parks (that can help heal ecosystems while also making the densities we need for transportation efficiency more hospitable);
  • Inclusive urban revitalization, with equity, affordability and historic preservation (most US central cities and older suburbs have so much capacity for growth, if we do it right;
  • Walkable neighborhoods that facilitate fitness and health;
  • Livable, human-scaled, place-based neighborhoods that create good ambassadors for our movement and that NIMBYs want rather than fight.

The whole post is worth a read if you’re interested in smart growth. As for parks, its important for smart growth advocates to embrace parks — but its also important for parks people to think about and embrace smart growth and make themselves part of that movement.

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