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Sprawl Developments like Valley's Edge incur many environmental, economic and social impacts.
The solution is smart growth development.
Smart growth is a group of growth management strategies that prioritize protecting the natural environment, investing in compact urban form, sustaining healthier communities with alternative modes of transportation and shorter transportation distances, and building attractive communities with a sense of place.
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Smart Growth Impacts
Smart Growth comes with many positive impacts, like decreased transportation costs due to the closer proximity to offices and retail; increased access to safer transportation networks that account for alternative modes of transit; decreased energy use; increased social cohesion; and decreased environmental pollution.
‘Measuring Sprawl,’ published by Smart Growth America in 2014, analyzed development patterns in 221 metropolitan areas and 994 counties in the US to measure the impacts of both sprawl development and compact community design. In compact communities, individuals had decreased transportation costs and fewer fatal car crashes, as well as increased access to different types of transportation (buses, trains, better bicycle infrastructure). Suburban sprawl developments had more single-family dwellings with increased energy consumption rates compared to compact communities with more multi-family dwellings close to public transit.
Smart Growth communities are also economically efficient. Mixed-use zoning in the urban core would encourage small businesses, like local grocers and corner cafes, to set up shop in traditionally residential spaces. Closer proximity to retail and work means income revenue stays local, instead of going to big box stores on the periphery of town.
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