Smart Growth

"Smart growth" is a philosophy supported by actions to direct growth to existing areas that enable people to access jobs, shopping and recreational activities whether walking, cycling or driving. Communities that embody smart growth principles are vibrant places that promote health, reduced infrastructure costs, and conservation of environmentally sensitive areas.


The 10 principles of smart growth include:

  • Create a range of housing opportunities and choices
  • Create walkable neighborhoods
  • Encourage community and stakeholder collaboration
  • Foster distinctive, attractive communities with a strong sense of place
  • Make development decision predictable, fair and cost effective
  • Mix land uses
  • Preserve opens spaces, farmland, natural beauty and critical environmental areas
  • Provide a variety of transportation choices
  • Strengthen and direct development towards existing communities
  • Take advantage of compact building design

The principles of smart growth are reflected throughout RPC’s programs and plans. Frequently, RPC works with its local government partners, who regulate land use and zoning, to coordinate development with regional transportation investments. Additionally, RPC provides educational opportunities for local government partners, board members, and the community about topics relevant to promoting smarter growth including: climate change, urban design, and best practices in land use and transportation integration. RPC provides technical assistance to local government partners through sub-area studies, its bicycle and pedestrian program, transportation enhancement program, RPC brownfields program, and educational seminars.


Educational Materials

Access Management

Climate Change


Additional Smart Growth Resources


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Land Use
Smart Growth
Land Use Studies
  »  Parish Studies
  »  Sub-Area Studies

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