Smart Scorecard for Development Projects

Smart Scorecard For Development Projects January 2002
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To help minimize the impacts of new development (public infrastructure costs,
congestion, air pollution, loss of agriculture land, etc.);
To provide greater accessibility and choices in how we move about from
home, work, shopping and leisure activities;
To stabilize and improve the long-term financial performance for commercial
and home owners;
To maximize the return from public investments in existing and new roads,
schools, utilities, transit systems, bridges, waterways, etc;
To protect natural habitat and watersheds for the future; and
To foster a greater sense of connection, responsibility and continuity for
citizens with their communities.
Smart Growth has forged an alliance of diverse interests who can now support a different kind of
development: construction that enhances existing communities, is compatible with the natural
environment, uses tax dollars efficiently, and is profitable for private investment. “The concept of
Smart Growth”, according to Michael Pawlukiewicz, ULI’s Director of Environmental Land Use
Policy, “is considered new and distinctive in that it seeks to identify a common ground where
developers, environmentalists, public officials, citizens and financiers all can find ways to
accommodate growth that is acceptable to each entity.”
What can local communities actually do to achieve the above objectives and to reduce the impacts
of new growth? Transportation planners, urban designers, environmentalists, developers and local
officials created a list of policy and planning tools referred to as Smart Growth:
Build new neighborhoods in a compact form
Connect street systems that are designed to balance auto, pedestrian and bicycle movement
Maintain and enhance existing infrastructure
Actively pursue redevelopment, including infill residential development
Encourage mixed-use development, preferably near transit service
Connect open spaces, parks and trails into a system
Vigorously protect sensitive habitat and watershed land
Build mixed-density and mixed-income housing
Recognize traditional downtowns and urban neighborhoods as being a critical anchor for to
the economic and community vitality of a region
Promote stabile neighborhood schools as a focal point for all adults, children, civic groups
and businesses
Establish predictability in the development process; development projects that enhance the
economy, the community and the environment receive expedited approval
ENCOURAGING SMARTER PROJECTS
The major problem with the policy approach to planning occurs on the project level, where specific
property owners, elected officials and neighborhood groups often don’t follow the spirit or intent
of adopted plans. We believe the Smart Growth program must include a project-oriented focus in
order to accelerate changes in development practice. Some communities that are experiencing
major growth pressure cannot afford to wait 4-7 years before changing the regulations and codes
that designate where land uses should be located and how much development should be built.
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