Smart growth is a way of approaching community development and expansion with the goal of making them “more livable, more economically efficient, and more effective at meeting the needs of the people who live there.”
Smart growth encourages building communities that are easily walkable while also providing a range of other transportation options. Houses are built to be attractive and affordable using compact, energy efficient designs. These tenets, as well as an overall goal of environmental respect and preservation guide smart growth community building.
The NOAA Coastal Services Center has created recommendations for how these principles can be applied to an actual coastal community. These recommendations include a Conventional Design that aims to maximize lot development and deemphasizes environmental preservation. The Conservation Design focuses on preservation of natural resources and open space and works to meet and exceed required environmental protection standards. Lastly, the New Urbanist Design surrounds a central open space with a network of interconntected commercial and residential areas.
For more information:
Alternatives for Coastal Development: One Site, Three Scenarios, NOAA Coastal Services Center
Coastal Decision-making Lesson Plan(pdf, 200kb), NOS Education
Coastal Decision-making Tools
Original article: What is "smart growth"?