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Smart Growth and Economic Success

Webinar

Learn about the webinar on Smart Growth and Economic Success held on September 18, 2013.

Background

EPA has developed a series of reports exploring the economic advantages of smart growth for businesses, real estate developers, investors, and local governments. Smart growth development is compact and walkable and provides a diverse range of choices in land uses, building types, transportation, homes, workplace locations, and stores. Businesses, real estate developers, investors, and local governments that understand how smart growth can affect them financially will be better prepared to make development decisions?decisions that are likely to benefit the environment as well.
(Click here to learn more about the environmental benefits of smart growth strategies.)

EPA held a one-day workshop in December 2011 when business leaders, real estate developers, and economic development professionals came together to share their thoughts and make suggestions about how to expand on work in this area. Discussions from that workshop helped shape these reports.

Smart Growth and Economic Success

Download Smart Growth and Economic Success (PDF) (30 pp, 885K, About PDF)

Smart Growth and Economic Success: Benefits for Real Estate Developers, Investors, Businesses, and Local Governments

Smart growth projects are attractive to private-sector interests because they can find a ready market and compete financially. They appeal to local governments because they can be the building blocks of a growing economy and high-quality, economically sustainable neighborhoods and communities while also helping to create a cleaner, healthier environment. Some of the advantages for developers, communities, and local governments associated with smart growth include:

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Smart Growth and Economic Success: The Business Case

Download Smart Growth and Economic Success: The Business Case (PDF) (22 pp, 946K, About PDF)

Smart Growth and Economic Success: The Business Case

Many companies representing diverse business types have recognized that compact, walkable downtowns are good for business and are choosing their operating locations accordingly. This report discusses how locations with housing and transportation options, a mix of uses close together, and a high quality of life can improve environmental outcomes while providing economic advantages for businesses, including:

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Smart Growth and Economic Success: The Business Case

Download Smart Growth and Economic Success: Investing in Infill Development (PDF) (24 pp, 1.71MB, About PDF)

Smart Growth and Economic Success: Investing in Infill Development

Developers of all sizes?from independent, small-scale developers to large, publicly traded development companies?are building infill projects throughout the country, and are doing so profitably. Nevertheless, infill development can present challenges that can discourage developers, particularly those without infill experience. This report discusses how these barriers are often surmountable and are beginning to diminish as infill development becomes more common.

New trends point to a sustained increase in demand for infill development, creating a market opportunity for developers:

These trends in the residential and commercial sectors give developers economic incentives to find solutions to the potential barriers to infill, and local governments are helping as well. By changing the regulatory environment to encourage infill, local governments are supporting development that uses existing infrastructure, cleans up and repurposes contaminated and neglected sites, helps reduce transportation-related pollution, and reduces development pressure on outlying areas. Lower infrastructure costs and higher rent and sales prices for infill projects can help make these projects profitable for developers, supporting neighborhoods that are better for the environment and improve quality of life.

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Smart Growth and Economic Success: Strategies for Local Governments

Download Smart Growth and Economic Success: Strategies for Local Governments (PDF) (28 pp, 1.7MB, About PDF)

Smart Growth and Economic Success: Strategies for Local Governments

Many local governments are struggling financially as municipal revenues have failed to keep pace with rising costs of local government operations. To avoid cuts to basic services, many municipalities seek to improve their fiscal health while maintaining a high quality of life for residents. Smart growth strategies can help local governments build on existing assets and maximize the return on investment while helping to protect the environment and human health. This paper reviews the latest evidence of the connection between smart growth approaches and the fiscal strength of local governments to help them make decisions about where and how to grow. Strategies for local governments to lower costs and/or increase revenue include:

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