Smart Growth Tools on the Internet

An approach developed by the Coastal Service Center, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration @

According to the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program, urban sprawl may consume almost 5.8 million acres of coastal farmland and open space by 2025, if current trends in population growth and land use continue. How can communities meet demands for growth while protecting important resources?

This section offers a set of guidelines for "Living on the Coast" and links to a database of related techniques. The guidelines offer a starting point for coastal communities to approach smart growth.
  1. Know your place and explore its identity. What works in one place may not work in another. This section focuses on how to inventory your community, use meaningful data, and understand local trends.

  2. Engage others for their input on visions and plans through public participation, training, and collaboration. This section highlights how to find the pulse of the community by engaging others.

  3. Protect community resources such as working waterfronts, beach access, wetlands, and historic landscapes. This section includes techniques for protecting and managing natural and cultural resources.

  4. Create quality places for people, places of diversity. This section highlights techniques that encourage walkable communities, recreational opportunities, and housing and transportation choices.

  5. Encourage sound investments in the built and unbuilt environment. This section links to economic development and redevelopment strategies, incentive programs, funding sources, and other information.

  6. Build wisely and design for nature. This section includes techniques for avoiding vulnerable areas, increasing resiliency to storms and flooding, and implementing green design and development.
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