Natural Resources & Environment

How and where communities grow can have as much of an impact on the environment as can hazardous waste cleanups and vehicle mileage standards. Approaches that direct development toward existing communities tend not only to be efficient public investments, but they also relieve the pressure to develop in and around the open lands that filter our water, grow our food, protect our wildlife and provide recreation for our citizens.

Encouraging growth in existing communities also supports the cleanup and reuse of brownfields and other degraded areas. Compact neighborhoods make it easier for people to get around in environmentally-friendly ways like walking, cycling and using transit.

In this section, we present ways in which natural resource and environmental agencies can support smarter growth outcomes by refocusing their permitting and regulatory programs, modifying funding criteria and strategically using their land development and conservation dollars.

Policies

Click here to download the entire Natural Resources & Environment section of the Policy Guide (PDF).
Click here to download the entire Policy Guide (PDF).

Additional Resources