We’ve detected that you are using an outdated browser.

Please use a new browser like Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Microsoft Edge to improve your experience.

We’ve detected that you are using an outdated browser.


Ten Years of Smart Growth: A Nod to Policies Past and a Prospective Glimpse into the Future

Smart growth policies seek to remove barriers to homeownership, adequate public facilities, and employment opportunities by providing access to valuable land resources in suburban and urban centers. As of 2006, nearly 20 states have implemented smart growth-oriented directives, and many local and regional entities have also incorporated smart growth practices into their comprehensive master plans. As more states continue to grapple with ways to tackle urban sprawl, many of them have begun to experiment with various policy tools, such as urban growth boundaries, limitations on exclusionary zoning, and impact fees. This article traces the historical development of smart growth in the United States, looking at past state and local growth management policies that eventually led to the smart growth movement. The article then turns to a discussion on how smart growth policies have guided state and local governments in their challenge to mitigate the effects of urban sprawl. The article concludes by highlighting best practices and innovative approaches that governments at all levels have implemented to address various land use issues for the future.

Publication Name
Cityscape: A Journal of Policy Development and Research
Downloadable Documents
Regina C. Gray
Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy Development and Research
Page Numbers
Publication Date
January 01, 2007
Publication Type
Land Use Planning, Planning for Agriculture and Food Systems, Smart Growth / Growth Management

Visit American Farmland Trust

Get engaged and receive the information you need right in your inbox.