Urban planning is a discipline that using strategies to create well-rounded communities, paying special attention to how land is used and updated. It is recommended that Urban Planners utilize Smart Growth strategies for optimal outcomes for both the environment and residents within the communities in which they are working.
What is Smart Growth?
Smart Growth, championed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is an approach to urban and rural design that focuses on land use, conservation of resources and efficient development.
Urban planners and civil/environmental engineers consider the following ten (10) philosophies of Smart Growth when making development plans:
- Mixed land use.
- Take advantage of compact building design.
- Provide a range of housing opportunities and choices.
- Create walkable neighborhoods.
- Foster attractive communities with a strong sense of place.
- Preserve open space, farmland, natural beauty and critical environmental areas.
- Strengthen and direct development towards existing communities.
- Provide a variety of transportation options.
- Make fair, predictable and cost-effective development decisions.
- Encourage community and stakeholder collaboration in development decisions.
These key pieces of Smart Growth were coined after pilot communities implemented them; resulting in more diverse, attractive, and environmentally conscious communities.
Smart Growth aims to generate more sustainable, functional, and inclusive communities for residents of all ages – young and old – and for generations to come. Factors such as street quality, pedestrian safety, proximity to schools and grocery stores, energy efficiency, and recreational facilities are carefully considered when planning these communities.
Civil/Environmental Engineering and Smart Growth Implementation
Urban Planners often work with Civil/Environmental Engineers to develop reports, review and update development plans, discuss permitting, and design systems aimed to increase community quality of life while decreasing environmental harm as much as possible. Environmental harm would include air and water pollution, erosion, and loss of green space.
Civil/Environmental engineers should consider all functions of Smart Growth for urban development – aiming to improve water, air, and soil markers, as well as resilience against climate change.
Urban Planning Turns to Smart Growth Strategies for Long-Term Development of Outdated Buildings
One of the most appealing Smart Growth strategies for urban planners and developers is revitalizing underused or abandoned industrial and commercial properties. Communities often find themselves burdened with empty and obsolete businesses, warehouses, and shopping areas. As long as these properties remain underutilized, they provide little benefit to their communities.
Smart Growth strategies breathe new life into these spaces, rehabilitating and reimagining them to add beauty and functionality to the communities for long-term population management and overall community satisfaction.
The Environmental Benefits of Smart Growth
Smart Growth strategies preserve and create greenspace, prioritize energy efficiency in heating and cooling, and create walkable neighborhoods.
Walkable neighborhoods result in reduced greenhouse gas emissions and cleaner air. Incorporating green building techniques during construction further reduces air pollution and energy consumption. Smart Growth strategies also promote compact development and open space preservation, which enhance water quality by filtering and utilizing natural rainwater.
Ultimately, Smart Growth communities lead to cleaner air, purer water, and the conservation of natural landscapes and waterways.
- Smart Growth reimagines urban development with a strong focus on environmental preservation.
- Smart Growth prioritizes long-term development for both current and future generations.
- The environmental benefits of Smart Growth techniques include reduced energy consumption, higher air quality, less greenhouse gas emissions, and improvements in overall quality of life.
Carroll Engineering Corporation is a professional Civil Engineering Firm that services the Tri-State area. We specialize in several areas of engineering, and our Municipal Engineers have participated in many projects in the locations we service. We always deliver highly regarded professional services including surveying, planning & site design, water facilities engineering, wastewater engineering, traffic & transportation engineering, municipal engineering and beyond to a wide range of municipal, public and private clients.
We have offices located in Warrington, PA (Bucks County), King of Prussia, PA (Montgomery County), Malvern, PA (Chester County), Easton, PA (Northampton County) and Hillsborough, NJ (Somerset County), and all our departments serve as valuable resources to each other! Our services are available to clients in both the public and private sector. We believe in putting our clients first and find solutions or prevent common problems faced in the engineering sector with a hands-on and innovative approach.
Looking for professionals specialized in civil/environmental engineering? Get in touch with us today! We’d love to explore your ideas and discuss the different ways that we can make your visions a reality!