Project Rating / Recognition Programs for Supporting Smart Growth Forms of Development

PAS Report 538

By Douglas Porter, Matthew Cuddy

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What is smart growth? As communities around the country embrace the principles of smart growth, this becomes less a question of theory than of implementation. Communities that want to achieve smart-growth objectives need criteria and standards for evaluating the extent to which proposed developments qualify as smart growth.

This report explains how communities can create project rating systems that help them turn smart-growth principles into built projects. It offers examples of ratings systems employed by various organizations, describes their scope and intentions, explains the administrative processes involved, and evaluates their effectiveness. It also describes ways such systems can be used to educate the public and officials about smart growth and how some communities are using them in recognition and awards programs.

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Page Count
Date Published
May 1, 2006
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APA Planning Advisory Service

Table of Contents

Smart Growth: From Principles to Practices

What Smart Growth Is and Does

Translating Principles into Practices

Project Rating Systems for Promoting Smart Growth Practices

Organizing for Action

Criteria and Standards for Rating Projects

Decision-Making Procedures for Project Endorsements

Recapping Program Requirements

Effectiveness of Project Rating Systems


Appendix A. Profiles of Selected Sponsors of Project Evaluation Programs

Appendix B. Examples of Smart Growth Criteria and Standards