Coastal Smart Growth Home: Smart Growth Approaches

Smart Growth Approaches

How can smart growth strategies help coastal and waterfront communities manage growth and development while balancing environmental, economic, and quality of life issues? How can communities on the water adapt smart growth strategies to fit their unique character? This website will help communities answer these questions. It is specifically targeted to anyone who plans, designs, builds, approves, or has an interest in development at the water's edge.

Smart growth is defined by 10 principles. These principles provide a framework for making growth and development decisions that yield better economic, environmental, community, and public health results. Developed in 1996 by the Smart Growth Network, a coalition of national and regional organizations that believe where and how we grow matters, the principles are based on the characteristics and experiences of thriving, diverse, and successful communities. These principles help guide growth and development in communities that have a clear vision for their future and understand the values they want to sustain.

The coastal and waterfront elements presented on this website augment the existing smart growth principles to reflect the specific challenges and opportunities characterizing the waterfront, be it on a coast, a river, or a lake. These elements provide guidance for communities to grow in ways that are compatible with their natural assets, creating great places for residents, visitors, and businesses.