At the heart of a livable community is a layout that encourages residents to walk, bike, and use public transportation. Such development doesn’t happen by itself, however, especially not in the U.S. where zoning regulations and other laws promote large lots and an automobile-focused layout.
Enter smart growth strategies, which promote greater density, a mix of uses, connectivity to services and amenities, and access to regional resources. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, residents in smart growth communities drive as little as one fifth as much as their counterparts in conventional, sprawling developments. And a large majority of home buyers list commute length as a top priority in their search for the perfect home.
If you’re curious about where your home or office stands, visit WalkScore and enter your address. You’ll get a numerical score that tells you how walkable your location is, and how close it is to services and amenities.
There are many resources for towns and developers considering smart growth for their communities. Our top four: