Smart Growth in a Changing World

By Jonathan Barnett, FAICP, F. Kaid Benfield, W. Paul Farmer, FAICP, Shelley Poticha, Robert Yaro, Armando Carbonell, FAICP

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Can the United States adopt smart growth policies before it's too late?

The United States is in the midst of a crisis of energy consumption and environmental degradation. This crisis is masked by our vibrant economy, high standard of living, and abundant land, but as our population continues to grow and our cities continue to sprawl, the costs of current development policies will become increasingly clear.

The U.S. population is likely to grow from 281 million in 2000 to 433 million in 2050, while sprawl in urban regions doubles. Most of the growth will take place in nine multicity regions, where development is already rolling over fields and forests much faster than necessary, unbalancing the natural environment, creating huge traffic problems on highways and at airports, and burning petroleum at rates far greater than the rest of the world. Meanwhile, our global competitors are investing in smart growth: high-speed rail; regional rapid transit; compact, mixed-use development; and natural resources conservation.

Smart Growth in a Changing World, the latest book from respected planner and urban designer Jonathan Barnett, documents the United States' hidden crisis and shows how balanced transportation and natural resources preservation can make new urban development sustainable, as well as more efficient and more equitable.

Chapters by Jonathan Barnett, F. Kaid Benfield, W. Paul Farmer, Shelley Poticha, Robert D. Yaro, and Armando Carbonell.

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Date Published
March 1, 2007
APA Planners Press

Table of Contents

Chapter 1
Smart Growth in a Changing World

Chapter 2
What Are the Nation’s Future Growth Trends?

Chapter 3
The Runaway American Dream

Chapter 4
Transportation in Multi-City Regions

Chapter 5
Alternate Futures for the Seven-County Orlando Region

Chapter 6
Reinventing Megalopolis: The Northeast Megaregion

Chapter 7
Natural Hazards and Regional Design

Chapter 8
Smart Growth in Cities and Towns

Chapter 9
America’s Future and Federal Smart Growth Policies

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About the Authors


More than half the world's people now live in urban areas. This trend continues to accelerate, with a large majority of new jobs and residents predicted to be in "super regions" or "megalopolises" in the next 50 years. The future of the world's children now, more than ever, depends on the success of our urban areas in meeting their needs. Smart growth, when it works, involves recognizing these and other emerging social and market trends to help our neighborhoods, towns, cities, and regions grow better. This collection of essays and studies adds significantly to the growing debate concerning how smart growth concepts may, or should, play out at the super regional scale through a host of complex issues, including environmental preservation, transportation infrastructure, land-use policy, and economic and social equity, to ensure our urban areas meet the needs of the world's current and future generations. Robert J. Grow, Founding Chair Emeritus of Envision Utah

Jonathan Barnett has his finger on the pulse of growth trends in America. This book provides insight into strategies and policies that, if embraced, will positively impact the way we grow. Chandra Foreman, Principal Planner for Polk County, Florida, and Chair of APA's Planning and the Black Community Division